I was pleasantly surprised to find that the John Knox House was just a few blocks away from St. Christopher’s Inn, the hostel where I have been staying this week. It belonged to a certain James Mossman who was knighted by Mary, Queen of Scots. Today, in addition to being a tourist attraction, the first floor has a cafe and Storytelling Center.
The motto on the front of the house above the door is in old Scots and translates as “Love God above all and your neighbour as yourself.”
The bulk of the house was built in the mid 1500s. It is three floors with lots of the original house to see. There is a stone turnpike staircase with an intentionally higher seventh step, to trip up intruders! The doorways are really low and you have to stoop on occasion to get through. People must have been much shorter then.
Mossman was beheaded by the Protestants, his head displayed on the walls of Edinburgh Castle. The house was given to an aged John Knox as it was close to St. Giles Cathedral where he preached. This was prior to Mossman’s beheading. I have some pictures of the outside of St. Giles Cathedral as you have to pay to take pictures inside. I don’t have a good camera — actually, the pictures were taken on my cell phone — so I didn’t want to spend extra money, just to take some grainy photos inside. I did the best thing you can do, however, which is attend the noonday service and scripture reading.
Enjoy the Pictures! By the way, Knox got his education at Saint Andrews!