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This 17th century close is one of the many underground streets that were built over during the modernisation of the old town. The lower floors acted as the foundation for The Royal Exchange, built in 1753 (now The City Chambers) and over 250 years later the floors below remain largely unchanged.

During the war years the underground vaults were used as an air-raid shelter.

The name of Mary King's Close is thought to have originated from the property owner and advocate to Mary Queen of Scots, Alexander King whose daughter was also called Mary.

in 1645 life of the close was shattered forever. The plague struck this little community and there is a myth that the local council decided to contain the plague by incarcerating the victims,
bricking up the close for several years and leaving them to die inside to die. It is likely that this is why the close was nicknamed 'street of sorrows'

It certainly has a reputation of being haunted, one ghost of a little girl 'Annie' has become something of a local celebrity. Sad because she had lost her favourite doll, there is now a room full of gifts left by visitors for her.

Mary King's Close is now open throughout the year to the public for tours.


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