Holyrood parliament site maps event

A 'nursery of disease and haunt of vagrants'

National Library event reveals history of Holyrood parliament site

'Maps: the way to an understanding of the Holyrood Parliament site'
An illustrated talk by Pat Dennison

The site of the new Scottish Parliament has had a varied history, from prestige to poverty and back again. Documentary and archaeological sources tell us a great deal, but cartographic evidence gives us an invaluable insight into this fascinating place.

Holyrood has a fascinating background. In earlier times it was a place of great prestige and wealth, associated with the abbey, and the royal court before the regal union of 1603. By the 19th century, it was one of the worst slums in Europe, described as a 'nursery of disease and haunt of vagrants'. Older buildings such as Queensberry House, today an integral part of the parliament, were affected by these changes and were used for very different functions and people — originally as a prestigious house, but then a barracks, and by the 1850s a house of refuge for the destitute.

Dr Pat Dennison, of the School of History and Classics at the University of Edinburgh, is an expert on Scottish urban history and, as the official historian to the archaeological excavations at Holyrood, researched the documentary history of the Scottish parliament site.

Maps produced over the last four centuries are a key resource to unlocking this history, and in this fully illustrated talk, Dr Dennison demonstrates their value in explaining the many distinct phases within the history of the Holyrood site.

Date: Thursday 3 November
Time: 7pm
Place: National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EW.

Further information

Events at the National Library are free, but places are limited, so please book by contacting us at:
Events Line: 0131 623 3845 or email: events@nls.uk

This event has been repeated by popular demand, when it was oversubscribed in April 2005.

26 October 2005




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