The frightenest building in Edinburgh
Sited close to the Saint Giles Church, this building served as a booth for collecting fees and as a prision. Also, the Council of Edinburgh used to meet on Tolbooth. It was the frightenest building in the city during 400 years because it was not only a prision but also a place where public executions took place.
Although it is not very clear when it was built, the first mention in documents dates from 1386. After several burnings of the city by the English kings during the 14th century, Robert II King of Scotland, granted Edinburgh with a charter to construct several buildings in the city, being the Tolbooth one of them. It was also used as a Parliament of Scotland during 50 years during the 15th century.
During Mary Stuart reign, this building was used basically as Edinburgh’s main prision which was unfamous for its unhealthy conditions. The Parliament of Scotland moved out of the Old Tolbooth to the new Parliament Hall in 1639.