£1m Bothwell House plan for luxury apartments

Julie Grieve, chief executive of The Chambers, checks on progress at Bothwell House. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Julie Grieve, chief executive of The Chambers, checks on progress at Bothwell House. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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The historic home of the bishop who married Mary, Queen of Scots to one of the country’s most infamous figures is to be converted into luxury apartments in a £1 million overhaul.

Property developer Chris Stewart Group has been granted planning permission to transform the 16th century Bothwell House into five-star accommodation.

The A-grade listed property, situated behind Advocate’s Close off the Royal Mile, carries a level of notoriety, having been built in 1630 and named after Bishop of Orkney Adam Bothwell.

The Scottish clergyman conducted the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots to the Earl of Bothwell in 1567. The Earl had been accused of murdering Mary’s previous husband, with the union contributing to the Queen’s eventual abdication and imprisonment.

The bishop was also criticised for agreeing to the exchange of lands, rights and revenues of his northern diocese to oversee Holyrood Abbey, where he is now interred.

Five heritage suites will be created at the site and work is expected to start in September, with the project due for completion by February next year.

The serviced apartments will be known as The Chambers and will become part of the larger £45m overhaul of Advocate’s Close.

Group chief executive Chris Stewart said: “It is a significant building with a remarkable heritage, which deserves to be given new life and a fresh future.

“As with every aspect of this development we have carefully considered the historic features within our designs and will undertake a sensitive restoration of the key features to create a set of stylish apartments that reflect the very best of Edinburgh past and present.”

A total of 29 extra apartments, up to five restaurants, a bar and new office space are being built at Advocate’s Close.

Developers hope the project will help spark life into the network of closes running from the famous Old Town thoroughfare.

City economy convener Councillor Frank Ross said of the overall development: “It has always been the aspiration of the city to make good use of the historic spaces off the Royal Mile.”