Saturday, March 2, 2019

The House of John Knox

Blogger: Amber Schamel
The city of Edinburgh, Scotland was home to one of the greatest voices of the Reformation, John Knox. When we visited the city in Spring of 2017, we had the privilege of visiting the reformer's home. It was a fascinating stop, and I'd love to share some of it with you today.

The first thing you'll notice as you approach the dwelling is the inscription above the door. "Love God above all and your neighbor."

This biblical inscription was placed there by James Mossman, the goldsmith who inhabited the dwelling prior to Knox. The building dates back to the 1470's, which makes it the oldest surviving and original house on the Royal Mile.

As you enter the building, you encounter what would have been a shop or business. The home or family apartment was situated above the shop. These were called Luckenbooths in medieval times.

Illustration of the building during Knox's day.

The bottom level of the dwelling is now a museum of plaques and historical tidbits, as well as a beautiful tribute to the reformer and his impact on Scotland and Europe. It was very interesting to wander through before going to the upper levels of the home.

Prior to John Knox's family inhabiting the home, it was home to a goldsmith that refashioned the Scottish crown for King James V. This part of the house's history is a large part of the focus, since John Knox only lived there for a short period of time.

Tools of the Goldsmith trade
Tidbit on the Goldsmiths
The main part of the house is what is known as the Oak room. This is where guests would have been entertained and is therefore the most ornate part of the dwelling. It has beautiful oak paneling, an elaborate fireplace, and carved moldings.

The Oak Room

Oak Room Fireplace

It is believed that John Knox only dwelled in this house during the siege of Edinburgh castle, however it is also asserted that he died in this place. However there is no evidence to verify this legend.


Two-time winner of the Christian Indie Award for historical fiction, Amber Schamel writes riveting stories that bring HIStory to life. She has a passion for travel, history, books and her Savior. This combination results in what her readers call "historical fiction at its finest".  She lives in Colorado and spends half her time volunteering in the Ozarks. Amber is a proud member of the American Christian Fiction Writers Association. Visit her online at and download a FREE story by subscribing to her Newsletter!


  1. It looks very interesting, and I'd love to see that oak paneling in person! Thanks for taking us there....