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The White Hart Inn

As you walk down through The Grassmarket area of Edinburgh you are literally rubbing shoulders with mass murderers and literary legends.

The Grassmarket was a marketplace for horse and cattle from the 14th century until the early 19th century and was also one of the places where public executions were carried out in the city.  It was one of the poorer areas of Edinburgh although today it is a thriving, cosmopolitan street awash with tourists from all over the world.

A little pub called The White Hart Inn with a green frontage highlights that it was first established in 1516, and so it was.  However, the only part of it originally from 1516 would be the cellar with the actual building standing there today having been built in the 1740’s. 

Throughout its history many notable characters have passed through its doors, from the National Bard, Rabbie Burns to William and Dorothy Wordsworth.  In fact, it is believed that after staying in the establishment for a week whilst visiting his lover Nancy Macklehose, Rabbie was inspired to write one of his most enduring love songs, Ae Fond Kiss.

The infamous body snatchers Burke and Hare frequented the Inn and the Grassmarket area in general in search of victims to murder for body parts and it is believed that The White Hart Inn is the last of their hunting grounds still standing.

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