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Riddle's Court is a unique survival: an A-listed 16th-century courtyard house set behind the Royal Mile close to Edinburgh Castle. Over the centuries it has been a merchant's house, aristocratic apartments, overcrowded tenements, a mechanics' subscription library, a university hall of residence, emergency post-war housing, a community learning centre and an Edinburgh Festival Fringe venue. The property contains significant architectural features, including a rare late 16th-century painted beam ceiling, an early 17th-century plaster ceiling and a late 19th-century ceiling by T.K. Bonnar. This is the story of the long and varied life of this remarkable building, right up to its recent magnificent restoration as the Patrick Geddes Centre for Learning and Conservation.
At a time when work and home life are becoming increasingly blurred, and modern technology brings the realm of the public into what used to be a personal and private space, Ed Hollis looks at what it means to make a home in today's world. Exploring the meaning of private and public space, the importance we place on physical objects and the demands we make of our home environment, How to Make a Home challenges us to re-imagine the concept of home and hearth.