This house is a remarkable survival, built in 1615 for John Byers and his wife Mary Barclay, and their initials can still be seen above one of the upper windows.
Byers was an important gure in Edinburgh at the time, holding many posts in the burgh council. For six years he was city treasurer and Dean of Guild, and for two years he led the council as Provost.
Byers’ house is now probably the oldest building in the New Town. The house was repaired in the 1800s using fragments of buildings from the Old Town, including the double window in the west side which is reputed to be from the French Ambassadors Chapel.
In 1887 the cathedral adopted the building as the choir school, and it still has that use today.