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Agreement sees Moubray House safeguarded for the future

24 August 2012

A unique agreement has been reached to bring one of Edinburgh’s oldest houses into Historic Scotland’s care.

With its origins in the 15th century, Moubray House on the city’s Royal Mile is an important part of Scotland’s story and it tells us much about how buildings on this historic thoroughfare developed through the centuries.

The A-listed building reflects the fashions of interior design from its Scottish Renaissance board-and-beam painted ceiling to its later plaster ceiling moulded with exotic fruits and flowers. Debra Stonecipher who owns the house has recently carried out painstaking restoration work to reveal and conserve many of its period features and was keen to see the property pass to Historic Scotland.

This unique agreement was negotiated and overseen by the agency’s outgoing Chief Executive Ruth Parsons.  

Once the house is in the agency’s care, it will be operated as a new visitor facility on the Royal Mile, offering specialist pre-booked tours with detailed interpretation of its origins, history and development over the centuries.

Debra Stonecipher, the owner of Moubray House, said: “It has been a privilege and joy to be able to live in, and to restore, a house that captures over 500 years of Edinburgh’s history and culture here on the Royal Mile. I am thrilled to have come home to my Scottish roots, and now to give, in my grandmother’s name, this very special and cherished house back to the people of Scotland for all time.”

Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “We are extremely grateful for Debra’s gift of Moubray House to the people of Scotland. The house is a significant part of the Royal Mile’s history and provides us with important information about the city’s vibrant and colourful past. I would like to thank Debra for her painstaking efforts in restoring the house and for her philanthropy in putting it into care as a legacy for the country.”

Elizabeth McCrone, Historic Scotland’s Head of Listing and Designed Landscapes, added: “We are thrilled that Debra has taken this step and to see this exceptional property pass into our care. Moubray House will be a fantastic addition to the agency’s estate.

“This house provides us with a snapshot of how properties in Edinburgh’s Old Town were built and evolved over the centuries. The agency looks forward to welcoming the house into the estate and offering a new visitor experience in the city.”

Notes for editors:

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with ensuring that our historic environment provides a strong foundation for a successful future for Scotland. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

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  • The Year of Creative Scotland began on January 1, 2012 and will spotlight and celebrate Scotland’s cultural and creative strengths on a world stage. Through a dynamic and exciting year-long programme of activity celebrating our world-class events, festivals, culture and heritage, the year puts Scotland’s culture and creativity in the international spotlight with a focus on cultural tourism and developing the events industry and creative sector in Scotland. More information about the programme can be found at:

  • The Year of Creative Scotland is a Scottish Government initiative led in partnership by EventScotland, VisitScotland, Creative Scotland and VOCAL. More information and resources to help businesses engage with Year of Creative Scotland are available at

                                                       Year of Creative Scotland 2012

For further information

John MacNeil
Media Relations Manager
Communications and Media
0131 668 8714 or 07854 366 827