579 years young

Pursuing his interest in the remarkable longevity of George Street’s Tartan House of Scotland (Issue 256, p.3), Spurtle correspondent David Young last month wrote to the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce.

Below we reproduce his email and their reply. Draw your own conclusions.



As you will know, when Austin Reed went out of business the west end of George Street lost one of its big retail names. However Austin Reed's former premises have recently been occupied by what must be one of Edinburgh biggest retail success stories. 

Tartan House of Scotland was established in Edinburgh almost 600 years ago (see attached photograph), and yet its hgh quality knitwear products are still available to customers today in the 21st Century.

Tartan House must surely be among the oldest shops in the world still trading - perhaps even the oldest, at least here in Edinburgh?

Would you not agree that the city's Chamber of Commerce ought to be exploiting this in some way - highlighting the continuing existence of Tartan House as a symbol of everything that makes Edinburgh a great place to do business, and to keep doing business over the years and decades?  Perhaps there could be a feature on your website, and maybe an interview with its proprietors? With six centuries of retail history behind them, they must have a fascinating tale to tell.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Yours sincerely,

David Young


Hello David,

How are you? Hope you’re well and many thanks for your email below.

A great story reading about House of Tartan. It is always interesting and encouraging to hear about Edinburgh’s businesses continued success. As a membership organisation, we facilitate our members in not only widening their network but increasing the visibility of their brand.

I have attached a brief overview of our membership benefits and would be happy to have a chat with you in more detail about how we assist our members. Our annual subscription is primarily based on number of employees so if you’d be able to advise that, I’d be happy to confirm the annual rate.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes,


(Membership Account Executive, Edinburgh Chamber Of Commerce, 40 George Street) 


 Graeme Purves ‏@GASPurves

@theSpurtle It's whaur Robert Henryson bocht his braw reid bunnets and John Knox bocht his Geneva gounies.

Paul ‏@fountainbridge

@theSpurtle Presume same as Frankenstein on George 4th bridge. First opened 1823. Or 18:23, or 6:23pm, or 23 minutes past 6 in the evening