A TOWNHOUSE that was once home to wealthy city merchants before falling into a state of disrepair in the 19th century has reopened its doors after being given a new lease of life.

The two-bedroom property in Advocate's Close, a narrow back lane off the Royal Mile, Edinburgh, pre-dates 1490 and is the capital's latest serviced apartment following a year-long restoration project costing £45 million.

It has the latest facilities within its solid stone walls, but still has the original fireplaces and painted wall panels and beams, contrasting against double smoked French oak wooden flooring and Italian tiling. It also has a concierge for people willing to pay £850 a night.

Loading article content

The building was once owned by wealthy mer-chants, Andrew Bertram and Clement Cor.

The redevelopment was carried out by the Chris Stewart Group to open up some of the Old Town's hidden closes into a thriving leisure and business destination.

Julie Grieve, chief executive of the Old Town Chambers, said: "The property simply drips with history and style."