Probobly the most distinctive building on the Royal Mile, The Canongate Tolbooth is the oldest remaining building in Edinburgh’s Canongate. The Tolbooth was the grand administrative centre for the independent burgh of the Canongate, which developed outside the walls of Edinburgh. It was built on the north side of the street in 1591, in the French style, by the feudal superior of the Burgh, Sir Lewis Bellenden of Auchintoul, whose initials are carved above the Tolbooth Pend. A five-storey building, with a turreted steeple, its forestair led to the Council Chambers and law court, while below was the gaol. The Canongate tolbooth was discontinued as a prison on 10 July 1840 but reopened temporarily in 1842 until 1 January 1848. The Canongate was notable for the fact that it was locked up at night and the keys handed in to the Governor`s house about 500 yards away while the custodians went home to their own beds. The prisoners were left to their own devices and expected toreturn each day till their sentences were complete!! A clock, dating from 1884, juts out from the side of the tower to overhang the street. A major restoration of c.1875 combined the attic and first floor to create a space now occupied by the People’s Story Museum.