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The Old Tolbooth was considered an important building in the city of Edinburgh for over 400 years. The medieval building was first mentioned in the 14th century. Over time, he has various duties including housing the Burgh Council, meetings of the Parliament of Scotland or the Court of Session. It was also the city's main prison, where physical punishment and torture were routinely carried out in addition to detention. From 1785 public executions were carried out. In 1817, the buildings were demolished and renovated several times.