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Panmure House in Edinburgh, Adam Smith's last home where he lived from 1778-1790, is on sale. Agents Rettie & Co. are asking for offers over £700,000, though it could go for a lot more.

The agents describe it as an "opportunity to purchase a 17th century grade 'A' listed building. The property is set over three floors and retains many period features. The property is currently classed as non-residential but may be suitable for other use classes including residential, office or restaurant, subject to obtaining the necessary consents."

Panmure House is in Edinburgh's historic Old Town, just by the Canongate cemetery, where Smith is buried. Over the years, many people have suggested to us that the Adam Smith Institute should buy it and turn it into a Smith museum. Unfortunately that is probably not a very practical proposal, either in terms of raising the money needed in a short time, or that needed to run such an enterprise.

But let's hope that whoever buys this imposing house – his teaching and writing had made Smith quite wealthy by the time he bought it – finds a use that is in keeping with the Smith connection, and allows the public to go in to it and be inspired.