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- Category: A
- Group Category Details: A
- see notes
- Date Added: 14/07/1966
- Local Authority: Edinburgh
- Planning Authority: Edinburgh
- Burgh: Edinburgh
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NT 25505 67628
- Coordinates: 325505, 667628
Probably early 18th century. 2-storey, single cell, rectangular-plan tower incorporating pair of round angle towers to W. Symmetrical design incorporating classical motifs to W elevation, including oculus, round-arched window with keystone and miniature obelisks to either side of gable. Rubble (formerly harled) with lightly droved sandstone ashlar dressings, including architraved openings, coped gables and quoins.
W (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: central round-arched window with keystone and impost bands (formerly entrance or taller window) to ground floor; single window above; flanking angle towers to below gable height, each with single 1st floor window. Shouldered gable with oculus at centre and miniature flanking stone obelisks; chimney stack at apex surmounted by wrought-iron finial.
E (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: central entrance with panelled timber door; paired windows to 1st floor.
N ELEVATION: round angle tower to right; 1st floor window immediately to left.
S ELEVATION: round angle tower to left; single window immediately to right to each floor (that to ground floor probably later with surround rather than architrave).
Grey slate roof to main body of structure; stone flags to angle towers. Multi-pane fixed timber windows (mainly 28 and 12-pane, largely broken). Coped gablehead stacks to E and W elevations; that to W elevation with ashlar angle margins and flat coping surmounted by wrought-iron finial; that to E elevation with stone quoins and moulded ashlar coping.
INTERIOR: former 1st floor and staircase missing.
Statement of Special Interest
A-group with Morton House and Morton House Pavilions, Entrance Gateway and Boundary Wall (see separate list entries), all of which are probably largely contemporary with the earlier section of the house. An unusual and intact belvedere built onto a rocky outcrop marking the highest point of the grounds of Morton House and offering extensive panoramic views of the surrounding land. Until the late 20th century it contained the remains of an upper floor and staircase (these were removed for safety). Timber panelling to the first floor room and painted plasterwork to the ground floor room were removed when it was used as an obervation post during World War I.
Appears on PLAN OF THE LANDS OF MORTON, THE PROPERTY OF RICHARD TROTTER ESQ, by Robert Bell, Surveyor, 1842; RCAHMS, INVENTORY OF THE ANCIENT AND HISTORICAL MONUMENTS OF THE CITY OF EDINBURGH (1951) p236; Sheila G Forman, A COUNTRY HOUSE WITHIN THE CITY BOUNDARIES in 'The Scotsman', Saturday 14 December 1957, p8; Charles J Smith, HISTORIC SOUTH EDINBURGH, VOL II (first published 1979, this edition 1982) pp387-89; John Gifford, Colin McWilliam and David Walker, EDINBURGH, in 'The Buildings of Scotland' series (first published 1984, this edition 1991) pp568-69.
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