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- Category: A
- Date Added: 14/12/1970
- Supplementary Information Updated: 25/03/1997
- Local Authority: Edinburgh
- Planning Authority: Edinburgh
- Burgh: Edinburgh
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NT 26795 72010
- Coordinates: 326795, 672010
Sir James Gowans, 1859-60. 2-storey with attic and basement, symmetrical 4-bay rectangular-plan pair of idiosyncratic houses. Polished sandstone ashlar, polychromatic banded masonry, stugged rubble sides. Base course; dividing band course; bracketed cornice; banded quoins and central banded pilaster; architraved windows, with aprons at ground; semicircular pediments and carved keystones to ground and attic windows; bracketed cills and cast-iron window guards to 1st floor windows.
W (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: slightly recessed single storey entrance porches with glazed sides to N and S; glazed conservatory above N porch. Semicircular pediments to architraved doorways with round- arched fanlights. Venetian windows to inner bays at ground; round- arched single windows to outer bays at ground; single windows to 1st floor; round-arched dormers to attic; regularly fenestrated basement with decorative iron guards.
4-pane timber sash and case windows to ground and 1st floors; Venetian windows flanked by 2-pane lights; 4-pane sash and case; 6-pane sash and case to attic. Grey slate mansard roof with 1 mutual and 2 pairs of wallhead stacks, crowstepped, banded and with bracketed cornices; decorative iron brattishing roof, in front of basement fenestration, and along coping of wall to street.
INTERIORS: not seen 1996.
BOUNDARY WALLS: coped boundary wall to street; later railings; coped mutual boundary wall and gatepier to Nos 21 and 27.
Statement of Special Interest
Dr Benjamin Bell of Hunthill, an eminent Edinburgh surgeon and farmer, speculated on the potential for development in the lands of Newington. In 1806, aware of the demand for countrified dwellings near the city, he advertised his intention to sell 58 plots of land within his 8.5 acres. On his death in the same year his son George Bell, also a surgeon, inherited the land and, in 1825, commissioned James Gillespie Graham to design a plan for new streets within the grounds of Newington House, bounded by the back garden walls of Minto Street, Salisbury Road, East Mayfield and Dalkeith Road. Feus were offered for sale and Blacket Place began to take shape, the houses possibly being built speculatively by one builder or building company. Security was an important feature of the development, with Gothic gates, the octagonal piers of which survive, locked at night and single storey lodges at the entrances from Minto Street and Dalkeith Road. This pair of Gowans houses forms a highly unusual interlude in the generally restrained classical character of the Blacket Estate.
Appears on Lancefield's 1861 Survey Map and on 1867 PO Directory Map.
D McAra SIR JAMES GOWANS: ROMANTIC RATIONALIST (1975), pp26, 29; Gifford, McWilliam and Walker EDINBURGH (1988), p643; The Blacket Association and Edinburgh Corporation Town Planning Department BLACKET CONSERVATION: AN ADVENTURE TRAIL (NMRS); C McKean EDINBURGH: AN ILLUSTRATED ARCHITECTURAL GUIDE (1992), p150.
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