Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see ‘About Listed Buildings’ below for more information.

195 AND 197 CANONGATE, SHOEMAKERS LANDLB28437

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Category
B
Date Added
14/12/1970
Local Authority
Edinburgh
Planning Authority
Edinburgh
Burgh
Edinburgh
NGR
NT 26332 73763
Coordinates
326332, 673763

Description

17th century. Reconstructed, 1725 by the Incorporation of Cordiners and again, 1956 by Robert Hurd (see Notes). Substantial, 5-storey, 6-bay tenement with moulded cornice and blocking course; shop to ground. Roughly squared rubble with sandstone ashlar dressings. Slightly raised, chamfered margins. Regular fenestration to upper floors with narrower openings to far left. Curved corner to 4th floor, outer right. Carved panel to centre between 1st and 2nd floors. Central shop door way flanked by shallow-canted fixed-pane windows. Timber door to stair at far right, serving dwellings at upper floors.

Predominantly 12-pane glazing to timber sash and case windows to upper levels. Grey slate. End stack to W. Clay cans.

Statement of Special Interest

No 195-197 Canongate, also known as 'Shoemaker's Land', is an interesting and imposing example of a reconstructed 17th century tenement building within the Canongate. It is particularly notable for its considerable height and balanced proportions, adding interest to the N side of the Canongate. Additions to the building were made in 1725 when the Incorporation of Cordiners rebuilt the surviving westerly half of the tenement. The carved panel between 1st and 2nd floors is of particular interest, containing the emblem of the cordiners and is inscribed 'Blessed is he that wisely doth the poor man's case consider'. The Cordiners were tanners, curriers and shoemakers who derived their title from the French "Courdouanier" meaning "of Cordova", the source of the finest leather at that time. The tenement was further reconstructed in 1956 as part of Robert Hurd's award winning Canongate regeneration scheme which saw the revitalisation of numerous tenements including the adjacent 'Bible Land' and 'Moroco Land' (see separate listings).

The historic and architectural value of Edinburgh's Canongate area as a whole cannot be overstated. Embodying a spirit of permanence while constantly evolving, its buildings reflect nearly 1000 years of political, religious and civic development in Scotland. The Canons of Holyrood Abbey were given leave by King David I to found the burgh of Canongate in 1140. Either side of the street (a volcanic ridge) was divided into long, narrow strips of land or 'tofts'. By the end of the 15th century all the tofts were occupied, some subdivided into 'forelands' and 'backlands' under different ownership. Fuedal superiority over Canongate ceased after 1560. The following century was a period of wide-scale rebuilding and it was during this time that most of the areas' mansions and fine townhouses were constructed, usually towards the back of the tofts, away from the squalor of the main street. The 17th century also saw the amalgamation of the narrow plots and their redevelopment as courtyards surrounded by tenements. The burgh was formally incorporated into the City in 1856. Throughout the 19th Century the Canongate's prosperity declined as large sections of the nobility and middle classes moved out of the area in favour of the grandeur and improved facilities of Edinburgh's New Town, a short distance to the North. The Improvement Act of 1867 made efforts to address this, responding early on with large-scale slum clearance and redevelopment of entire street frontages. A further Improvement Act (1893) was in part a reaction to this 'maximum intervention', responding with a programme of relatively small-scale changes within the existing street pattern. This latter approach was more consistent with Patrick Geddes' concept of 'conservative surgery'. Geddes was a renowned intellectual who lived in the Old Town and was a pioneer of the modern conservation movement in Scotland which gathered momentum throughout the 20th century. Extensive rebuilding and infilling of sections of the Canongate's many tenements took place, most notably by city architects, E J McRae and Robert Hurd (mid 20th century) with some early frontages retained and others rebuilt in replica.

List description updated at resurvey (2007/08).

References

Bibliography

John Gifford et al, Buildings of Scotland - Edinburgh, (1991) p212. Charles McKean, Edinburgh - An Illustrated Architectural Guide (1992) p30. Dictionary of Scottish Architects, www.scottisharchitects.org.uk (accessed 10.05.2007)

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at www.historicenvironment.scot/advice-and-support. You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at designations@hes.scot.

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Printed: 15/09/2019 08:43