Probably Thomas Hamilton, 1829; late 19th century additions. 1 and 2-storey with mezzanine and basement; symmetrical; 3 bay, square plan, Greek classical villa. Cream sandstone polished ashlar. Base course; panelled aprons, tapered and lugged architraves to ground floor windows; panels to outer angles with incised anthemion detail; eaves course; cornice; blocking course.
S (BLACKET PLACE, PRINCIPAL ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: 2 storey, pedimented central block with flanking single storey wings; steps to central doorway; panelled and glazed door; Tuscan Doric columns, cornice and pierced parapet to porch; narrow, flanking windows; balcony and single window with flanking pilasters to 1st floor above; single, central windows to single storey wings. Recessed bay adjoining to outer right (formerly entrance hall); central carved niche with classical statue; further bay to right with glazed door and flanking pilasters (to Dalkeith Road entrance). Balustraded parapet to sunken garden adjoining house to left.
E (DALKEITH ROAD ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: doorway to boundary wall to street; 2 leaf panelled door; pilasters and cornice to doorpiece; single window to former entrance hall above; recessed bay to outer left; central, 3 light bowed window; strip pilasters between lights. Entrance to GUEST FLAT adjoining main house to outer right; single storey, 3 bay; central panelled door; columns and pediment to doorpiece; single flanking windows.
W ELEVATION: conservatory at ground with pilasters flanking openings; single windows to ground floor above; advanced block to outer left with doorway to outer right; boarded door; multi paned fanlight; single windows to outer left and to 1st floor above.
Predominantly 8 pane windows with border glazing; some 12 pane to W. Grey slate pitched and piended roofs; corniced sets of 5 square plan flues to 2 storey central block; single corniced stack to former entrance; moulded octagonal cans.
INTERIOR: restored 1985. Ground floor: central 2 storey atrium with geometric stone floor; timber panelled doors; Ionic columns to stone staircase; segmental arched, barrel vaulted roof with skylights and bay leaf garland moulding. Drawing Room to left; Corinthian pilasters to pedimented timber doorpieces; panelled, 2 leaf doors and shutters; timber dado panelling; original cast iron and marble fireplace; original seating to bowed window to E; richly decorated cornice with egg and dart and bay leaf garland carving; coffered ceiling. Octagonal garden room adjoining to W; floral carving to oak panelling (1901);
2 leaf panelled doors, to N with 17th century Venetian embroidered panels; carved French marble fireplace c1750. Dining Room to W completely restored; dado panelling; marble fireplace; panelled doors and shutters; pilasters, cornice and carved frieze to doorpieces; anthemion and palmette carving to cornice. To 1st floor the Octagon Room; virtually complete as original with panelled doors and shutters; marble fireplace; original fitted bookcase with leaded lights; cornice; ceiling rose.
BOUNDARY WALLS AND GATEPIERS: high, coped rubble wall to Dalkeith Road; lower coped and coursed wall to Blacket Place with 2 panelled and corniced gatepiers, 2 coped with obelisk finials.
Statement of Special Interest
No documentary evidence survives regarding the architect of Arthur Lodge, but on stylistic evidence it is widely attributed to Thomas Hamilton. The house was built for Robert Mason, a builder. On his bankruptcy in 1830, the City Treasurer, David Cunningham (who had employed Hamilton on George IV Bridge and the High School) bought the property. Until 1841, when Major James Arthur bought and renamed the house, it was known as Salisbury Cottage. Other celebrated previous owners include Andrew Usher and William and Jean Burn Murdoch. The layout of the house is complex; no two rooms are the same shape and height and the house was built on a variety of levels so that, for example, the Dalkeith Road entrance is below the ground level of the main house but above the basement.
Joe Rock THOMAS HAMILTON (1984), pp45-47; John Pinkerton "Hamilton's House" in SCOTTISH INTERIORS - GEORGIAN, ed S Mackay (1987), pp42-51;
J Wallace HISTORIC HOUSES OF EDINBURGH (1987), pp142 3; J Goodwin "Arthur Lodge" HOMES AND GARDENS (February 1988), pp34 42; Knight, Frank and Rutley sales brochure (July 1989), pp2-4; Gifford, McWilliam and Walker Edinburgh (1992), p643; M Glendinning, R MacInnes,
A MacKechnie A HISTORY OF SCOTTISH ARCHITECTURE (1996), p233.
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Printed: 22/05/2018 10:45