Frontage 1621, 16th century rear wing and 18th century addition to NW; further 19th century alterations and additions; restored Frank C Mears 1934-6 and Robert Hurd and Partners, 1979-80. Narrow 5-storey, attic and cellar 3-bay L-plan tenement with 2 round-headed arches and circular pier forming open arcade to ground floor, curved stone forestair with iron railings to outer left, leading to door at 1st floor, and 2 tall narrow finialled (thistle to left, fleur-de lys to right) gabled dormerheads breaking eaves at 4th floor. Grey ashlar. Moulded cill courses at 1st, 2nd 3rd and 4th floors. Small windows lighting turnpike stair to outer left; single windows to left; paired windows to right. Important painted decoration to interior.
REAR (JAMES COURT) WING: 16th century, incorporating earlier fabric). Narrow 4-storey and attic wing, extending 3 bays into James Court. Grey harl.
E ELEVATION: small windows lighting stair to outer right; asymmetrical crowstepped gable. 2-storey plastered timber outshot with boarded timber extension to left; 2-bay plastered timber jettied storeys at 3rd and 4th floors above and paired gabled dormerheads breaking eaves to attic. 3-storey 2-bay rubble-built block adjoining to NE (see Notes).
N ELEVATION: pentice-roofed stair tower to left with timber boarded door in raised hoodmoulded surround and small windows lighting stair; curved corner to right. Half-gabled recessed blind bay to right with chequer-set machicolation to moulded corbel course at 2nd floor level. Remains of earlier construction visible.
W ELEVATION: 2 bays, regularly fenestrated (1st floor left window blocked); broad wallhead stack.
INTERIOR: timber shop-front set back behind arcade (see Notes). Painted decoration to timber ceilings and beams to rooms at 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors. 18th century panelling and bolection-moulded chimneypiece in room to rear.
Small-pane fixed leaded glazing above, timber shutters below; predominantly 12-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows to rear. Grey slates. Cowstepped stone skews (see Notes). Tall corniced stacks right with circular cans.
Statement of Special Interest
Property of the National Trust for Scotland. Initials TG (Thomas Gledstanes) and BC (Bessie Cunningham, his wife) and trademark - saltire on vertical stem - on skewputts. Bought in 1617 by Thomas Gladstone, who extended it S, building arcaded shop to ground and ashlar front replacing timber galleries. Acquired by the National Trust for Scotland in 1934, when restoration was carried out by Sir Frank Mears. The 3-storey rubble-built wing to NE is part of a wing added circa 1740, reduced by 2 storeys and given a flat roof by Mears in 1934-6 (original form illustrated by Home). The stone arcaded ground floor was also revealed during Mears' restoration; Grant's illustration shows it concealed behind a later shop-front. The Dean of Guild plan shows alterations, including a window in the lobby and the addition of a WC, in the 1880's, when the 3 back houses were considered 'uninhabitable,' and alterations to the shop The timber booths behind, and the leaded windows and shutters are part of Hurd's restoration for the National Trust of 1978-80, when the house was furnished as a 17th century Old Town house and opened to the public.