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.

2-32 Royal Circus (Even Numbers), and 1-10 North West Circus Place, 2-6 (Even Numbers) North East Circus Place and 1-3A (Odd Numbers) St Vincent Street, Including Railings and Lamps, EdinburghLB29678

Status: Designated

Documents

There are no additional online documents for this record.

Summary

Category
A
Group Category Details
100000019 - see notes
Date Added
14/09/1966
Last Date Amended
17/07/2015
Local Authority
Edinburgh
Planning Authority
Edinburgh
Burgh
Edinburgh
NGR
NT 24941 74493
Coordinates
324941, 674493

Description

W H Playfair, 1821-23. 43-bay crescent flanked by tangential terraces. Polished ashlar sandstone; V-jointed rustication at principal floors; droved at basements. Base course at principal floors; cill course at 1st and 2nd floors of linking blocks, continued as cornices at 2nd floors of central and terminal pavilions, becoming base course to 3rd floor of St Vincent Street; cornices and blocking courses at 3rd floors of central and terminal pavilions. Ashlar steps and entrance platts oversailing basements.

S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: 43-bay principal elevation, comprising 4-storey and basement, 9-bay advanced central pavilion, flanked by pair of 3-storey and basement, 12-bay linking blocks, flanked in turn by pair of 4-storey and basement, 5-bay advanced terminal pavilions. Doors in bays 3rd and 4th from left and 3rd from right, at principal floor to central block; windows in remaining bays at principal floor, regular fenestration to floors above. E linking block comprising doors to every 3rd bay from central pavilion at principal floor; windows in remaining bays, regular fenestration to floors above. W linking block comprising windows in 4 bays at centre at principal floor, flanked by doors to left and right, flanked in turn by pairs of windows to left and right, with doors to outer left and right; regular fenestration to floors above. Predominantly 6-panel timber doors, with plate glass and decorative rectangular fanlights. Terminal pavilion to left comprising doors in 3 bays at centre, with plate glass rectangular fanlights, flanked by windows in remaining bays, regular fenestration to floors above; terminal pavilion to right comprising doors flanking central bay at principal floor, with decorative rectangular fanlights; windows in remaining bays, regular fenestration to floors above. Roman Doric pilasters flanking 5 bays at centre of central pavilion, at 1st and 2nd floors, and flanking bays at 1st and 2nd floors of terminal pavilions; panelled pilasters flanking 5 bays at centre of central pavilion, at 3rd floor, and flanking bays at 3rd floors of terminal pavilions. Window guards to 1st floor windows; bays at centre, right and outer right at 2nd floor of terminal pavilion to right; at outer left and right at 3rd floor of terminal pavilion to left. Flagged basement area with predominantly vertically boarded timber doors to cellars. Metal plaque at No 24, reading Sir Henry Duncan Littlejohn MD LLD FRCS Ed (1828-1914) First Medical Officer of Health of Edinburgh 1862-1908 Lived Here From 1866-1914 .

SW (1-10 NORTH WEST CIRCUS PLACE) ELEVATION: 13-bay elevation, comprising 4-storey, 7-bay linking block, flanked by pair of advanced 5-storey and 5-storey and basement, 3-bay terminal pavilions. Linking block comprising 4 3-bay pilastraded shop fronts; variety of doors flanked by pairs of plate glass windows, at principal floor; 6-panel common stair door with rectangular fanlight, to outer left. Shop fronts at principal floors of terminal pavilions; No 9 comprising 7-bay pilastraded shop front; part-glazed 2-leaf door with decorative wrought-iron grills and plate glass fanlight and decorative bracketed lamp at fanlight, multi-pane windows in remaining 4 bays to left, narrow lights in bays to outer left and right; regular fenestration to floors above, and at basement; Nos 1 and 2 comprising 7-bay pilastraded shop front at principal floor; 2-leaf glazed timber door in 3rd bay from right, plate glass windows in remaining bays, narrow lights to outer left and right; regular fenestration to floors above. Roman Doric pilasters flanking bays at 2nd and 3rd floors of terminal pavilions; panelled pilasters flanking bays at 4th floors of terminal pavilions. Lowered cills at 3rd floor of Nos 5 and 6, 3rd floor of terminal pavilion to left; box dormers at No 3. Window guards to 2nd floor windows, 3rd floor windows of terminal pavilion to left, 4th floor windows of terminal pavilion to right. Windows centred at all floors to N (Circus Lane). Flagged basement area.

SE (NORTH EAST CIRCUS PLACE) ELEVATION: 11-bay elevation, comprising 3-storey and basement, 5-bay linking block, flanked by pair of 4-storey and basement, 3-bay terminal pavilions. Linking block comprising 6-panel door with decorative rectangular fanlight, centred at principal floor, flanked by windows in bays to left and right; regular fenestration to floors above. Roman Doric pilasters flanking bays at 1st and 2nd floors of terminal pavilions; panelled pilasters flanking bays at 3rd floor of terminal pavilions. Polygonal piended dormer to No 4. Window guards to 1st floor windows, outer left and penultimate bay to left at No 4, window in centre bay of 2nd floor of terminal pavilion at left, 3rd floor windows of terminal pavilion at right. Flagged basement area with predominantly vertically boarded timber doors to cellars.

E (1-3A ST VINCENT STREET) ELEVATION: 4-storey and double basement, 4-bay elevation, comprising 6-panel door with blind fanlight in penultimate bay to left at principal floor; windows in remaining bays at principal floor; regular fenestration to floors above, with blind windows to outer left at 1st and 2nd floors. Basement comprising window in bay to left, and pilastered shop front to right, with 2-leaf timber door in penultimate bay from right, multi-pane window in bay to outer right. N elevation obscured by adjoining terrace (No 5 St Vincent Street, see separate listing).

Predominantly 12-pane timber sash and case windows. Grey slate M-roofs. Cast-iron rainwater goods. Variety of broached and polished ashlar ridge and gablehead stacks; coped, with circular cans.

INTERIORS: not seen, 1997, but some evidence of working panelled shutters. Pendentive entrance halls to Nos 6-12; compartment ceiling with central rose to No 14; fluted Doric screen to No 28.

RAILINGS AND LAMPS: ashlar copes surmounted by cast-iron railings with predominantly fleur-de-lis balusters and pineapple finials; quasi-Maltese cross finials to Nos 6-10 and No 22; decorative finials to Nos 12 and 14. Steel railings with regularly spaced foliate wrought-iron railing panels to No 9 North West Circus Place. Cast-iron railing-mounted lamps with glass globes.

Statement of Special Interest

Part of the Second New Town A Group, a significant surviving part of one of the most important and best preserved examples of urban planning in Britain.

Playfair executed his drawings for Royal Circus in 1820, the year after he was commissioned by the Heriot Trust; building began in 1821 and was completed two years later. Although Reid and Sibbald suggested a central road through the circus as a continuation of Great King Street, Playfair kept the route of the existing road to Stockbridge, which ran diagonally through the circus from the SE to the NW.

The fact that the circus was built on a hillside made Britton comment, in MODERN ATHENS it enhances the singular and picturesque grouping of the elegant streets which lead and look into the circus, and harmonizes so well that their variety, both in architecture and situation, as to make the blemish - if it must so be called - essential to the beauty of the whole .

The scale of Royal Circus matches the grandeur of Drummond Place, which is at the other end of Great King Street, the principal avenue of the Second New Town.

Royal Circus, SE, NE and NW Circus Place and Circus Gardens were part of the first extension of the New Town planned by Reid and Sibbald in 1802, and were feued by the Heriot Trust. For mews to rear, see separate listing (Circus Lane).

Statutory address updated (2015). Previously listed as '2-32 Royal Circus (even nos), and 1-10 North West Circus Place, 2-6 (even nos) North East Circus Place and 1-3A (odd nos) St Vincent Street, including railings and lamps'.

References

Bibliography

Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland: http://www.rcahms.gov.uk/canmore.html CANMORE ID 135637

Britton, Modern Athens (1829).

Gifford, McWilliam and Walker, Edinburgh (1984), pp348-50, 352-3.

McKean , Edinburgh (1992), p112.

Youngson, The Making of Classical Edinburgh (1966), p206.

MacRae Heritors 38; Edinburgh University Library, Royal Circus Plans.

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.

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Images

Southwest elevation, 2-32 Royal Circus (Even Numbers), and 1-10 North West Circus Place, 2-6 (Even Numbers) North East Circus Place and 1-3A (Odd Numbers) St Vincent Street, Including Railings and Lamps, Edinburgh
South elevation, 2-32 Royal Circus (Even Numbers), and 1-10 North West Circus Place, 2-6 (Even Numbers) North East Circus Place and 1-3A (Odd Numbers) St Vincent Street, Including Railings and Lamps, Edinburgh

Printed: 19/11/2019 04:54