John Tait, circa 1830-1840, with later alterations. 3-storey over basement (later box dormers to No 25; No 23 raised by 1 storey, FW Deas, 1905), 21-bay palace-fronted town house terrace, comprising recessed central block of 5, 3-bay houses with 3-bay houses flanking at each end (No 29 balustraded) forming NW side of Rutland Square. Droved sandstone ashlar sandstone at basement; polished sandstone ashlar above with polished dressings; stugged sandstone to sides. Band course between basement and ground floors and between ground and 1st floors; cast-iron Saltaire cross balcony to each 3-bay group at 1st floor; cill course at 2nd floor; cast-iron semi-eliptical balcony to each bay at 2nd floor to No 25; cornice; cill course to 3rd floor to No 23. Moulded architraves to windows above basement level, corniced at 1st floor of flanking blocks; fluted Ionic columns to corniced doorpieces; ashlar steps and entrance platts oversailing basement.
SE (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: identical 3-bay blocks to central 15-bay block: segmental-arched doorway with timber panelled door and 3-light segmental arched fanlight in bay to centre at basement; window to bay to left and to return beneath entrance platt. Timber panelled door with rectangular fanlight in bay to right at ground floor; windows to remaining bays at ground floor and to all bays upper floors. End block at left (No 23): as above, with square-headed basement door, window in each bay at 3rd floor and terminal dies of original balustrade above. End block at right (No 29): as above, with central window at 2nd floor blocked and coped balustrade with evenly disposed dies above.
SW ELEVATION: architraved and corniced former doorway, now window, at ground floor in bay to centre; paired windows (blocked at left) to 1st floor; tripartite window at 2nd and 3rd floors, with window, set wide, to right.
NE ELEVATION: centred window at mezzanine level between ground and first floors; large window at floor above.
NW ELEVATION: not seen 2000.
Predominantly 12-pane timber sash and case windows; 2-pane timber sash and case windows at ground and 1st floor to No 23; 16-pane timber sash and case windows to dormers. Grey slate roof; slate-hung dormers; coped skews. Coped sandstone ashlar (rendered between Nos 24 and 25) wallhead and ridge stacks. Cast-iron rainwater goods.
INTERIORS: not seen, 1998.
RAILINGS AND LAMP STANDARDS: spear-headed cast-iron railings (plain flanking steps to doors) along SE elevation; pine cone finials to shafts flanking basement steps; railing-mounted, ornamental iron lamp standards with glass globes outside each house, to left of steps.
Statement of Special Interest
Part of the Edinburgh New Town A-Group, a significant surviving part of one of the most important and best preserved examples of urban planning in Britain. In 1819 Archibald Elliot planned the scheme of which Rutland Square is the elegant focus for James Stuart. The scheme is outlined on John Wood's revised edition of the map first published by Thomas Brown in 1820, although at that stage it was still speculative. While this is the case, the treatment of this area is far more detailed on the earlier map than on the PO Directory map of 1840. John Learmonth bought the ground in 1825 and developed it from 1830. His architect, John Tait, worked to Elliot's plans and adopted the giant Corinthian pilaster motif at the entrance to the square - 1 Rutland Square and 28 Rutland Street, and 32 Rutland Square and 27 Rutland Street, listed separately. This side of the square is mirrored to the SE, Nos 5-11 are virtually identically arranged (see separate list description).