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- Category: A
- Date Added: 27/10/1965
- Local Authority: Edinburgh
- Planning Authority: Edinburgh
- Burgh: Edinburgh
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NT 24458 74467
- Coordinates: 324458, 674467
James Milne, begun 1824. Prominent 3-storey, basement and attic corner tenement in plain classical style with giant order anta pilasters to N (St Bernard's Crescent) elevation. Sandstone ashlar, rusticated at ground floor to E (Carlton Street) elevation. Entrance platts oversailing basement area recess to street. Banded base course; moulded cornice at 1st floor with plain entablature; corniced eaves with narrow blocking course over. Inset doorways, 4-panel timber doors and rectangular fanlights.
N (ST BERNARD'S CRESCENT) ELEVATION: 4 bays with giant order anta pilasters. Narrow banded cill course at 1st floor. Pilastered dividing bays at attic..
E (CARLTON STREET) ELEVATION: 5 bay, 2 blind bays to outer right at 1st floor. Banded cill course at 1st floor. Moulded architraved and corniced windows at 1st floor.
SW (REAR) ELEVATION: coursed rubble with tooled ashlar rybats, lintels and cills. Regular fenestration.
Predominantly 12-pane glazing pattern in timber sash and case windows, 4- over 12- lying pane glazing at 1st floor of N (St Bernard's Crescent) elevation, 6- over 9-pane glazing at 1st floor to E (Carlton Street) elevation. Double-pitched roof; grey slates. Corniced ashlar ridge stacks with some clay cans. Cast-iron railings edging basement area recess to street, incorporating decorative lamp standards with large bowl shades.
INTERIOR: (selection of interiors seen 2010) decorative classical scheme, characterised by intricate plasterwork, large drawing rooms and stone stairs with well-detailed balustrades, topped by large cupolas. Some later subdivision.
Statement of Special Interest
2 St Bernard's Crescent is a prominent and finely detailed corner block forming part of an outstanding example of early 19th century urban planning with a classical design scheme by prominent architect James Milne. The block is well proportioned, with simple classical detailing, including the use of Greek sources for the anta pilasters. The block also responds to Carlton Street, continuing the rusticated ground floor and cornice line in the E elevation. The terrace was designed as a key part of the development of the land of Sir Henry Raeburn. There is an emphasis on the horizontal in the designs with the use of the colonnade and a long horizontal glazing pattern, particularly evident in some of the 1st floor windows to St Bernard's Crescent. This building is an integral part of Edinburgh's New Town, which is an outstanding example of classical urban planning that was influential throughout Britain and Europe.
The design of a double crescent was suggested by Sir David Wilkie in order to preserve a portion of the avenue of elms that had led to Deanhaugh House. The crescent was quickly acknowledged as one of the grandest in Edinburgh, especially for the centrepiece of the northern side of the New Town. Although the design for the whole area was not completed by Milne, later additions have interpreted his original design scheme and do not dilute the clarity of the plain Greek classical facades.
Henry Raeburn was born in Stockbridge and acquired the house and grounds of Deanhaugh through marriage, before adding adjacent land at St Bernard's. He occupied St Bernard's House until his death in 1823 when it was demolished to accommodate the growing residential development of the estate, making space for the eastern side of Carlton Street. James Milne is likely to have been involved in designs for a number of the streets, including Ann Street (see separate listing) and the development is characterised by his use of simple classical detailing and Greek sources for his designs.
James Milne was an architect and mason working in Edinburgh between 1809 and 1834 (when he moved to Newcastle). His other works in Edinburgh also include Lynedoch Place and Saxe-Coburg Place (see separate listings). Milne was also the author of The Elements of Architecture only the 1st volume of which was published in Edinburgh in 1812.
(List description updated at re-survey 2012).
Ordnance Survey, Large Scale Town Plan (1849 - 53). Ordnance Survey, Large Scale Town Plan (1893-4). J Gifford, C McWilliam, D M Walker, The Buildings of Scotland: Edinburgh (1988) p406. A J Youngson, The Making of Classical Edinburgh (1988) pp271-2. H Colvin, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840 (1995) p658. Richard Roger, The Transformation of Edinburgh: Land, Property and Trust in the Nineteenth Century (2004) p248.
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