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.

19-36 (INCLUSIVE NOS) SOUTH BRIDGE, 29-57 (INCLUSIVE NOS) NIDDRY STREET AND 212 COWGATELB29791

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Category
C
Group Category Details
100000019 - See Notes
Date Added
29/04/1977
Local Authority
Edinburgh
Planning Authority
Edinburgh
Burgh
Edinburgh
NGR
NT 25988 73510
Coordinates
325988, 673510

Description

Possibly Robert Kay (see Notes), circa 1790. Row comprising 5 x 7-bay sections of mostly 3-storey and attic, 4-storey, or 4-storey and attic Classical tenements with shops to ground (some altered). Situated on steeply sloping ground and falling to 6 and 7 storeys at rear (Niddry Street). Pedimented, 7-storey and attic gable end at S (Cowgate). Ashlar, rubble to rear. Band courses, raised cills, cornice. Piended and canted dormers. Some shopfronts to W (South Bridge) with fluted timber Ionic pilasters, timber stallrisers and fascias. Applied, moulded architraves to window openings at Nos 19-29.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: E Elevation (Niddry Street) with some round-arched openings to ground, occasional Venetian window to upper storeys. Some 3-light pedimented wallhead dormers with gable stacks.

S elevation with round-arched windows to 4th storey; pediment with central lunette window. Some blank windows.

Predominantly plate glass and 12-pane timber sash and case windows. Plate glass to ground. Grey Slates. Gable and wallhead stacks. Cast iron rainwater goods.

Statement of Special Interest

A Group with the South Bridge and Nos 4-13, 19-67 and 87-99 South Bridge and 9 and 10 Hunter Square and 107-108 South Bridge.

This row of simply detailed, late 18th century tenements is an integral component of the important 18th century planned streetscape of the South Bridge. The South Bridge was a major engineering feat, driven through and over one of the most populated sections of the city to provide a link between the expanding suburbs of the South side of the city and the High Street of the Old Town. The row contains a number of good quality shopfronts with carved timber detailing and these add significantly to the character of the streetscape of the bridge. The rear elevation to Niddry Street is particularly notable for its retention of original round-arched openings at ground level and for its occasional Venetian window. The height of the tenements is typical for the Old Town of Edinburgh. Originally 3-storeys in height at the South Bridge elevation, and with every 3rd block pedimented, some of the tenements had additional storeys added in the 19th century. These have not detracted from the visually cohesive intention of the original scheme. All have floors below the South Bridge level, ranging from 1 to 4 storeys, as the valley deepens.

In 1753, the South Bridge Act made provision for the building of a bridge to form a link between the North Bridge (see separate listing) and the newly expanding South side of the city. A group of Trustees was set up to oversee the project. These trustees planned to have unified facades down both sides of the bridge and a number of architects, including Robert Adam, put forward plans. The Adam scheme was for a grand, fully colonnaded street and it was rejected because of the expense of the scheme. The Edinburgh architect Robert Kay proposed a simpler plan and the Trustees asked that he consult with two other Edinburgh architects, John Baxter and John Brown. The final design, which is thought to be an combination of the different designs from these architects, was for terraces of simple Classical facades, punctuated with pediments and with round-arched arcading at ground level and plain rectangular windows above.

The A Group recognises the importance of the South Bridge and its associated streetscape buildings as being an outstanding and significant scheme in late 18th century town planning.

List description revised as part of the Edinburgh Holyrood Ward resurvey 2007-8.

References

Bibliography

John Ainslie, Map of Old and New Town of Edinburgh and Leith with the proposed Docks, 1804. Gifford, Colin McWilliam and David Walker, The Buildings of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1984. p234. A Fraser, The Building of Old College, 1989, pf55.

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.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

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Printed: 15/10/2019 09:25