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- Category: A
- Date Added: 14/12/1970
- Local Authority: Edinburgh
- Planning Authority: Edinburgh
- Burgh: Edinburgh
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NT 24346 73509
- Coordinates: 324346, 673509
Robert Brown, 1822-24. 12-bay terrace comprising unified façade of 2- and 3-storey attic and basement, 3-bay classical townhouses with main-door and common stair flats behind; various later additions to attic. Slightly advanced corner block to N with return to William Street. Basement area to street including some vaulted cellars and retaining walls. Sandstone ashlar; droved ashlar to basement channelled ashlar to ground floor. Entrance platts oversailing basements. Banded base course; banded cill course at 1st floor with string course between windows. Corniced eaves course; stepped parapet at corner. Timber 6-panel doors. Plain doorpieces with rectangular fanlight above, radial glazing to No. 4. Architraved corniced and bracketed openings to centre at N corner block. Cast-iron balconies on scrolled brackets to first floor windows. Later box dormer to no. 4.
N (WILLIAM STREET) ELEVATION: 3 storeys, 3 bays, squared coursed rubble with long and short ashlar quoins (stone cills and lintels). Single window to centre at ground, 1st and 2nd floors.
E (REAR) ELEVATION: 4-storey. Regular coursed rubble with some long and short ashlar quoins. Advanced and recessed wall plane with some later additions. Ashlar rybats, lintels and sills to irregular fenestration, some with relieving arches.
Predominantly plate glass in timber sash and case, with some 12-pane timber sash and case windows. Double pitch M-section roof. Wallhead stacks in corniced ashlar, modern clay cans. Cast-iron railings above ashlar coping stone edging basement recess to street; spear headed finials. Cast-iron rainwater goods.
Statement of Special Interest
The townhouses are an important surviving component of the original design for the Walker Estate by Robert Brown. Walker Street forms a key part of a fine classical grouping, tying together key residential components of the plan linking Melville Crescent (see separate listing) with Coates Crescent (see separate listing) in addition to linking two important public spaces marked with significant public works of art, with the Gladstone Memorial in Coates crescent (see separate listing) and Melville Memorial in Melville Crescent (see separate listing). The terrace demonstrates a well-detailed architectural treatment and is a good example of the late Georgian style in which the Walker Estate was designed.
Walker Street was at the centre of land owned by Patrick Walker, which was developed to a plan drawn up by Robert Brown in 1813. Walker Street is a main axis through the development, and takes its name from Sir Patrick.
Robert Brown was an experienced architect, and by the time he was involved with the deigns for the Walker Estate he had already designed several other urban schemes, including between 1810 and 1830 laying out streets in Portobello on land belonging to the Marques of Abercorn. His other notable works include Newington and St. Leonard's church (now The Queen's Hall) and the rearrangement of the interiors for Yester House on behalf of the Marques of Tweeddale. Robert Brown worked on a number of smaller projects in the New Town but the cohesive planning of the Walker estate is amongst one of the best examples of his work. He was especially competent in the design of corner pavilions and parades of shops, as can be seen in his work at North West Circus Place (see separate listing).
(List description revised in 2009 as part of re-survey.)
Ordnance Survey, Large Scale Town Plan, (1849-53); J Gifford, C McWilliam, D M Walker, The Buildings of Scotland: Edinburgh (1988) p. 381; Youngson, The Making of Classical Edinburgh, (1988) p.215.
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