James Gillespie Graham, designed 1822, built circa 1833-34, with alterations circa 1847. 31-bay symmetrical classical palace block, stepped down to N, comprising advanced 4-storey and basement, 9-bay central pavilion, with central 3 bays advanced again, flanked by pair of 3-storey and basement, 6-bay linking blocks, flanked in turn by pair of 4-storey and basement, 5-bay terminal pavilions. Polished ashlar sandstone with channelled rustication at principal floor, polished at principal floor of S terminal pavilion. Base course; band course between basement and principal floor; corniced frieze at impost level at terminal pavilions; cill courses at 1st and 2nd floors of linking blocks; cornice and blocking course at 2nd floors of linking blocks; cornice at 2nd floor of central and terminal pavilions; cornice and blocking course at 3rd floors of central and terminal pavilions. Ashlar steps and entrance platts oversailing basements.
E (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION, CENTRAL PAVILION: central pavilion, surmounted by coped balustraded parapet with geometric balusters and regular arrangement of panelled dies; Doric pilasters flanking bays at 1st and 2nd floors, panelled pilasters flanking bays at 3rd floor. Round-arched pend centred at principal floor, flanked by square Doric column porches, with panelled keystone motif, surmounted by dentilled cornices. Panelled 2-leaf timber doors centred in porches, with panelled timber blind semicircular fanlights; windows in remaining bays at principal floor; regular fenestration to floors above, with round arched windows at 2nd floor, blind windows at 3rd floor, with recessed panels. Flagged basement area. Pend with cornice at impost level; cobbled floor, with pall stones; low, coped wall to principal elevation, with railings.
E ELEVATION, LINKING BLOCKS: pair of 6-bay linking blocks, comprising 4 3-bay houses. 4-panel, 2-leaf timber doors with rectangular fanlights in bays to left at Nos 4, 5 and 10, in bay to right at No 9; plate glass fanlights at Nos 4 and 5, rectilinear design fanlights at Nos 9 and 10. Windows in remaining bays at principal floor, regular fenestration to floors above; architraved windows with cornices at 1st floor, architraved windows at 2nd floor. Double entrance platts to Nos 9 and 10. Flagged basement area.
E ELEVATION, TERMINAL PAVILIONS: pair of 5-bay terminal pavilions; Doric pilasters flanking bays at 1st and 2nd floors, panelled pilasters flanking bays at 3rd floor. Terminal pavilion to left (Nos 1-3) with 3-bay shop front to left at principal floor, comprising panelled door with recessed modern glazed timber door and radial semicircular fanlight, in penultimate bay from left, flanked by plate glass windows with radial semicircular fanlights, in round-arched recesses. 2-bay shop front to right at principal floor, comprising 2-leaf vertically-boarded timber door, with 2-leaf decorative wrought-iron gate and radial semicircular fanlight, in penultimate bay from right plate glass window in bay to outer right, with radial semicircular fanlight, in round-arched recess. Regular fenestration to floors above. Terminal pavilion to right (No 11) comprising 4-panel timber door with radial semicircular fanlight, centred at principal floor; windows in round-arched recesses in remaining bays at principal floor; regular fenestration to floors above. Flagged basement areas.
ALBYN PLACE RETURN TO S TERMINAL PAVILION: 5-bay, becoming 1 Albyn Place (see separate listing).
DARNAWAY STREET RETURN TO N TERMINAL PAVILION:
4-bay, becoming 2 Darnaway Street (see separate listing).
REAR ELEVATION: not seen, 1998.
Variety of timber sash and case windows. Grey slate roofs; 3-window slate-hung box dormer to No 5, slate-hung box dormer to No 10. Cast-iron rainwater goods. Broached ashlar ridge and wallhead stacks, some with cornices; coped, with circular cans.
INTERIORS: not seen, 1998; evidence of working panelled shutters.
RAILINGS: ashlar copes surmounted by cast-iron railings with spear-headed and pineapple finials.
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. The Moray Estate was designed for the 10th Earl of Moray (1771-1848). He inherited the 13 acre site from his father, after it was acquired from the Heriot Trust in 1782, and decided to feu the property for development in 1822. The complicated plan with the crescent, oval and polygon of Randolph Crescent, Ainslie Place and Moray Place respectively, conjoins the New Town with the Second New Town. Building was completed in 1830-31.
Nos 1-11 Wemyss Place was largely built in 1833-4. The central pavilion was originally Straiton House; George Smith's design of 1832 included a bazaar and gallery, altered in 1847 for the Free St Stephen's congregation, by J T Rochead, when the columned porches, round-arched 2nd floor windows and balustraded parapet were probably added.