Joseph Mitchell, circa 1835. 2-storey and basement, 5-bay villa with Jacobean detailing. Painted harled with painted margins. Raised basement; base course; chamfered reveals; strip quoins; stone finials to apex of gables to W.
S (OLD EDINBURGH ROAD) ELEVATION: asymmetrical; gabled bay advanced to left, 2 windows to principal floor; flat-roofed porch to re-entrant angle to right, gableted doorway to left, tripartite openings to right infilled with vertical timber weather boarding; gableted bay to centre of 1st floor behind, window to right return; gabled bay set back to right.
W (GORDON TERRACE) ELEVATION: asymmetrical; flat-roofed 20th century addition to basement floor; bipartite window to principal floor of centre bay, gableted window breaking eaves to 1st floor above; narrow bay flanking to left, single window with geometric tracery to principal floor, gabled window breaking eaves above; advanced gabled bay flanking to right, 5-light canted window to principal floor rising to rectangular-plan 5-light window at 1st floor, plaque set in gablehead; recessed bay to outer right, bipartite windows to basement and principal floors, gableted window breaking eaves to 1st floor; gabled bay to outer left, shallow rectangular-plan tripartite window with cusped tracery and leaded diamond-pane glazing to principal floor, single window to 1st floor above.
N AND E ELEVATIONS: not seen 2000. Flat roofed 20th century addition in re-entrant angle. Metal fire escape stair.
Predominantly 2-pane timber sash and case windows to first floor; Mixture of modern windows elsewhere.. West Highland slate roof with lead/zinc ridges. Coped skews with moulded skewputts; corbelled gablehead stacks and ridge stacks with circular and octagonal cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods.
INTERIOR: not seen 2000.
GATEWAYS, GATEPIERS AND BOUNDARY WALLS: harled and coped terrace walls to S; high ashlar coped rubble walls to remainder; gabled Tudor-arched sandstone ashlar gateway to E, with hoodmould and decorative label stops, shield set in gablehead; Tudor-arched pedestrian gateway to centre of S wall with ashlar dressings; square-plan gatepiers to SW with steps leading to terrace; decorative shouldered pedestrian gateway to W wall with chamfered reveals and stone step.
Statement of Special Interest
The former Inverness Youth Hostel was originally built by Joseph Mitchell (1803-1883) for himself. Mitchell was a civil engineer involved in many important projects in Inverness and throughout the Highlands. He worked on Thomas Telford's transport improvements in the Highlands, he was also involved in the Caledonian Canal and was Chief Inspector and Superintendent of Highland Roads and Bridges from 1824, following the death of his farther (who held the post before him). Mitchell made a significant contribution to Inverness itself, he planned much of the first sewerage system, paved many of the streets with Caithness flags, and was also involved in the extraction of the first water supply from the River Ness. Viewhill, which was Mitchell's home after he married, is an important survival. Of particular note are the corbelled gablehead stacks, stone finials and gateways set in the boundary walls. The interior is said to include a fine ceiling bearing coats of arms.