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- Category: C
- Date Added: 19/11/2003
- Local Authority: Edinburgh
- Planning Authority: Edinburgh
- Burgh: Edinburgh
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NT 22663 68569
- Coordinates: 322663, 668569
William A Ross, 1937-9. Barracks comprising 4 original buildings: Guard House (Building 1), Battalion Headquarters (former Sergeants Mess) (Building 2), Band Block (Building 3), and Barrack Block (Building 8). Single- and 2-storey, irregular-plan multi-gabled Scottish vernacular buildings. Harled with brown sandstone ashlar dressings. Base course, eaves course. Long and short quoins and window margins. Chamfered window openings; tripartite windows to Guard House and Battalion Headquarters with solid semicircular arches above central light. All gables with ashlar-coped skews, corbelled skewputts, and gablehead slits; stone finials to principal gables.
GUARD HOUSE (BUILDING 1): single-storey, original block H-plan. 7-bay principal elevation to E. Advanced gables to outer bays; tripartite windows at ground (window to right gable obscured by modern addition). 5-bay, flat-roofed verandah on square chamfered piers with plain capitals to centre; 6 windows behind. Regular fenestration to sides and rear; large extension in same style to rear.
BATTALION HEADQUARTERS (BUILDING 2): roughly Z-plan, single-storey range to S, 2-storey range to N. Main entrance in slightly advanced ashlar bay to N; 2-leaf timber boarded door in chamfered depressed-arch architrave with hoodmould; flanking windows; slightly advanced gablet with tripartite window to left; lower range to outer left. Advanced 2-storey gable to right; 2-storey N range to outer right. Principal elevation to S: 5-window section to centre flanked by tripartite windows under gablets; 4-window section to outer left; gable-end with gablehead stack to outer right joined to rest of elevation with coped link wall; depressed arch opening with 3 small windows to right. Regular fenestration to all other elevations.
BAND BLOCK (BUILDING 3): 2-storey with single-storey section to E, asymmetrical plan around central courtyard. Principal elevation to S ELEVATION: 2-storey, 7-bay block to left, regularly fenestrated with gablet-headed dormers breaking eaves; blind bay to outer left; advanced gable in penultimate bay to left with round-arched window at first floor; 2-leaf timber boarded door to right return in stop-chamfered, elliptical-arched architrave with bipartite window above. Recessed, single-storey 3-bay wing to right; advanced porch in re-entrant angle with 2-leaf timber panelled door in stop-chamfered, elliptical-arched architrave. Stepped composition to E ELEVATION: advanced gable to left with tripartite window; recessed wing at right-angle to right; flat-roofed outshot in re-entrant angle with door (as above). N ELEVATION: single-storey gable to outer left with canted window. 2-storey finialled gable to right; tripartite window at first floor; flat-roofed outshot at ground with central timber boarded door in elliptical-arched, stop-chamfered, hoodmoulded opening. Single-storey, flat-roofed section to centre; entrance to courtyard to left. COURTYARD regularly fenestrated with some gablet-headed dormers. W ELEVATION: irregularly fenestrated 4-bay wing to left with advanced asymmetrical stepped stack to centre; advanced, finialled gable to right with tripartite windows at both floors.
BARRACK BLOCK (BUILDING 8): 2-storey, 45-bay symmetrical block with central fleche clock tower and weather vane. Ashlar cill-height base course. Principal elevation to N: 9-bay centrepiece; decorative pediment over central window at ground; gables to outer bays with central 2-leaf timber boarded doors in stop-chamfered, depressed-arch openings; canted windows corbelled out above. 2-bay advanced gables to outer left and right with advanced, shouldered chimney breast to centre. 15-bay wings between outer gables and centre; smaller advanced gables at 4th bay from each end with tripartite windows at both floors; semicircular relieving arches above central windows at 1st floor. 2-leaf timber boarded doors at centre of wings in slightly advanced, stop-chamfered, elliptical-arched openings. Rear elevation regularly fenestrated with some outside stairs to 1st floor and modern outshot at centre.
Statement of Special Interest
An interesting group, designed in the late 1930s, and probably completed after the 2nd World War. A much larger complex was originally intended, which was to include a military hospital and garrison church. Unfortunately these plans seem to have been curtailed by the 2nd World War. The barrack block was very advanced for its day, as it contained not only sleeping accommodation, but also dining rooms, kitchens, sitting rooms, washing rooms and drying rooms (previously soldiers were obliged to eat in a separate building). It also had central heating and hot water. In 1989-1992, the barracks was considerably upgraded in a #32 million project. The original buildings were modernised, and numerous new buildings were also constructed on the site. The barracks is situated in the former park of Dreghorn Castle, which was sold to the army in 1893. Dreghorn Castle, a large house of some antiquity, was demolished by the MOD in 1955.
Revised plans for the Sergeants' Mess, West Register House RHP 30484-6. Edinburgh Evening Dispatch, 7th September 1938 and 23rd November 1937. The Scotsman, 4th April 1939, for picture showing building work in progress. Appears on 1958 OS map. PSA Projects (Edinburgh), Prospectus of Barracks for re-opening ceremony.
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