Late 18th, 19th and early 20th century. 2-storey, 7-bay picturesque rustic 'hut' with large, bowed and thatched wing to E and extensive Scots Baronial style additions to S, to form U-plan. Sandstone rubble, squared and snecked rubble, partly harled. Droved margins to windows; polished ashlar canted bay to outer left; some windows roll moulded; string course, continuous as hood mould, between ground and 1st floors; cill course course to corbelled bay to right of centre; hood mould and scrolled pediment over square panel to gablehead of corbelled bay; eaves course; crowstepped gables.
SE (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: irregular 7-bay with crowstepped gabled wing to left (S) and thatched, bowed wing to right (E). Tripartite window at ground in bay to centre; gableted window above. Corbelled double bay to right of centre: window at ground set to right of corbel; window in each bay at 1st floor; hood moulded and scroll pedimented panel to crowstepped gable above; gablehead stack. Thatched bay to outer right: tripartite window at ground in bowed bay, with windows (left blinded) flanking; window set in thatch above. 2-bay left return: tripartite window at ground in bay to right; boarded door with half timbering and glazing flanking and half-timbered panel above at ground in bay to left; 4-light window with herring-bone weatherboarding to apron at 1st floor above; separate slate roof projecting from thatch. 3 (blinded [central one as a window]) round arched recesses at ground spanning bay to left of centre; gablet headed window above. Window at 1st floor of advanced bay to penultimate left; crowstepped gable above; 3 (blinded) round arched recesses to right return. Advanced, 3-light canted bay with part-glazed door to centre and windows flanking, at ground to further advanced bay to outer left; bays divided by Doric half columns; dentilled cornice with egg and dart moulding beneath; recent (1996) wrought-iron, strapwork balcony with oak leaf motifs above; part-glazed door at 1st floor; crowstepped gable above; small oval window to right return.
NW (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: irregular 9-bay with crowstepped double bay to outer right (W). Window at ground in bay to centre. Bipartite window at ground in bay to left of centre; bipartite window at 1st floor above. Timber canopy and supports over timber panelled door at ground in bay to right; lintel inscribed 'A 1914 C'; window at 1st floor above. Window at ground in bay to penultimate right; window at 1st floor above. Bipartite window at ground in bay to outer right; bipartite window at 1st floor above; gable spanning both bays with shield panel to gablehead. Part-glazed door at ground in bay to left of centre; non-aligned window at 1st floor above. Window at ground in bay to left. Window at ground in penultimate bay to left; non-aligned window at 1st floor above. Single storey lean to addition, turned W through 90 degrees, in bay to outer right: window to front face and to right return; square-plan, piend roofed kitchen addition, projecting to N to N (outer left) angle.
12- and 8-pane timber sash and case windows. Grey slate roof; thatch to E addition; ashlar coped stacks; ashlar, gabletted skews; ashlar coped gabletsto windows; cast-iron rainwater goods.
INTERIOR: deep, ornately carved cornices to hall; carved timber fireplace and timber dado panelling in S drawing room; pilastered cornice with swag decoration surrounding stairwell at ground; carved swagged urns at angles of banisters.
Statement of Special Interest
The original 18th century cottage, the basic shape of which can still be distinguished, was extended circa 1781 by John Clerk of Eldin, brother-in-law to Robert Adam. Swept along by the fashion of the day for the creation of rusticated idylls as country retreats for Edinburgh gentry, he added a large bowed and thatched drawing room to the E end, forming an L-plan villa of some size and comfort. It should be added that the rustification of the exterior did not extend inside where large, classically proportioned rooms were created. This cottage orne provided Sir Walter Scott with his first marital home when he rented it from the Clerks of Penicuik between 1798 and 1804. The Wordsworths took tea at Lasswade Cottage, as it was then known, in 1803. It was converted circa 1865 into a dower house for the Clerks of Penicuik when the dormers and crowstepped gables were added. It was extended further by James Tait & Co between 1913 and 1919. See separate list entry for the gate cottage.