Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site

21 UNION STREET INCLUDING BOUNDARY WALL AND RAILINGSLB49155

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Category
B
Date Added
16/06/1966
Local Authority
Edinburgh
Planning Authority
Edinburgh
Burgh
Edinburgh
NGR
NT 26036 74562
Coordinates
326036, 674562

Description

1806. Probably designed by Hugh Cairncross (see Notes); built by John Aitchison.Classical tenement block; 3-storey attic and basement, 5-bay symmetrical elevation to Union Street. Smooth V-jointed rustication to ground floor, droved ashlar to upper floors (droved ashlar to basement; random rubble with dressed margins to rear). Dividing band between basement and ground floor and between ground and 1st floor; mutuled eaves cornice; blocking course. Regular fenestration.

SW (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: to centre bay, platt overarching basement recess leading to timber-panelled door in round-arched opening with segmental umbrella design fanlight; pilastered doorpiece with narrow 4-pane margin lights. 2 tripartite dormer windows to roof.

NE (REAR) ELEVATION: 3-bay elevation with bowed right bay.

NW (SIDE)ELEVATION: 4-bay elevation. Droved ashlar. Blind windows to inner right bay.

RAILINGS: to edge of basement recess and platt, stone copes (edging basement only) surmounted by spear-head finialled cast iron railings.

BOUNDARY WALL: to rear, random rubble wall with flat concrete coping.

GLAZING etc: predominantly 12-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows (4-pane glazing to outer lights of tripartite dormers). Dormers have timber fascia and grey slate haffits and piend roofs. Pitched roof; graded grey slates; stone skews. 1 corniced, droved gablehead stack to NW gable; 1 corniced ashlar ridge stack to right; 1 corniced rubble wallhead stack with droved dressings to rear; circular cans to all stacks.

Statement of Special Interest

This classically detailed tenement block is a good example of early 19th century high quality tenement design in Edinburgh. It also has streetscape and historical value as an element of the Gayfield estate development. It may also have significance as one of the few extant buildings designed by Cairncross, formerly a pupil or assistant of Robert Adam, for whom he was clerk of works at several prestigious projects, Culzean Castle and Old College, Edinburgh College. Cairncross is not specifically mentioned in contemporary documents in connection with Union Street. However, there is a very strong similarity of design between the tenements on the north side of Union Street and the tenements on the NE side of Gayfield Square, which were designed for Jollie by Cairncross in 1807.

21 Union Street forms part of the Gayfield Estate, so called because it stands on the former grounds of Gayfield House (East London Street; 1763-5, still extant; separately listed Category A). These lands were feued by the solicitor James Jollie from 1785. Building began on either side of the drive to the house; the building line on the SW of Gayfield Square follows the line of the drive. These developments began to establish the form of Gayfield Square, which forms the heart of the estate. The gardens at the core of the square were preserved from development as early as the 1790s; Sasines record that '..the area of Gayfield Place [is] to remain an open space for all time coming.' Union Street is on the boundary of these lands, the north side being Gayfield land, and the south side of the street built on land at the edge of the adjoining Picardy estate.

References

Bibliography

Sasines, S.R.O. Ainslie's map, 1804. Edinburgh City Archive, Dean of Guild, 8th January, 1806. OEC, Vol.XXIV, pp250-1. I. Lindsay, GEORGIAN EDINBURGH, (1973), pp58-59. Gifford, McWilliam and Walker, EDINBURGH, (1991) p 428.

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at www.historicenvironment.scot/advice-and-support. You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at designations@hes.scot.

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