History in Structure

Bonnington Bond Warehouse, 15-21 Breadalbane Street, Edinburgh

A Category B Listed Building in Edinburgh, Edinburgh

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.9718 / 55°58'18"N

Longitude: -3.1815 / 3°10'53"W

OS Eastings: 326359

OS Northings: 676053

OS Grid: NT263760

Mapcode National: GBR 8R6.2R

Mapcode Global: WH6SM.3598

Plus Code: 9C7RXRC9+PC

Entry Name: Bonnington Bond Warehouse, 15-21 Breadalbane Street, Edinburgh

Listing Name: 2 Anderson Place and 3-33 (Odd Nos) Breadalbane Street (Former Bonnington Bond)

Listing Date: 29 April 1988

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 363951

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB27016

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200363951

Location: Edinburgh

County: Edinburgh

Town: Edinburgh

Electoral Ward: Leith Walk

Traditional County: Midlothian

Tagged with: Warehouse

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Description

Circa 1860-70 (S and W block); circa 1905 (N block). Substantial complex of 4- and 8-storey brick and rubble-built warehouses, former sugar refinery, maltings and bonded warehouses converted to residential use (2004). S block squared and snecked sandstone rubble with rock-faced dressings; W and N block red brick at elevations to street. Early use of wrought-iron beams in widescale industrial construction (see Notes). Projecting 3-storey glazed vestibule to S block and twin atria by Percy Johnson-Marshall, 1990. Later additional glazed storey and refacing of fa├žades to central courtyard with timber and blue terracotta tiles by JMA Architects 2004.

S BLOCK: former maltings, circa 1860-70. 4-storey; 5- by 20-bay; small windows; N elevation with rectangular raised clock tower to centre. Now converted to offices, cast-iron columns exposed; timber floors encased.

W BLOCK: former sugar refinery, 1865-66, 6 northernmost bays raised circa 1900. 8-storey; 3- by 12-bay; segmental-arched windows; ground floor with windows set in recessed segmental-arched panels; bays above divided by strip pilasters; moulded eaves cornice. E elevation with square stair tower and later metal-clad lift tower; 2 storey engine house (later converted to offices) with forestair and dentilled cornice to right. Flat roof with cast-iron water tank to S; railings to N.

INTERIOR: S block with single row of stout cast-iron columns with bell capitals, wrought-iron beams and timber floors; fireproof brick-arched 5th floor; roof of iron plates on cast-iron joists. Ground and 1st floor of N block with 2 rows of cast-iron columns, mezzanine inserted, 2nd floor fireproof brick arches; timber floors, steel frame and timber roof above. Cast-iron stairwell with central well formerly for steam elevator. Later alterations (2004) encasing interior features with demountable partitions raised floors and suspended ceilings.

N BLOCK: circa 1900. 8-storey and basement; 8- by 9-bay; segmental- arched windows. Tall round-arched L-shaped pend from W to S elevation at junction with W block (railway access); wide rectangular bricked- up) opening to W elevation. 9 piended slate roofs; wallhead stacks to N and S.

INTERIOR: steel-frame with wooden floors; basement with flat hollow tiles and steel work encased in concrete as fireproofing. 2-storey office building with piend roof adjoining to SE. Later alterations encasing interior features with demountable partitions raised floors and suspended ceilings.

Small-pane or fixed windows with iron grilles. Wheel pattern tie plates to W block. Single storey brick and rubble wall (remains of demolished sugar warehouse) to S forming courtyard with window openings to E.

Statement of Interest

This significant industrial complex, comprising the largest bonded warehouse to survive in Edinburgh and the original buildings of the Bonnington Sugar Refinery Company is an important part of the industrial fabric of Leith and of Scotland. Later additions have left the street fronting facades relatively unaltered retaining much of their original character. The buildings dominate the streetscape and provide tangible evidence of the industrial heritage of the site. The industrial origins of the buildings are also clearly referenced to the street with the brick facades, small openings and evidence of the iron construction internally.

The sugar refinery was a large scale industrial operation, producing over 250 tons of refined sugar each week and demonstrates the first ever extensive use of wrought-iron beams in Scotland. The prolific output necessitated that the site was linked to the railway, and railway lines can clearly be seen on maps from 1876 onwards entering and leaving the site. The efficient industrial process embraced 'all the earliest improvements in the process and appliances of the trade' (Trinder) and the building was also at the forefront of technology. The plant was designed as a vertical production unit with raw cane sugar going to the top floor of the first building. This posed special challenges for the design with the necessity to accommodate large weights on the upper floors. The use of wrought-iron on this scale was initially unsuccessful as the floors of the building were redesigned after the collapsed in 1865 killing 4 people. The replacement structure was built to designs outlined in 'On the application of cast and wrought iron to building purposes' by mill engineer William Fairburn. The original brick arched floors were retained but they were supported on iron riveted angle and plate girders. The mill also utilised cutting edge technology in the refining processes, with both vacuum boiling pans and centrifugal drying machinery, the boiling pans alone costing 3000 pounds.

List description updated 2008. Statutory address updated 2012.

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