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Cammo House, Cammo Road, Edinburgh

A Category B Listed Building in Almond, Edinburgh

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Latitude: 55.9582 / 55°57'29"N

Longitude: -3.3246 / 3°19'28"W

OS Eastings: 317399

OS Northings: 674698

OS Grid: NT173746

Mapcode National: GBR 23.XP2G

Mapcode Global: WH6SJ.XH1R

Plus Code: 9C7RXM5G+75

Entry Name: Cammo House, Cammo Road, Edinburgh

Listing Name: Cammo Road, Cammo Estate, Cammo House

Listing Date: 14 July 1966

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 365463

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB28037

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200365463

Location: Edinburgh

County: Edinburgh

Town: Edinburgh

Electoral Ward: Almond

Traditional County: Midlothian

Tagged with: Country house

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Possibly Thomas Wilkie, dated 1693; single storey, 5-bay ruin of classical house; secured and consolidated Simpson & Brown, 1980. Squared and snecked rubble; ashlar dressings. Earth built up round ruin to form bank.

S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: central moulded doorpiece; rosettes in top corners of doorpiece; cornice; broken pediment; carving and date in tympanum. 2 single windows flanking.

W ELEVATION: blocked basement windows; relieving arches; remains of window surrounds at ground floor.

N ELEVATION: low remains of rear wall.

E ELEVATION: same as W, but left bay is doorway not window.

Statement of Interest

A-Group with Bridge, Quadrant Walls, Boundary Walls, Rubble Bridge, Stable Block, Knoll, Walled Garden and Water Tower. The original house, the ground floor of which has been preserved, was built for John Menzies. It was built in the manner of Robert Mylne but it may have been designed by the lesser known architect Thomas Wilkie; the doorpiece is very similar to that at Gallery House in Angus by Wilkie. The house was 2 storeys with basement and attic; it had a two gable front divided by a roof platform that was balustraded at the front. Thus although the ground plan was rectangular (5 bays by 4 bays) the attic plan was U-shaped. With its symmetrical fenestration, pedimented doorway and gable front Cammo House was a prime example of the transitional period of architecture from the Scots Tower house to classicism. In 1710 Sir John Clerk of Penicuik purchased the estate and house making great improvements to the garden, although it would appear that he made little alteration to the house. In the grounds he laid out formal avenues; created banks and dykes; designed parterres; built a stable and 'planted the littel garden on the north end of the great stable' (Gray); established a Portugal garden; and built a wall on the top of the knoll enclosing trees (see separate list description). The estate was sold by Sir John Clerk in 1724 and henceforth became the residence of Mr Hog and his family. The only alteration for which Mr Hog seems to have been responsible for the formal canal to the SW of the house (SCHEDULED MONUMENT). This canal first appears on the 1805 survey of the estate but is so formal in design that it is most likely that it dated from an earlier period in the estate's history. It is possible that William Adam may have played a hand in canal's design as it is similar to that at Newliston, which he designed. There is also a proposed design for alterations at Cammo House dedicated to Hog in Vitruvius Scoticus (plate 141) and it is likely that it is by William Adam. These proposals were never carried out. However, in a picture of the house from the late 18th century a wing was added to the NE elevation with a pedimented end: a simpler version of Adam's wing designs (NMRS EDD/263/1P). In 1741 Cammo Estate changed hands again and this time also its name: it was bought by James Watson who chose to call the Estate and house New Saughton, it is under this name that it appears on the 1st O S Map of 1852. James Watson sold a large quantity of timber upon gaining possession of the estate and thus it is likely that he was responsible for the transition of the landscape from formal to informal. In 1778 James was succeeded by his son Charles who was responsible for building the Lodge House (1789, Thomas Paries: see separate list description); the east gates (Robert Gray and William White: see separate list description); the 2 ? acre walled garden (1780-1792: see separate list description); and the perron (1787-1791, James Salisbury: see separate list description). In 1805 Charles died and the estate and house became the responsibility of James Watson. During Watson's ownership the water tower (see separate list description) and large stable block (see separate list description) were built, and Walter Wallace was employed to erect a L-shaped extension to the rear of the house and add a mock crenellated parapet which considerably altered the appearance of the house. In 1873 the estate and house were bought by Alexander Campbell Esq., who reinstated its original name. In 1898 Cammo was purchased by Mrs Maitland-Tennant and remained her residence and that of her son, Percival, until 1975. The house was bequeathed to the National Trust who cleared the house; the National Trust removed a Sundial that once stood in the grounds and it is still in their possession at another property. During 1977 the house was torched twice by vandals. Thus it was considered unsafe and a conservation plan was drawn up by James Simpson to preserve the original ground storey of the house, demolishing the upper storeys and later alterations. In 1980 the National Trust for Scotland gave the estate to Edinburgh District Council, who designated the site a Wilderness Park.

External Links

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