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Corstorphine High Street, and 1a Orchardfield Avenue, Dower House Including Boundary Walls, Gatepiers and Gates

A Category B Listed Building in Edinburgh, Edinburgh

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.9402 / 55°56'24"N

Longitude: -3.2838 / 3°17'1"W

OS Eastings: 319909

OS Northings: 672654

OS Grid: NT199726

Mapcode National: GBR 82L.B2

Mapcode Global: WH6SK.JYJJ

Entry Name: Corstorphine High Street, and 1a Orchardfield Avenue, Dower House Including Boundary Walls, Gatepiers and Gates

Listing Date: 14 July 1966

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 365508

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB28073

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Edinburgh

County: Edinburgh

Town: Edinburgh

Electoral Ward: Corstorphine/Murrayfield

Traditional County: Midlothian

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Description

Earlier 15th century core with major 17th and 18th century alterations and additions. 3 storey with attic, 3-bay, T plan house set within the NE corner of St Margaret's Park. Painted harl to N, S and E, sandstone rubble to W; sandstone ashlar dressings. Crowstepped skews.

N (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: roll moulded corniced doorway in advanced central bay; timber door; blind plaque; single stair windows flanking at ground, 1st floor and attic. Single windows to all floors in recessed bay to right. Small opening at ground in bay to left.

S ELEVATION: 5-bay, grouped 3-2. Roll-moulded doorway to left of centre at ground; smaller roll-moulded doorway to right of centre; single, boarded window at ground to left. Regular fenestration to 1st and 2nd floors.

E AND W ELEVATIONS: blank.

12-pane timber sash and case windows. Grey slate roof; corniced wallhead and apex stacks; circular cans.

INTERIOR: 18th century timber and composition fireplaces; some panelling remains, despite extensive restoration work.

BOUNDARY WALLS, GATEPIERS AND GATES: rubble sandstone wall of varying heights to Corstorphine High Street and Orchardfield Avenue with railings. Sandstone corniced gatepiers surmounted by iron standards and stone ball finials; iron gates.

Statement of Interest

There is some confusion over the name Dower House, which originated in the 19th century. In 1425 when Sir John Forrester formed the collegiate church, three sites in Corstorphine were assigned for manses, on one of which stands the building presently known as the Dower House, then referred to as the manse of Half Haltoun and Half Dalmahoy. In 1618 King James gave these sites to George Forrester, who sold them in 1646. A deed of 1625 relating to Orchardfield, east of the Dower House, describes it as bounded west by the house of the prebendary of Half Haltoun and Half Dalmahoy.

Selway's (1890) reference to the house as "built by one of the Lords Forrester as a dower house about 1660-70" appears inaccurate then. The only need for a dower house would be when George Forrester?s mother was widowed, not later than 1618, however, by 1625 she had remarried. Despite alterations at upper levels, the foundations and ground floor may be prebendal. Extensive alterations and additions are attributed to the Edinburgh lawyer, Samuel Mitchelson, who purchased the property in 1765, most notably the heightening of the house by adding a storey. The house was known as Gibson Lodge, after Lady Gibsone, who moved into the house in 1792. Corstorphine author AS Cowper suggests the demolition of Corstorphine Castle and its out-buildings in the 18th century may have provided the entrance gateway to the house.

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