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Liberton Drive, Liberton House, with Walled Garden, Gates and Gatepiers

A Category A Listed Building in Edinburgh, Edinburgh

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Latitude: 55.9114 / 55°54'40"N

Longitude: -3.1729 / 3°10'22"W

OS Eastings: 326779

OS Northings: 669317

OS Grid: NT267693

Mapcode National: GBR 8SX.SF

Mapcode Global: WH6ST.7PC4

Entry Name: Liberton Drive, Liberton House, with Walled Garden, Gates and Gatepiers

Listing Date: 14 July 1966

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 365523

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB28086

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Edinburgh

County: Edinburgh

Town: Edinburgh

Electoral Ward: Liberton/Gilmerton

Traditional County: Midlothian

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Circa 1600, L-plan 2-storey and attic laird's house with complex history of alterations and additions from late 17th century, circa 1890 and by Rowand Anderson, Paul and Partners, 1936, who removed Georgian attic floor and reinstates cat-slide dormers throughout. Currently undergoing restoration with alterations by Nicholas Groves-Raines, Architects (1995) following severe fire, 1991, which destroyed roof and main wing. Main range to SE with 3-storey wing built on falling ground at right angles to SW, round stair tower in re-entrant (NW). Lower, single storey and attic wing adjoining to W, 2-storey service wing abutting to NW forming courtyard. Harled and lime washed (1995), red sandstone ashlar margins with rounded arrises, gunloops. Crowstepped gables (E and N gables renewed 1936).Timber sash and case windows with predominantly 12-pane glazing. Steeply pitched roof with graded grey slates, coped harled stacks.

NW ELEVATION: doorway to left of stair turret with roll-moulded surround, armorial panel above. Dormer to stair window above, window at ground and 1st floor to left. Stair tower corbelled to square at 2nd floor, window to each floor, crowstepped gable restored circa 1890. Wing to right with doorway at ground, 2 windows above at each floor. Lower, possibly later single storey and attic wing adjoining to right with door and window at ground floor, window breaking eaves at attic with pedimented dormerhead dated 1675 in carved panel, resited from NW range circa 1890 (McWilliam).

NE ELEVATION: window to each floor. Circa 1890 rubble lean-to single storey and attic addition with crowsteps and pedimented dormerhead.

SE ELEVATION: to garden; 3 tall windows at ground floor with 18-pane glazing, ashlar canted bow addition c.1840 to right, with slated pyramidal roof, French windows. Window to 1st floor above bow, 3 windows to left breaking eaves in cat-slide dormers, 3 dormers above to attic. Wall mounted, angle SUNDIAL set into quoins to SW with tabular dials and armorial above; shield flanked by initials "WL", dated 1683.

SW ELEVATION: 2 windows at ground floor in gable, window at each floor above to left. Adjoining wing with 2 windows to each floor, not symmetrically placed, 1 pedimented dormerhead dated 1605 at 2nd floor.

INTERIOR: inside doorway original entrance door guarded by sliding wooden bar leads into great hall, tall (unvaulted) room, 3 tall windows in round-headed openings to SE, centre window modern in former buffet recess. 2 smaller to SW, deeply recessed, and flanking red sandstone columned chimneypiece with deep, blank frieze. Segmentally-arched buffet recess in NW wall, also in adjoining room with bow, now in use as kitchen. Original kitchen in NW jamb at slightly lower level, remodelled circa 1890, with tiled fireplace originally flanked by 2 windows, window to right enlarged to a door(?). Panelled window surrounds and beamed timber ceiling signed on palette by painter, A W Lyons (1892) with heraldic decoration. Doorway to NE retains heavy iron yett. Stone spiral stair off great hall to upper floors which retain later 17th century chimneypieces, SE room with Delft tiles inset, probably later, some painted wall decoration visible survives in fragments at 1st floor. Timber boarded doors with studs (19th century).

NW RANGE, (OFFICE): single storey and attic service wing. Possibly originally bakehouse and brewhouse. Door to courtyard with resited lintel inscribed "William 1570 Litil" and (19th century?) carved armorial panel in heavily roll-moulded frame. Windows flanking at ground floor, 3 windows to attic floor breaking eaves in cat-slide dormers. Evidence of other openings visible in stonework. 3 windows to each floor at rear, 2 dormers to attic. Single storey workshop range adjoining to N. Inside, evidence of large fireplace for range at ground floor, large timber panelled room at 1st floor with massive A and C Timberwork (probably late 19th century billiard room). Now in office use.

WALLED GARDEN: to NE of house, rubble walls partly enclose garden, yett serves as gate from service courtyard, 2 gatepiers with large granite caps. Rubble garden walls also extend parallel to driveway to NE, bee boles in SE wall.

GATEPIERS, QUADRANT WALLS AND GATES: at entrance from Liberton Drive. Rubble coped, rubble quadrant walls, pair of polygonal ashlar gatepiers, corniced with ornamented caps and ball finials, probably late 19th century, contemporary with wrought-iron gates with "LH" motif.

Statement of Interest

William Little acquired the Barony of Over Liberton in 1587. The Inventory dates the house circa 1675; Gifford, McWilliam and Walker ascribe an earlier date of circa 1600. Much altered, it was originally 2-storeys, raised in the early 19th century. MacGibbon & Ross illustrate a 19th century porch, now gone (fig 1427), the interior of the dining hall (fig 1428), the entrance doorway (fig 1420) and the kitchen (fig 1431). The arrangement of rooms is similar to that of a townhouse (such as Tweeddale House, Edinburgh) and is not vaulted; the entrance opens into the Hall which has very large windows. MacGibbon and Ross are critical of the early-mid 19th century alterations to the house. The house lay empty for a number of years; Nicolas Groves Raines, Architects, are currently carrying out restoration work and due to extensive neglect and weather damage many of the 19th and early 20th century alterations and interior have had to be removed. Dovecot listed separately. A W Lyons worked with Thomas Bonnar of D R Hay and Partners, for the painted ceiling, as at Falkland Palace.

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