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Abbey Sanctuary, Abbey Strand, Edinburgh

A Category A Listed Building in Edinburgh, Edinburgh

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Latitude: 55.9529 / 55°57'10"N

Longitude: -3.1739 / 3°10'25"W

OS Eastings: 326796

OS Northings: 673937

OS Grid: NT267739

Mapcode National: GBR 8SF.LK

Mapcode Global: WH6SM.6MWT

Plus Code: 9C7RXR3G+4C

Entry Name: Abbey Sanctuary, Abbey Strand, Edinburgh

Listing Name: Abbey Strand, Eastern Building, 'Abbey Sanctuary'

Listing Date: 14 December 1970

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 365663

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB28207

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200365663

Location: Edinburgh

County: Edinburgh

Town: Edinburgh

Electoral Ward: City Centre

Traditional County: Midlothian

Tagged with: Building

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Early 16th century with 17th century and later additions and alterations (see Notes). 2-storey, roughly L-plan complex comprising three buildings (now connected internally) and adjoining harled 16th century 'Western Building' (see separate listing). Rubble built with sandstone dressings. Chamfered margins. PRINCIPAL (S) ELEVATION: comprises three unequally sized crowstepped gables; later segmental-arched opening to right, now entrance to shop; irregular fenestration. Forestair with lean-to timber and stone porch to far left rising to 1st floor doorway at W elevation. Section to SE is slightly higher with pantiled garret. Forestair to rear (W) elevation rising to timber outshot supported by timber columns. Two timber doors at re-entrant angle; pedimented dormer breaking eaves to right and attic dormer, above left.

Multi-pane glazing to timber sash and case windows. Graded Scottish grey slate to S block; pantiled to N. Broad axial stack to W block and end stacks to garreted section. Cast iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: Shallow-moulded plasterwork ceiling to ground floor rear. Narrow steps between split-level rooms at rear. Some moulded stone fireplaces remaining.

Statement of Interest

The ground beneath the Palace of Holyroodhouse and nearby structures (including Croft-an-Righ House, the buildings on the N side of Abbey Strand and the buildings around Mews Court) is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 for its archaeological importance. The upstanding remains of Holyrood Abbey and Queen Mary's Bath are also scheduled monuments. Significant upstanding and below-ground archaeological remains may survive as part of and in addition to the structures and features described above.

Situated in a key location beside the main gated entrance to the Palace at the foot of the Canongate, Abbey Strand Eastern Building is a very rare 16th century survival. Altered during the 20th century, it retains much of its historic character and is an important part of streetscape, contributing to the wider group of buildings associated with the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Its three unequally sized crowstepped gables and its forestairs to front and rear are particularly distinctive elements.

Originally constructed as an extension to the Western Abbey Strand apartments, it follows the original building line. These domestic buildings in Abbey Strand were probably part of the 16th century almonry in the vicinity and may also have been leased for commercial use, as happened at Westminister Abbey. Owned by the Earl of Rosebury in the early part of the 20th century, the buildings were in multiple occupancy until 1933 when they were declared unfit for human habiatation. At this time, following the removal of the tenants, the buildings were purchased by the Crown and subsequently restored. The alterations, including the large segmentally-arched pend and extension of the simple 17th century compartmented ceiling at the first floor, were undertaken by H.M.Office of Works in 1935.

It should be recognised that significant upstanding and below-ground archaeological remains may survive here as part of and in addition to the structures and features described above.

Part of A-group comprising: Palace of Holyroodhouse; 28 and 30 Croft-An-Righ (Croft-An-Righ House); Abbey Strand Eastern Building; Abbey Strand Western Building; North Garden Sundial; Palace Forecourt Fountain; Abbey Court House; Gatehouse and Former Guard Rooms; Palace Coach House; Stables; Queen's Gallery (see separate listings).

List description revised as part of the Edinburgh Holyrood Ward resurvey (2007/08). List description updated 2013.

External Links

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