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Latitude: 55.9593 / 55°57'33"N
Longitude: -3.1864 / 3°11'10"W
OS Eastings: 326027
OS Northings: 674661
OS Grid: NT260746
Mapcode National: GBR 8QC.28
Mapcode Global: WH6SM.0GYX
Plus Code: 9C7RXR57+PC
Entry Name: 6, 6A Gayfield Square, Edinburgh
Listing Name: 6 and 6a Gayfield Square Including Railings and Boundary Wall
Listing Date: 19 April 1966
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 367381
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB28802
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: City Centre
Traditional County: Midlothian
1790-1800, probably Alexander Laing. 3-bay, 2-storey, attic and basement symmetrical flatted villa on corner site. Droved ashlar (coursed rubble with dressed margins to basement and side and rear elevations). Dividing band between basement and ground floor; eaves cornice. Long and short quoins (raised and lightly broached to principal elevation, flush and droved to side and rear elevations). Regular fenestration.
NE (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: to centre, steps and platt oversailing basement recess leading to timber-panelled door with 3-light letterbox fanlight; architraved doorpiece. To right, canted dormer window to roof.
SE (GAYFIELD STREET) ELEVATION: blind windows to left bay (ground and 1st floor) and centre bay (ground floor). Smaller attic storey window to centre.
SW (REAR) ELEVATION: 3-bay elevation; canted bay to centre, with modern metal external stairway leading to door with elongated fanlight/window above, situated between ground and 1st floor.
GLAZING etc: predominantly 12-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows; 4-pane glazing to centre of dormer, plate glass to flanking lights, all in timber sash and case windows. 3 rooflights to front, 4 to rear. Pitched roof; graded grey slates; stone skews and skewputts. Corniced, rendered gablehead stack to each gable; circular cans to both stacks.
RAILINGS: spear-head finialled, cast iron railings set in stone coping edging basement area to left of platt; plain railings to steps; ashlar copes surmounted by plain railings edging basement area to right of platt.
The simple elegance of this small house emphasises its importance as an early example of the suburban villa in Edinburgh. It also has streetscape and historical value as an element of the Gayfield estate development.
It is very likely that 6 Gayfield Square was designed by the architect Alexander Laing; an advert in the Edinburgh Evening Courant in 1791 proclaimed that Laing was selling a villa in Gayfield Square, but did not specify which one. In 1820, Laing himself was living at 6 Gayfield Square (see separate List description). It therefore seems likely that Laing designed at least one, and possibly all, of the villas on the south side of Gayfield Square.
6 Gayfield Square forms part of the Gayfield Estate, so called because it stands on the former grounds of Gayfield House (East London Street; 1763-5, still extant; separately listed Category A). These lands were feued by the solicitor James Jollie from 1783. Building began on either side of the drive to the house; the building line on the SW of Gayfield Square follows the line of the drive. These developments began to establish the form of Gayfield Square, which forms the heart of the estate. It was part of Jollie's plan from the beginning that this should be so; in January 1783 he advertised that the Gayfield grounds were to be feued for building purposes 'according to a plan.' His advertisment promised prospective feuars 'remarkably pleasant' rustic situation and 'uncommonly beautiful views' in addition to 'the privilege of the area of the square'. Sasines record that '..the area of Gayfield Place [is] to remain an open space for all time coming.'
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