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Latitude: 55.9594 / 55°57'33"N
Longitude: -3.1866 / 3°11'11"W
OS Eastings: 326017
OS Northings: 674672
OS Grid: NT260746
Mapcode National: GBR 8QC.17
Mapcode Global: WH6SM.0GWV
Plus Code: 9C7RXR57+P9
Entry Name: 7, 7A Gayfield Square, Edinburgh
Listing Name: 7 and 7a Gayfield Square Including Railings and Garden Wall
Listing Date: 19 April 1966
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 367382
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB28803
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: City Centre
Traditional County: Midlothian
1790-1800. 3-bay, 2-storey basement and attic symmetrical semi-detached villa. Droved ashlar (rock-faced with droved margins to basement, coursed rubble with droved margins to side and rear). Dividing band between basement and ground floor; cill course to ground floor; eaves cornice; blocking course. Long and short quoins (raised and lightly broached to principal elevation, flush and droved to side and rear elevations). Regular fenestration; architraved windows to ground floor.
NE (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: to centre, steps and platt oversailing basement recess leading to timber-panelled door with 2-light letterbox fanlight in cavetto-framed opening; doorpiece with rosettes and pilasters. 3 dormer windows to roof.
SW (REAR) ELEVATION: timber-panelled door with letterbox fanlight and small side window to centre bay. To left bay, tripartite windows to upper floors. 3 dormer windows to roof.
GLAZING etc: predominantly 12-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows; 4-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows to outer dormers to front and centre dormer to rear (6-pane glazing to central dormer to front; 16-pane glazing to outer dormers to rear). Flat roofs and lead haffits to front dormers; grey slate haffits and piend roofs to rear dormers. Pitched roof; graded grey slates; stone skews and skewputts. Corniced, droved, gablehead stack with circular cans to both gables.
RAILINGS: spear-head and urn finialled cast iron railings edging basement, steps and platt to front elevation (set in ashlar copes to basement edge). Ashlar copes surmounted by plain railings to rear.
GARDEN WALL: to rear, separating garden of No 7 Gayfield Square and No 8 Gayfield Square, high random rubble wall with flat stone coping.
The simple elegance of this small house emphasises its importance as an early example of the semi-detached suburban villa in Edinburgh. It also has streetscape and historical value as an element of the Gayfield estate development.
It is possible that 7 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.
7 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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