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Latitude: 55.9135 / 55°54'48"N
Longitude: -3.1603 / 3°9'36"W
OS Eastings: 327573
OS Northings: 669541
OS Grid: NT275695
Mapcode National: GBR 8WW.CN
Mapcode Global: WH6ST.FMBH
Entry Name: 86, 88 and 90 Kirkbrae, the Liberton Inn
Listing Date: 15 April 1996
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 368550
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB29202
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Liberton/Gilmerton
Traditional County: Midlothian
Later 18th and earlier 19th century. Range of buildings on corner site, small lounge in centre of building refitted 1930s; public bar refitted in 1950s ; late 20th century alterations.
KIRKGATE PROPERTY: late 18th century, much altered 2-storey harled building of 5 irregular bays; stone margins. S ELEVATION: openings altered, now comprising: door to left of centre at ground floor with plate over lintel inscribed "Reuben Butler's House". Windows to left enlarged to bipartites at ground and 1st floor. Further doorway to left with mid 20th century moulded surround, 2 windows to left, 1 at right, 3 windows at 1st floor, 2 outer windows enlarged to bipartites. Windows close under eaves, modern windows with 8-lying pane glazing pattern. Purple slates to front, grey at rear, fireclay ridge tiles, harled end and mutual stacks with thackstanes. Little altered at rear, 2 windows only at 1st floor.
CORNER PROPERTY: adjoining to E: E ELEVATION: 2-storey, mid 19th century, canted at corner. Squared rubble with ashlar margins, painted base and cill courses. Door to corner with window above. 3-bay elevation to Kirkgate, 3 irregular bays to Kirkbrae with vehicular opening to outer right with metal shutter door. Renewed sash and case windows with 6-pane glazing at 1st floor. Purple slates, harled end and shouldered rubble wallhead stacks with cornice. Piended, 2-storey rubble stair tower in re-entrant at rear with timber-boarded outshoot.
KIRKBRAE PROPERTY: 2-storey, 4-bay house adjoining to left, now subdivided. Door to centre at ground floor, 2 windows flanking, 4 windows at 1st floor. Stair window to centre at rear, windows to outer bays, later narrow windows between. Timber sash and case windows with 12-pane glazing pattern, some double glazing. Ashlar coped skews, purple slates, ashlar stacks with simple cornice. Rubble end gable
INTERIOR OF PUBLIC HOUSE: simple three-roomed interior with predominantly mid-20th century fittings. Lobby with two-leaf glazed timber door. Main bar area with three-quarters height timber panelling to walls, U-shaped counter with similar panelling and small island gantry rising to ceiling height. Small lounge to rear (W) of main bar area with dark timber panelled dado (rising to ceiling height on W wall), small curved bar with counter front inwards sloping toward ground and deep overhanging canopy supported on scrolled brackets with carved foliate decoration. Small gantry with mirrors and carved decoration (modern replacement). Stained glass to timber-panelled doors.
The Liberton Inn is a good vernacular group of buildings and stands on a prominent site at the heart of the old Liberton village on the junction of Kirkbrae and Kirkgate making a strong focal point in the village. The corner section was rebuilt in the earlier 19th century (an L-shaped building appears on maps from at least the 1817) whilst the rendered section in Kirkgate would appear to have been built as two houses and to date from the late 18th century. One or both of these houses were the supposed residence of Reuben Butler, the sweetheart of Jennie Deans in Scott's 'Heart of Midlothian'.
The building on the corner became an inn before 1854 though it would seem that it consisted of a smallish block on the apex of the corner; and another block running N down Kirkbrae was incorporated into the inn by the 1890s. The 18th section on Kirkgate served as part of the school buildings until the 1880s. The school itself moved to a different site on the NE side of Kirkbrae before the mid-19th century. The buildings fronting Kirkgate were sold in 1889 to John Cochrane, a plumber and ironmonger, but after passing through other hands, appear to have been incorporated into the inn by the 1920s.
The interior does not have a unified decorative scheme but the most significant section internally is the small lounge to the rear of the main bar with its interesting 1930s bar counter which is angled inwards toward the foot and has a canopy with good carved detail.
List description updated as part of the Public Houses Thematic Study 2007-08.
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