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112-114 Nicolson Street, Edinburgh

A Category B Listed Building in Edinburgh, Edinburgh

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Latitude: 55.9444 / 55°56'39"N

Longitude: -3.1835 / 3°11'0"W

OS Eastings: 326181

OS Northings: 673005

OS Grid: NT261730

Mapcode National: GBR 8QJ.NL

Mapcode Global: WH6SM.2VBB

Plus Code: 9C7RWRV8+QJ

Entry Name: 112-114 Nicolson Street, Edinburgh

Listing Name: 9-24 (Inclusive Numbers) Learmonth Terrace, Including Railings

Listing Date: 12 August 1965

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 368659

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB29247

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Edinburgh

County: Edinburgh

Town: Edinburgh

Electoral Ward: Southside/Newington

Traditional County: Midlothian

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John Chesser, 1874. 3-storey and basement terrace of townhouses in Free Renaissance style with advanced 4-bay terminal blocks and prominent 2-storey, 3-light bays, bowed at ground floor, canted at 1st floor with bowed 1st floor balustrade. Sandstone ashlar; droved at basement. Entrance platts oversailing basement. Banded base course; moulded cill courses at 1st and 2nd floors. Corniced consoled eaves course with balustrade above between sandstone ashlar dormers with alternating round arched and triangular pediments. Large doorpieces with paired foliate console brackets flanking narrow architraved sidelights; timber 6-panel doors, rectangular fanlights; cornice and balustrade over. Moulded architraved windows to bowed bay at ground and 1st floors. Moulded architraved 1st floor window, bracketed with round arched pediment. Moulded architraved windows at 2nd floor (tripartite above canted bay) with bracketed cills. Moulded architraved windows to dormers.

N (REAR) ELEVATION: 5 storeys. Coursed squared sandstone rubble with some ashlar quoins cills and rybats. Roughly regular fenestration with some 3-storey 3-light canted bays to E and later attic storey to Nos. 10, 11, 12. Tall rectangular dormers set into steep mansard roof to right (W). Some boundary walls, sandstone ashlar with moulded copes.

E (SOUTH LEARMONTH AVENUE) ELEVATION: roughly 4 bays set on ground falling to left, with slightly advanced angled terminal bay to left (N); advanced single storey porch to right (S) with channelled ashlar pilasters and broad bowed bay above. Porch integrated with boundary wall and steps to far left (S). Pedimented dormers at attic (bipartite to far left (N) integrated with balustrade and shouldered wallhead stack. Tripartite windows to left (N) terminal bay. Moulded architraved surrounds at ground floor, bipartite window to advanced porch; doorway in re-entrant angle with rectangular fanlight. Pedimented windows at 1st floor, triangular to far left (N) and semicircular to centre; bowed bay to right (S). Moulded architraved surrounds at 2nd floor with bracketed cills.

W (END) ELEVATION: 3 bays, 3 storeys over basement. Set on ground falling away to N. Advanced balustraded bay to centre rectangular ground floor, canted at 1st floor. Moulded cill courses at 1st and 2nd floors; corniced consoled eaves course; prominent wallhead stacks. Blind windows to flanking bays. Moulded architraved windows, bracketed at 1st floor with round arched pediments. Tripartite window to centre at 2nd floor flanked by 2 blind windows all with bracketed cills.

Plate glass in timber sash and case windows. Pitched roof; grey slates. Corniced ashlar gable end and ridge stacks; some octagonal some modern clay cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods. Cast-iron railings edging basement area to street.

INTERIOR: characterised by highly decorative late Victorian classical scheme with intricate cornices by MacGibbon and Ross. Large entrance vestibules with deep cornice and tiled floors, predominantly timber dog-leg stairs, topped by large cupolas with decorative plasterwork beneath. Highly decorative plasterwork and some large marble fire surrounds to ground and 1st floor drawing rooms. Compartmented ceilings with elaborate cornicing to E and ribbed Jacobean designs to W. Arched Corinthian pilasters to No. 24. Later conversion to flats throughout terrace.

Statement of Interest

Learmonth Terrace is a prominent and boldly detailed classical crescent and makes a significant contribution to the streetscape. Each section of the terrace is terminated by slightly advanced terminal bays. The terrace is part of the continued development of the West End of Edinburgh in the later 19th century after the completion of the nearby Dean Bridge (see separate listing). The interior scheme for numbers 9 ' 24 was designed by MacGibbon and Ross from 1877 onwards. Initially they were working for the Leith Heritages Company and then later for the builder George Gilroy.

The terrace was built by John Chesser for Colonel Learmonth as part of his wider development of lands in this area. Learmonth had played a major part in the funding of the nearby Dean Bridge (see separate listing). The construction of the bridge placed his land on what became a main thoroughfare into and out of the City of Edinburgh and made his developments much more valuable. The feu plan drawn up by Chesser originally covered a much larger area of Learmonth's estate, but only Learmonth Terrace was built to this design. Learmonth was also the Lord Provost of Edinburgh during this period. Unlike the earlier phases of the New Town the terraces of the Dean estate were exclusively of individual affluent family houses with lavish Victorian detailing. Changing social circumstances in the 20th century have led to a degree of alteration and adaptation.

John Chesser began his career as a master of works on the Ravesby Estate in Lincolnshire, before replacing his father in the same post on the Dalmeny estate. By 1852 he was working for David Cousin in the office of the superintendant of works in Edinburgh, and through this office he may have secured his post as superintendant of works for Herriot's Hospital. By the time he came to design Learmonth Terrace his free Renaissance style was fully developed. Many of his terraces are characterised by the use of large bay windows, and particularly by the combination of rectangular and canted storeys.

List description revised as part of resurvey (2009).

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