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52/12 Spylaw Bank Road, Edinburgh

A Category A Listed Building in Edinburgh, Edinburgh

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.9092 / 55°54'33"N

Longitude: -3.2629 / 3°15'46"W

OS Eastings: 321148

OS Northings: 669178

OS Grid: NT211691

Mapcode National: GBR 86Y.K6

Mapcode Global: WH6SR.VQDS

Plus Code: 9C7RWP5P+MR

Entry Name: 52/12 Spylaw Bank Road, Edinburgh

Listing Name: 52 Spylaw Bank Road, Sir William Fraser Homes with Pavilions, Birdbath, Garden House, Boundary Walls and Gatepiers

Listing Date: 14 December 1970

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 370290

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB29821

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Edinburgh

County: Edinburgh

Town: Edinburgh

Electoral Ward: Colinton/Fairmilehead

Traditional County: Midlothian

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Description

A J Balfour Paul, 1899. 2-storey, U-plan, Scots Renaissance style almshouses around central courtyard with elaborate over-door carving to central entrance, turrets in re-entrant angles, advanced finialled gabled entrances to wings, pedimented dormers, ridge stacks, and arched pavilions with leaded ogee roofs. Painted render with red sandstone dressings. Band course to entrance gables, eaves course. Raised window margins; dormers to 1st floor of wings with finialled triangular and segmental pediments. Timber-boarded front doors to side wings in stop-chamfered, roll-moulded architraves with prominent keystones and deep cornices. Regular fenestration.

COURTYARD ELEVATIONS: Slightly advanced 3-bay centre. Half-glazed, 2-leaf timber panelled doors to centre with leaded lights and flanking ionic pilasters supporting deep cornice; large segmental-pedimented tablet above with flanking scrolls, bearing inscription (see Notes). Tall windows breaking eaves with shaped finialled gables to bays flanking door. Slightly recessed flanking bays with timber boarded front doors in roll-moulded, key-blocked architraves with triangular pediments. Round turret to left re-entrant angle with weather vane; semi-octagonal turret to right; timber boarded front doors with circular lights and roll moulded architraves; lintel to left inscribed PAX INTRANTIBUS; lintel to right inscribed SALUS EXEUNTIBUS. Long crowstepped gabled wings advanced to each side, each with two advanced coped gables containing 2 doors at ground and paired windows at 1st floor. Regular fenestration to recessed sections; dormers at 1st floor.

N (REAR) ELEVATION: regular fenestration. 4-bay crowstepped central block; 2-leaf half-glazed timber panelled door with finialled pediment to centre; 2 timber boarded doors to outer bays. Slightly lower 2-bay flanking sections with central pedimented windows (probably former doors) at ground. Advanced 2-bay crowstepped gables to outer left and right.

E AND W (REAR) ELEVATIONS: irregularly fenestrated wings with scullery outshots and timber boarded back doors. Sections to N with crowstepped gabled outshots. Slightly lower sections to S with central swept-roof outshots flanked by pedimented dormers and large 2-window shaped slate-hung dormers. Lean-to, single-bay, outshots to outer S bays against garden wall.

6-, 8-, and 12-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows. Ashlar coped skews and skewputts. Rendered stacks with sandstone cornicing and tall red clay cans. Graded grey slate with terracotta ridge tiles. Cast-iron rainwater goods with decorative hoppers. Decorative cast-iron lamps by some front doors.

INTERIOR: access not possible 2003.

BALUSTRADE AND PAVILIONS: raised balustraded pavement around front courtyard with steps to central lawn opposite entrance doors and terminating in 2 pavilions. Square-plan pavilions with single arches to each elevation and pilastered piers to corners; string course at springing point; roll-moulded entablature; dropped keystones; leaded ogee roofs with finial.

GARDEN HOUSE: square-plan, rendered brick garden building to NW of site, with finialled pavilion roof and leaded casements.

BOUNDARY WALL AND GATEPIERS: squared, snecked sandstone rubble boundary wall around whole site with ashlar coping. Raised and recessed section to main entrance; rusticated red sandstone ashlar gatepiers with corniced caps. Timber side gates to garden with flanking ball finials and decorative bracket towards main building.

BIRDBATH: or fountain in centre of courtyard. Tiered double basin on baluster base; carved central pillar supporting upper basin which has projecting runnels for water to fall from; badly corroded stone statue of female figure at top to centre.

Statement of Interest

A very attractive group of almshouses occupying a prominent position on Spylaw Bank Road. They were built at the bequest of Sir William Fraser (1816-98), former Deputy Keeper of the Records of Scotland. He left #25000 to found the homes, which were to house poor persons of good character over the age of 55, with preference given to authors and artists. They are now administered by the Merchant Company. The tablet over the main door is inscribed BLESSED BE GOD FOR ALL HIS GIFTS ~ SIR WILLIAM FRASER K.C.B LL.D DEPARTING THIS LIFE ANNO DOMINI MDCCCXCVIII DEDICATED A GREAT PORTION OF HIS ESTATE TO THE ERECTION OF THIS HOUSE AND THE COMFORT OF ITS INDWELLERS.

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