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51 William Street, Edinburgh

A Category B Listed Building in Edinburgh, Edinburgh

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Latitude: 55.9487 / 55°56'55"N

Longitude: -3.2143 / 3°12'51"W

OS Eastings: 324266

OS Northings: 673517

OS Grid: NT242735

Mapcode National: GBR 8JH.D1

Mapcode Global: WH6SL.LRL0

Plus Code: 9C7RWQXP+F7

Entry Name: 51 William Street, Edinburgh

Listing Name: 33-51 (Odd Numbers) William Street

Listing Date: 14 December 1970

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 370615

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB29930

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200370615

Location: Edinburgh

County: Edinburgh

Town: Edinburgh

Electoral Ward: City Centre

Traditional County: Midlothian

Tagged with: Commercial building

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Robert Brown, 1824-5. Extensive 3-storey and basement, plain classical commercial terrace with earlier 19th century shop premises with pilastrade of single and paired pilasters at ground floor at ground floor. Droved ashlar to basement, smooth at 1st and 2nd floors. Squared coursed rubble with long and short ashlar quoins to E elevation. Entrance platts oversailing basement. Deep band course and cornice at 1st floor. Banded cill course at 1st and 2nd floors. Corniced eaves course. Ashlar rybats to openings at E elevation.

NORTH (REAR) ELEVATION: 3-storey 24-bay roughly squared and coursed rubble with tooled long and short quoin stones. Irregular fenestration with tooled rybats lintels and cills.

Large plate glass windows original earlier 19th century shop fronts. Predominantly 12-pane in timber sash and case at 1st and 2nd floors. Corniced gable end and ridge stacks with modern clay cans. Cast-iron railings to ground floor edging basement recess; fleur-de-lys finials Cast-iron rainwater goods.

Statement of Interest

An important grouping of late Georgian shops and tenements. The original earlier 19th century shop front configuration is largely retained. William Street was planned as a service street by Robert Brown. Similar to Rose Street in the first New Town these streets provided accommodation for artisans and tradesmen. It was essential to have such services close to high quality housing, before larger more comprehensive shops were developed. This necessity can also be seen in John Nash's designs for Regents Terrace in London.

William Street was at the centre of land owned by Patrick Walker after being bought for him by his father William Walker. It was developed to a plan drawn up by Robert Brown in 1813 as part of a wider scheme for the development of the Walker Estate.

Robert Brown was an experienced architect, and by the time he was involved with the deigns for the Walker Estate he had already designed several other urban schemes, including between 1810 and 1830 laying out streets in Portobello on land belonging to the Marques of Abercorn. His other notable works include Newington and St. Leonard's church (now The Queen's Hall) and the rearrangement of the interiors for Yester House on behalf of the Marques of Tweeddale. Robert Brown worked on a number of smaller projects in the New Town but the cohesive planning of the Walker estate is amongst one of the best examples of his work. He was especially competent in the design of corner pavilions and parades of shops, as can be seen in his work at North West Circus Place (see separate listing).

(List description revised in 2009 as part of re-survey.)

External Links

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