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St Catherine's Convent, 4 Lauriston Gardens, Edinburgh

A Category B Listed Building in Edinburgh, Edinburgh

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Latitude: 55.9441 / 55°56'38"N

Longitude: -3.1992 / 3°11'57"W

OS Eastings: 325195

OS Northings: 672993

OS Grid: NT251729

Mapcode National: GBR 8MJ.GP

Mapcode Global: WH6SL.TVQJ

Plus Code: 9C7RWRV2+M8

Entry Name: St Catherine's Convent, 4 Lauriston Gardens, Edinburgh

Listing Name: 4 Lauriston Gardens, St Catherine's Church (Roman Catholic) and Convent, Including Retaining Walls, Gatepiers and Gate

Listing Date: 28 August 1989

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 371010

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB30205

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Edinburgh

County: Edinburgh

Town: Edinburgh

Electoral Ward: City Centre

Traditional County: Midlothian

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David Cousin, 1860, and Archibald Macpherson, 1887 and 1892. 2- and 3-storey conventual building in domestic gothic style, with 4-storey Mansard-roofed tower to W, doubled in size by sympathetic addition of 2-storey ranges and church (Macpherson, 1887); addition of attic with swept dormers incorporated in church design and further alterations (Macpherson, 1892); single storey sacristy and porch; diminutive cloister garth formed by Macpherson's additions of 1887. Squared and snecked bull-faced sandstone with ashlar dressings. Base course. Chamfered reveals; stone mullions; some hoodmoulds and relieving arches.


S RANGE: Cousin, 1860. 2-storey and attic 8-bay S elevation with taller bay to outer left. Canted stairwell to centre, jettied above ground floor and breaking eaves in panelled parapet with decorative, mannered blocking course; small window to centre at ground, regular windows above. Tall windows flanking centre at ground arranged 1-3-1 each side with lintel course; 3 windows to 1st floor and 3 small windows at 3rd floor breaking eaves with finialled gabled dormerheads flanking centre. Lower projecting 2-storey gabled bay to outer right with 4-light window to 1st floor; paired dormerheads breaking eaves to E return. 4-storey Mansard-roofed tower to W elevation.

N ADDITIONS: Macpherson, 1887. Flat-roofed porch to W, set in re-entrant angle formed at foot of earlier tower; timber panells door with gothic details set in decoratively-carved hood-moulded Tudor-arched surround. 2-storey 5-bay block to E, regularly fenestrated (stone-mullioned bipartites), with full-height piend-roofed 4-light canted window breaking eaves to right.

INTERIOR: decorative mosaic floor to vestibule. Pointed-arch ceiling to corridor by chapel, with boldly carved and linked corbels bearing decorative trefoil details; cantilevered scale and platt staircase with wrought-iron balustrades; statues of saints in niches lining corridor; wainscot rail and round-arched window recesses by courtyard; variety of timber chimneypieces and marble slips; decorative plaster cornice to library and strapwork to sections of corridor.

CHURCH: Macpherson, 1887. Adjoined to N of conventual buildings with corridor to S bounding courtyard. W gable steeply pitched and mannered, with Renaissance details and corniced windows; stone-mullioned and -transomed tripartite window with open swan-neck pediment cradling square panel above, flanked by single windows; bipartite attic window with oval opening above. N elevation abutted by piend-roofed porch to gabled sacristy (running parallel to church); gabled hall projecting at right angles to left, with tripartite window in N gable; swept dormers to pitched roof of church.

INTERIOR: single-aisled chapel with gallery to S above conventual corridor. Fine woodwork (see Notes), including decorative consoles to beams and cornice; strapwork plaster above altar; panelled doors in surrounds with fluted pilasters and swan-necked pediments; brass door fittings. Oval window with decorative leaded pattern cradled in pediment over S door. Ornately-carved arcaded stalls with canopy to N and S (see Notes). Decorative timber balustrade to gallery. Tripartite Renaissance marble altar; reredos with marble wainscot, statues in niches and painting of Crucifixion (see Notes). Modern marble lectern and stool. Tripartite stained glass window to W (see Notes).

Predominantly plate glass in timber sash and case windows. Graded grey slates. Stone skews with bracketed skewputs. Corniced stone chimneys (splayed to gableheads) with circular cans.

RETAINING WALLS, GATEPIERS AND GATE: ashlar-coped squared and snecked grey sandstone walls to W, with corniced ashlar piers (ball-finialled to left of gate) where wall steps down; arch-coped rubble retaining walls to E. Wrought-iron gate with decorative wrought-iron arch over, flanked by long and short ashlar blocks.

Statement of Interest

Ecclesiastical building in use as such. B group comprises 4 Lauriston Gardens, St Catherine's Church and Convent, and 2 Lauriston Gardens, the late 18th century villa known as Macauley House (formerly Lauriston Lodge), in whose grounds the convent and church were built. The Convent, occupied by the Sisters of Mercy, is dedicated to St Catherine of Sienna. The Builder was William Matheson. Woodwork in the church is by Whytock and Reid (Edinburgh); Spanish walnut stalls (1890's) - also by Whytock and Reid, were each paid for by a family, and cost between ?44 and ?49 (information courtesy of Sister Rose, 1989). Italian marble altar brought from Rome circa 1887; formerly incorporating baldacchino, dismantled to provide reredos and altar after Vatican 2. Stained glass in windows to W and one window to N, each in memory of a departed Sister (post 1989). Organ by Bevington and sons, circa 1887. A laundry to the N was demolished by R Fairlie and partners in 1972.

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