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Latitude: 55.9033 / 55°54'11"N
Longitude: -3.2591 / 3°15'32"W
OS Eastings: 321374
OS Northings: 668515
OS Grid: NT213685
Mapcode National: GBR 50P5.6N
Mapcode Global: WH6SR.XW6B
Plus Code: 9C7RWP3R+89
Entry Name: Gortonlee, 6 Castlelaw Road, Edinburgh
Listing Name: 6 Castlelaw Road
Listing Date: 17 January 1990
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 371036
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB30226
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Colinton/Fairmilehead
Traditional County: Midlothian
Kininmonth and Spence, 1933. Single-storey and attic L-plan villa with Art-Deco detailing, Dutch gables, bell-cast roof, deep eaves and slate-hung, flat-roofed dormers. Grey painted render with grey tile cills. Basecourse to S. Outside shutters to windows of S and W elevations.
N (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: 5 bays. Advanced 2-storey bay to centre with keel-shaped gable containing unusual timber door in eliptical arched doorway with curved jambs; horizontal stripe mouldings to jambs; single window above. 2 windows flanking door to right with dormer between; single window flanking to left. Recessed bay to outer left with single window. Advanced service wing, forming L to E; timber boarded door to N elevation; 5 narrow windows to left return.
S (GARDEN) ELEVATION: 6-bay. Advanced gabled bay to outer left with tripartite window to ground and slit window to gable apex. Slightly advanced flat-roofed single-storey bay to right of gable with fully glazed door to centre and flanking windows; window to right return; 2 dormers above. Bipartite window and tripartite window to right and outer right bays respectively; roof-line to right of centre slightly lower.
W ELEVATION: gable end with curved brackets flanking to each side at ground. Single window to right; advanced chimney stack to left.
E ELEVATION: (service wing). Wall-head stack to right; flanking dormers. Regular fenestration to other bays.
Lying-pane glazing in timber casements. Tiered, coped stacks. Graded grey slate.
Formerly called Gortonlee. The elevations of the house are influenced by American Dutch architecture, which was quite popular in Britain at that time. Like many of the houses in Colinton, this house is sited and planned so that the principal rooms face South and overlook the main part of the garden, while the less important rooms face East and North. The rooms used by the servants are placed in the NW wing, so that they overlook the entrance to the house but not the main part of the garden, which is thereby kept private. Placing the service rooms to the North of the house has the added advantage that during the hottest part of the day, the kitchen stands in the shadow of the main part of the house.
This house was possibly Basil Spence's first villa design. At this time Spence and William Kinninmonth had just started working as assistants in the office of Rowand Anderson, Balfour Paul. They shared an assistantship which had originally been offered to Kininmonth, but which he had refused to take up unless Spence could come along too (see Edwards p 17). At the same time they set up their own practice together, generally designing modest houses of the type which the Balfour Paul office may have considered to be too small to handle. 6 Castlelaw Road, designed in 1932 for James Allan JP, was one of their earliest commissions.
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