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Latitude: 55.9139 / 55°54'49"N
Longitude: -3.16 / 3°9'35"W
OS Eastings: 327592
OS Northings: 669583
OS Grid: NT275695
Mapcode National: GBR 8WW.DJ
Mapcode Global: WH6ST.FMH6
Entry Name: 81 Kirk Brae,st Hilda's
Listing Date: 15 April 1996
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 389659
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB43249
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Liberton/Gilmerton
Traditional County: Midlothian
Possibly earlier 19th century, with mid and late 19th century alterations and additions resulting in complex plan. Former school, converted to housing circa 1945. 2 and 3-storey building with flat-roofed 2-storey wing filling in central courtyard and large mansard roof with corner bartizans to attic. Squared and coursed ashlar with polished ashlar dressings. Sash and case windows, some plate glass, some 12-pane glazing pattern, some modern replacement glazing to attic.
W ELEVATION: flat-roofed, corniced porch with blocking course, door to re-entrant to N with small-paned strip fanlight. 3 windows above at 1st floor. Taller pavilion to S with canted bay rising through 3 floors to left, dormers to attic. Lower, 2-storey pavilion to N has 2 windows to each floor, dormers to attic.
N ELEVATION: 3-bay, each slightly advanced with corbel at eaves. Central bay possibly to earlier building with late 19th century canted bay addition, contemporary with large ground-floor and canted 1st floor window to left adjoining the slightly lower block to E. Outer right bay slightly advanced with canted window through 2 floors, piended at cornice. 3 very large dormers to attic.
E ELEVATION: exposed random rubble suggests L-plan block to right is earlier house, 2-storey with later attic, square 3-stage stair tower in angle with 2-leaf door at ground, windows above, slated pyramidal roof with pedimented lucarnes. Some 12-pane sash and case windows remain. Taller, 3-storey and attic range adjoining to left with 4-pane sash and case windows, dormers to mansard.
Grey slates to mansard, slated turrets to S and W with finials.
Rubble coped, randon rubble BOUNDARY WALLS to Springwood Park and Kirkbrae, gatepiers modern.
INTERIOR: some internal details of school interior remain to rooms to N.
The rear of the original house seems to be visible in the E elevation. Listed for its important contribution to Liberton's townscape. Ferenbach notes that this was St Hilda's School for Girls until 1939 when it evacuated to Ballinkinrain, near Balfron where it remained. St Hilda's was used by the military during the war and afterwards it was subdivided into flats.
NW portion added as wards/dayrooms for 'imbeciles' 1869. This date coincides with the addition of the mansard top storey. This work was probably initiated by Dr David Brodie and his wife Martha. Brodie is famed as a pioneer of juvenile mental health in Scotland and previously worked as the 'superintendent of imbeciles' in Larbert, one of Scotland's first mental health institutions.
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