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Latitude: 55.9462 / 55°56'46"N
Longitude: -3.1913 / 3°11'28"W
OS Eastings: 325695
OS Northings: 673216
OS Grid: NT256732
Mapcode National: GBR 8PH.2Y
Mapcode Global: WH6SL.YSHX
Plus Code: 9C7RWRW5+FF
Entry Name: 17 Forrest Road, Edinburgh
Listing Name: 7-25 (Odd Nos) Forrest Road
Listing Date: 29 March 2001
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 395247
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB47863
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: City Centre
Traditional County: Midlothian
R Thornton Shiells, 1872, earlier building to N incorporated and altered, 1891 by R Thornton Shiells & Thomson 4-storey and attic, 11-bay asymmetrical block of Baronial tenements with shops and public house to ground floor (4 bays to Forresthill). Squared and snecked bull-faced sandstone with polished dressings (painted to ground). Base course; continuous cornice to shops (not including Nos 7 and 9; bracketed to public house); string course stepping up over windows at 1st floor (not including Nos 7 and 9); corbel table at 3rd floor. Long and short quoins. Stop-chamfered openings to ground floor; tabbed surrounds to windows at 1st and 2nd floors; timber panelled doors with plate glass fanlights to flats. Finialled crowstepped gables to dormerheads breaking eaves at 3rd floor.
E (FORREST ROAD) ELEVATION: angle turret with conical slated roof to outer right; balustered balcony to corner at 2nd floor below. Gable to 2nd and 3rd bays from right. Bipartites in 3rd bay from right with carved panel in gable above. Corbelled central wallhead stack with chequer-set machicolations and carved panel to centre, flanked by single windows with gabletted dormerheads. Angled bipartites in 5th bay from left, with chequer-set machicolations to gabled dormerhead. Canted window with swept corbelled gable in 4th bay from left. Wallhead stack flanked by single windows with gabletted dormerheads in 2nd and 3rd bays form left; finialled timber dormers to attic. Full-height canted window at outer left, with chequer-set machicolations to gabled 3rd floor, with bracketed cill to segmental-arched bipartite and carved panel in gable; small timber dormer to facetted slated corner spire. 2-leaf timber panelled storm door and glazed inner door to public house on canted corner.
S (FORRESTHILL) ELEVATION: wallhead stack with chequer-set machicolations and carved panel to outer right. Gable with wallhead stack to centre. Gabletted dormerhead breaking eaves to left.
INTERIOR (SANDY BELL'S BAR): timber bar and corniced gantry with mirrored shelves and clock; broken pedimented arch to rear; timber panelling and settles.
Predominantly 4-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows. Grey slates. Corniced stacks with circular cans.
This well-detailed, strategically-sited terrace of tenements contributes significantly to the townscape. It is located on the road leading from the High Street to the Meadows, and the north end overlooks the Flodden Wall at the corner of Greyfriars graveyard.
The 1891 corner addition was carried out by the practice of Thornton Shiells & Thomson. It is thought that a small building on the corner site was reworked and raised to the 4-storey and attic tenement overlooking Greyfriars. Drawings dated 30 March 1891 show the ground floor shop with a 4-part basket arched arcade.
Robert Thornton Shiells was born in 1833. He was apprenticed to David Bryce and had commenced his own practice by 1857. He was working from 62 George Street by 1862 and, after a brief partnership with John Paterson, he moved to 65 George Street in 1857-58 and entered in to partnership with James M Thomson. The Dictionary of Scottish Architects notes that "the continuity of style with Sheills's work suggests that Sheills remained the principal designer, or that Thomson had been his principal assistant". From early in his career R Thornton Shiells designed a number of villas and tenements, but the main body of work was ecclesiastical.
List description updated 2010.
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