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Latitude: 55.9453 / 55°56'43"N
Longitude: -3.1826 / 3°10'57"W
OS Eastings: 326238
OS Northings: 673107
OS Grid: NT262731
Mapcode National: GBR 8QJ.T8
Mapcode Global: WH6SM.2TRM
Plus Code: 9C7RWRW8+4X
Entry Name: Theatre Arts Centre, 6 Davie Street, Edinburgh
Listing Name: 6 Davie Street, Former Heriot's School, Including Boundary Walls, Gates and Gatepiers
Listing Date: 19 July 2001
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 395521
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB48083
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Southside/Newington
Traditional County: Midlothian
John Chesser, 1875; 1887 addition. 2-storey, 9-bay former school building, composed of 5 sections each one projecting further than the previous from left to right. Scots Neo-Jacobean. Basic L-plan when viewed from front; view from rear is T-plan. Highly distinctive central 3 bays with crocketted crowsteps to gable and tourelles, stone carved with school's name and architect in centre of gablehead, all windows have pediments with strapwork and stars and roses, carving of industrious putti at apex of scrolled pediment; 1 - storey projection to right (in re-entrant angle) with 'Junvenile' entrance and recessed 'Infants' entrance to left. Both doorways framed by Doric pilasters, with putti heads carved on the
entablature, supporting a broken pediment with a cartouche in the centre (composed of mask, scrolls, shield with hammer carving and crown at apex), the entrances are arched with the entwined initials GH (George Heriot) carved on the keystone. Base course; buckle quoins at arisses; string course at 1st floor; many windows crowned with pediments decorated with strapwork; star and rose motif recur frequently; stepped and shaped parapet to left hand range with Dutch gable that carries date stone; cupola, with weathervane, in centre of roof.
SW (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: 9-bay elevation composed of 5 parts. 2 bays at left: single windows at ground - broken segmental pediment to left window and triangular pediment to right window both decorated with strapwork; 2 single windows above; decorative parapet with Dutch gable in front of twin stacks. Projecting single bay: original Infants' entrance altered to window; single window above. 3-bay central section: central bipartite window with single window flanking at both ground and 1st floors; each window surmounted with decorative carving, those at ground with broken pediments. 1 - storey projection in re-entrant angle: 'Juvenile' entrance at ground with single window above and shaped parapet; single window at ground of left return. 2-bay gable end: regular fenestration; windows at ground with pediments and strapwork; 1st floor windows have lintel surmounted with blind shield and strapwork; finial at apex of gable; regular fenestration in end 2 bays of left return; lantern in centre of roof ridge.
NW ELEVATION: bipartite windows in right bay at ground and 1st floors; arched louvered ventilator in gablehead; paired stacks at gablehead.
NE (REAR) ELEVATION: central 3-bay projection: regular fenestration with arched louvered ventilator in gablehead; regular fenestration on left return; adjoining extension to right return. 3-bay range to left: single window in left bay at ground; 1 - storey, 2-bay extension to right, with windows to each face; single windows in left and centre bay at 1st floor, blind 3rd bay. Later extension to right of central range: 2-storey, 2-bay square extension with regular fenestration.
SE ELEVATION: bipartite windows in right bay at ground and 1st floors with restored margins and transoms; bipartite windows in right bay of gable-end; arched louvered ventilator in gablehead; twin stacks at gable head.
Predominantly 12-pane timber sash and case windows; also 8-pane and 9-pane glazing; some modern glazing; protective grilles to ground
floor windows to rear elevation. Slate roof; crocketted crowstepped gable in centre of main elevation; straight skew to gable at right of entrance elevation; straight skews with cylindrical mouldings to side gables; straight skew to rear gable; polygonal ridge, gablehead and wallhead paired stacks.
INTERIOR: functional with minimal decorative treatment. All rooms have dado timber lining boards to waist height, plain walls and cornices, exposed pipework; vaulted ceiling to gymnasium; plain front and rear stairs.
BOUNDARY WALLS, GATES AND GATEPIERS: low coping stones with replacement railings to Davie Street. Squared and snecked rubble with coping to rear; relatively low, rising to greater height at left side. Original cast-iron carriage and pedestrian gates and gatepiers to Davie Street.
Heriot's School was commissioned by the Trustees of the Heriot's Trust in keeping with its philanthropic benefactor's wishes. George Heriot, the benefactor of the Heriot's Trust, was a goldsmith and jeweller for King James VI and Queen Anne. He died in 1624 and, after providing for his two illegitimate daughters and other relatives, he left the residue of this estate to the ministers of Edinburgh for the building and endowing of a 'Hospital and Seminarie of Orphans, for education, nursing and upbringing of youth'. On the 11th April 1659, George Heriot's Hospital admitted its first pupils. During the late 19th century the Trustees of Heriot's Trust embarked on other major buildings schemes, most of which were designed by the Trust's architect, John Chesser. These works included three schools: St Bernard's Primary School, Dean Street, which was erected between 1874 and 1877, and was subsequently extended by Robert Wilson in 1887; Regent Road School, London Road and Montrose Terrace, which was also begun in 1874 and received an extension by Robert Wilson in 1894; and Heriot's School, Davie Street, which was built in 1875 and had an extension added to the rear in 1887, which was presumably designed by Wilson too. All three schools share Scots Neo-Jacobean features including tourelles, buckle quoins, broken pediments and strapwork. The choice of style is unsurprising considering the date and design of the parent building on Lauriston Place. Another shared detail of the designs is the proliferation of stars and roses in the decoration of these buildings: the reason for the use of these motifs is that they were the emblems of George Heriot. Heriot's School was not the first school to be built on the Davie Street Site. The 1st Edition OS Map, of 1854, shows the site being used as the 'Lancasterian School'.
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