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43 and 43a North Bridge Street

A Category B Listed Building in Hawick, Scottish Borders

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.4271 / 55°25'37"N

Longitude: -2.7843 / 2°47'3"W

OS Eastings: 350460

OS Northings: 615080

OS Grid: NT504150

Mapcode National: GBR 950P.0C

Mapcode Global: WH7XG.6VDC

Entry Name: 43 and 43a North Bridge Street

Listing Date: 2 August 2001

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 395538

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB48106

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Hawick

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Hawick and Hermitage

Traditional County: Roxburghshire

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Hawick

Description

James Pearson Alison, 1902. 3-storey and attic, roughly 3-bay, symmetrical, gabled block comprising commercial accommodation at ground floor and living accommodation above, with Dutch-inspired Arts and Crafts detailing. Stugged, squared, coursed red sandstone with polished ashlar dressings. Deep ground-floor cornice. Chamfered window margins. Central 2-storey projection with shop window at ground floor, stone-mullioned bipartite window at 1st floor and curved parapet. Stone steps to timber-boarded, half-glazed (small-pane to left, oval to right) doors in stop-chamfered, moulded surrounds with depressed-arched multi-pane fanlights in outer bays, labelled 'STUDIO' (left) and 'HOUSE' (right). 2 tripartite, stone-mullioned windows to 2nd floor; arrowslit attic window in apex of gable.

Fixed-pane glazing to ground-floor display window; plate glass in timber sash and case windows at 1st floor; non-traditional uPVC windows above. Grey slate roof with metal ridge. Ashlar-coped skews. Corniced ridge stacks with circular red clay cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods with decorative hopper.

INTERIOR: 4 slender metal columns supporting roof of former photographic studio at ground floor to rear (see NOTES). Some 2-panel timber doors to ground floor. Polychrome ceramic floor tiles in geometric pattern to lobby of 'House'; timber stair to 1st floor; some decorative cornices and servants' bell indicator at 1st floor; timber stair with square timber balusters, fretted slats, square newels and polished timber handrail to upper storeys; small cast-iron chimneypiece at 2nd floor.

Statement of Interest

B-Group comprises Nos 41, 43 & 43A, 45 & 47 and 49 North Bridge Street - see separate list entries.

One element in a range of five striking Dutch-, Art Nouveau- and Arts and Crafts-inspired red sandstone buildings, with fine detailing, all by James Pearson Alison (1862-1932), Hawick's most prominent architect, who built the adjacent No 45 for his own use. Alison had commenced practice in the town in 1888, and remained there until his death in 1932, during which period he was responsible for a large number of buildings of widely varying types and styles, including a considerable proportion of Hawick's listed structures.

This building was built as the studio, workshop and house of 'Artist Photographer, Portrait & Animal Painter & Picture Framer' John Edward Dodd Murray (born 1858). Despite competition from Robert Bell and Thomas T Wilkinson in High Street, Jenner & Co in Exchange Arcade and G A Robinson, also in (North) Bridge Street, Murray - popularly known as 'J.E.D.' (pronounced 'Jed') - became 'Hawick's Photographer'. His clients including the bicycle club, the operatic society and each year's Cornet (leader of Hawick's Common Riding, a major festival commemorating the 1514 defeat of Lord Dacre's English Army at Hornshole, two miles away, by a party of local youths); he was Cornet himself in 1890. Plans for 43 North Bridge Street were approved in June 1902, and Murray moved here in November 1902 from his previous premises on the corner of North Bridge Street and Croft Road, where the former post office now stands. JED died in 1936 but his son Melgund remained in business at the premises until 1972 when he sold it upon his retirement.

The ground floor and basement of the building are now occupied by the Border Club. The former photographic studio, which occupies the rear part of the ground floor of the building, retains its original form, although the skylights which originally occupied the entire length of the sloping section of ceiling to the north have been filled in. The ground drops steeply away to the rear of the building, allowing for an additional basement floor which now contains a snooker hall. The original plans show that the accommodation in the house above the studio comprised a kitchen with a scullery off it, a dining room, a drawing room, four bedrooms and a bathroom. JED turned one of the bedrooms into a smoking room, in which he kept Common Riding memorabilia; the current owner [2007] believes that this must have been the 2nd-floor north room at the front of the house, which was severely nicotine-stained when she bought it. List description revised following resurvey (2008).

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