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Latitude: 55.9491 / 55°56'56"N
Longitude: -3.1967 / 3°11'48"W
OS Eastings: 325363
OS Northings: 673542
OS Grid: NT253735
Mapcode National: GBR 8MG.ZX
Mapcode Global: WH6SL.VQYQ
Entry Name: 13-16 (Inclusive Nos) Ramsay Garden
Listing Date: 14 December 1970
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 395657
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB48247
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: City Centre
Traditional County: Midlothian
Stewart Henbest Capper, 1892. Asymmetrical, approximately L-plan 5-storey and attic tenement, built on falling ground, picturesquely grouped, with Arts and Crafts/Scottish vernacular detailing. Cream harled with red sandstone and painted dressings. Swept roofs; broad timber bracketed eaves; crowstepped gables and skews. Bracketed balconies with wrought-iron balustrades; some tabbed surrounds to windows.
S ELEVATION: crowstep-gabled bay to outer right: pend to Ramsay Court to ground; 2-storey oriel to 1st and 2nd floors; bracketed, pentice-roofed jettied oriel above with wrought-iron window guard; crenellated circular stair tower clasping corner to left. 2-bay block to left: glazed door in pentice-roofed porch to ground, small window to left with carved cherub holding sundial beneath in carved surround with inscription (see Notes) and date (1892); corbelled to corner at left to 2nd floor; decoratively bracketed balcony linking to re-entrant angle at 3rd floor; tabbed windows at 4th and 2 finialled dormerheaded windows to attic (that to right bipartite) breaking eaves above corbel table. Recessed bay to outer left with balcony at 4th floor and nesting boxes above.
W ELEVATION: 4-bay block to right: 2-storey oriel to 3rd and 4th floors to centre; jettied balcony with timber balustrade to gabled dormerhead above (windows to 3 sides), flanked by piend-roofed dormers; balcony clasping corner to outer right at 4th floor; small pentice-roofed projection to outer left at 4th floor. 3-bay block to left: 2-storey oriel to 2nd and 3rd floors to left; jettied oriel above; small balcony with curved wrought-iron railings to outer left; piend-roofed dormer to attic to right, swept-roofed tripartite dormer to left.
E ELEVATION: gabled and jettied dormer to attic at outer left, above adjoining former reservoir (separately listed). Asymmetrically gabled N-facing 5-storey and attic elevation to re-entrant angle, with pend to outer left oriel to 3rd floor and jettied window to attic. Regularly fenestrated 3-bay block to left with timber boarded door to right, bracketed eaves, swept roof and tripartite dormer to attic. Engaged 6-stage circular stair tower to corner: timber boarded door in roll-moulded ogee-arched surround with inscription (see Notes) above; windows linked vertically by carved heraldic panels; bracketed balcony with curved wrought-iron balustrade at 6th stage; finialled bell-cast slated roof. 3-bay block to right: door to right in pentice-roofed porch; 2 small pentice-roofed jettied projections to right; oriel to left at 5th floor, gabled 2-window dormer to attic.
Small-pane glazing, some in casement, some in sash and case windows. Corniced stacks with circular cans. Crowstepped skews. Mixture of red tiles and Aberfoyle green slates with terracotta ridge tiles to roofs.
The A group comprises Nos 1-3, Nos 4-10, Nos 11 and 12 and Nos 13-16 Ramsay Garden. The ground on which Ramsay Garden stands was acquired by the poet Allan Ramsay in 1733. On it he built an octagonal villa, Ramsay Lodge, completed circa 1734. The property was purchased by Professor Patrick Geddes from Lord Murray of Henderland, a descendant of Ramsay, in 1890. The complex which Geddes built, incorporating Ramsay Lodge and a plain 18th century tenement to the E, and designed by S Henbest Capper and Sydney Mitchll and Wilson, was an extension of his University Hall, begun in 1883 at 2 Mound Place. As the article in the BUILDER suggests, Geddes' intention was to 'combine the advantages of collegiate life with the more practical needs and shorter purses of Scottish undergraduates.' The SW block (Nos 13-16) was the first to be completed, and was intended to attract 'older men, mostly married, interested in the scheme, at least to the extent of letting a friendly part towards the students.' It included the 12-room flat which Geddes had built for himself. The inscription above the door to the circular tower reads PAX INTRANTIBUS, SALUS EXEUNTIBUS. The sundial to S has a Greek inscription and Burns quote IT'S COMING YET FOR A' THAT. The small pentice-roofed extensions were intended as larders, corbelled out from rows of nesting boxes. The Ramsay Garden complex is important both architecturally and historically, and also has immense townscape importance -particularly the sky-line as viewed from Princes Street.
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