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Latitude: 55.956 / 55°57'21"N
Longitude: -3.1754 / 3°10'31"W
OS Eastings: 326710
OS Northings: 674290
OS Grid: NT267742
Mapcode National: GBR 8SD.9F
Mapcode Global: WH6SM.6K5D
Plus Code: 9C7RXR4F+CV
Entry Name: 20 Royal Terrace Mews, Edinburgh
Listing Name: 1 - 12 (Inclusive Nos) Regent Terrace Mews and 13 - 22 (Inclusive Nos) Royal Terrace Mews and Shared Cobbled Lane
Listing Date: 7 February 2002
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 395788
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB48383
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: City Centre
Traditional County: Midlothian
Laid out by William Playfair, circa 1825; built gradually from 1820s to 1880s. Terrace of 9 and 10, 2-storey mews buildings facing each other. Coursed snecked sandstone rubble with cream ashlar dressings; to rear, predominantly coursed squared rubble to upper courses, snecked rubble to lower courses. SE angle of Royal Mews chamfered at ground floor, moulded skew leading to 1st floor angle.
REGENT TERRACE MEWS (SOUTH RANGE):
N (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: Nos. 1 and 2: to ground floor; to left timber-boarded door with rectangular fanlight, later enlarged tripartite window to right; 2 irregular sized windows to 1st floor. No 3: paired timber garage doors to left and centre of ground floor with entrance door adjacent to right; irregular sized windows to left and right of 1st floor. No 4: semi-glazed garage doors to ground floor; timber boarded hayloft door to 1st floor left. No 5: semi-glazed garage doors to ground floor; small window to 1st floor left, larger window to right. No 6: semi-glazed garage doors to ground floor; small window to 1st floor right. No7: semi-glazed garage doors to ground floor; small window to 1st floor left, larger window to right. No 8: timber boarded garage doors to ground, small window to 1st floor left, larger window to right. No 9: to ground floor, door to left, timber boarded garage door to right; to 1st floor, small window to 1st floor left, larger window to right. No 10: 2-leaf timber boarded garage door to left, 2-leaf timber boarded door to right; to 1st floor, window to left, porthole window to centre, paired windows to right. No 11 and 12: to ground floor; timber boarded door with 3-light fanlight to left, 2-leaf timber boarded garage doors to centre and right; to 1st floor, 4 windows, dormer 'headed windows breaking eaves to inner left and right; wallhead stack to centre.
W ELEVATION: gabled end adjoining rubble garden wall of Regent Gardens.
S (REAR) ELEVATION: single storey elevations. Nos. 1and 2 to far right, 3 small square openings. No 3: 2 windows, barred. No 4: 2 small square openings to left and centre, larger window to right. No 5: timber panelled and glazed door, flanked to left and right by small square openings. No 6: low-level window to left, blocked bipartite openings to centre and right. No 7: blocked bipartite opening to left, barred window to right, both at ground level. No 8: single small square opening to centre at ground level. No 9: single small square opening to right at ground level; corniced wallhead stack to left. No 10: two large windows. No 11 and 12: rendered with sandstone margins, two large barred windows breaking eaves, to far left and right, tall rendered wallhead stacks.
E ELEVATION: gabled end with later garage door to left and centre of ground floor, altered windows above to 1st floor, lowered gablehead stack surmounting. High rubble garden wall adjoining to left with timber boarded door leading to rear of properties.
ROYAL TERRACE MEWS (NORTH RANGE):
S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: Nos 13 and 14: to ground floor; 2-leaf timber boarded and glazed door to left, window to centre, to right timber panelled door flanked by windows in partly blocked cart opening; to 1st floor, window to outer right, hayloft opening with glazed door to inner left, 2 windows to right. Nos 15 and 16: to ground floor, timber boarded and glazed garage door to left window to centre, window in partly blocked cart opening to right; to 1st floor, windows to left and right, to centre, metal forestair with wrought iron balusters leading to hayloft opening with timber boarded and glazed door. No 17: later recessed garage door and glass brick wall to ground floor; hayloft door to 1st floor left with small window to right; glazed ridge light to roof. No 18: to ground floor, semi-glazed garage doors to left, window to centre, timber panelled door with letterbox fanlight and timber boarded garage door to right; to 1st floor, 4 windows, (tripartite to 3rd bay from left), windows to 1st, 3rd and 4th bays from left breaking eaves and rising into gables with pierced boarding; shaped bargeboard to eaves to left. No 19: entrance door to ground floor left, bipartite window to right; paired windows to 1st floor. No 20: semi-glazed timber garage doors to ground floor; paired windows to 1st floor. Nos 21 and 22: paired semi-glazed timber garage doors to left and centre, slightly lower semi-glazed 2-leaf timber doors to right; window to left and central bay of 1st floor with wallhead stack between, blind hayloft door to right bay.
E ELEVATION: gabled end with paired timber garage door with adjacent semi glazed entrance door to ground floor right, 3 regularly placed windows to 1st floor, gablehead stack surmounting.
N (REAR) ELEVATION: single storey from No 13 to No 17; 2-storey from No 18 to No 22. Nos 13 and 14: door opening to left, bipartite window to centre, glazed opening to right, rendered wallhead stack to far right. Nos 15 and 16: 2-leaf timber panelled garage doors to left, window to centre, window breaking eaves to right. No 17: 2 windows. No 18: to ground floor, bipartite window to left, 2 windows to right; to 1st floor, 2 dormer-headed windows breaking eaves to left, bipartite dormer-headed window breaking eaves to right. No 19: 2 windows to ground floor, 2 windows to 1st floor. No 20: 2 windows to ground floor, 2 windows to 1st floor. Nos 21 and 22: 3 barred windows to ground floor, 3 windows to 1st floor.
W ELEVATION: gabled end adjoining rubble garden wall of Regent Gardens.
Variety of glazing patterns. Pitched grey slate roofs with aluminium ridging, flashings and valleys. Straight skews at dividing walls. Some mutual coped stacks surviving.
INTERIOR: remodelled to form housing; some ground floors remain in use as garaging and workshops.
COBBLED LANE: sloped cobbled lane with central open rainwater drain dividing the rows of mews housing
Part of the Calton A-Group.
Royal and Regent Terrace Mews is one of the few remaining complete mews complexes in Edinburgh, and as such holds a great deal of historical and social interest in its own right. They are also the ancillary buildings to, and an integral part of one of the most important examples of the application of Picturesque principles applied to urban planning in the early nineteenth century. The Calton Hill scheme, particularly the showpiece Royal, Regent and Carlton Terraces and their associated mews, is particularly significant for the way in which the scheme appreciates and maintains the picturesque landscape of Calton Hill itself, rather than trying to subordinate it. The way in which these streets have been laid out, built up on only one side to ensure spectacular views, and maintaining the topography and picturesque landscape of Calton Hill behind the terraces is crucial to the success of the scheme. The ancillary mews streets were planned by W H Playfair to ensure that the layout and situation were as unobtrusive and compactly discreet as possible, while still fulfilling their practical purpose. W H Playfair was one of the major driving forces of the Greek Revival in Edinburgh in the early nineteenth century, and his public commissions such as the National Monument, the Royal Institution and the National Gallery (see separate listings) gave strength to Edinburgh's reputation as the Athens of the North; the Calton Scheme was one of his few domestic commissions.
The majority of the mews buildings no longer serve the large houses of Regent and Royal Terrace, and have been converted to provide garaging or workshops on the ground floor, with residential accommodation above. Generally, the evidence of the carriage or stable entrance at ground floor with a hayloft and groom's quarters above still survives even after renovation or conversion.
The origins of the Eastern New Town, which was to occupy the east end of Calton Hill and lands to the north of it on the ground between Easter Road and Leith Walk, lie in a 'joint plan for building' which three principal feuars (Heriot's Hospital, Trinity Hospital and Mr Allan of Hillside) entered into in 1811. In 1812 a competition was advertised for plans for laying out the grounds in question. Thirty-two plans were received, displayed and reported on by a variety of people, including eight architects. Eventually, it was decided that none of the plans was suitable. However, it was a more general report by William Stark (who died shortly after submitting it) which caught the attention of the Commissioners and formed the basis of the final scheme. Stark's central argument stressed the importance of planning around the natural contours and features of the land rather than imposing formal, symmetrical street plans upon it. After several years of little or no progress, in 1818 the Commissioners finally selected William Henry Playfair, Stark's former pupil, to plan a scheme following his master's Picturesque ideals.
The resulting scheme, presented to the Commissioners in 1819, preserved the view of and from Calton Hill by the creation of a limited triangular development of the three single-sided terraces (to make the most of the spectacular views), Royal, Regent and Carlton (originally known as Carlton Place, named after the Prince Regent's Carlton House in London), on the hill itself. These looked over a huge radial street pattern, centred on the gardens of Hillside Crescent, on the land to the north. The feuing of these lower lands started well, with Elm Row, Leopold Place, Windsor Street and the west side of Hillside Crescent being built fairly swiftly. Carlton Terrace was marked out in plots in 1826, and building began slowly the following year; the majority of houses were not complete until the 1830s. Meanwhile, demand for the feus in other streets of the scheme faltered severely, due to the growing popularity of new properties being built to the west of the New Town. The fate of the whole Calton scheme was sealed in 1838, when it was decided that feuars should pay poor-rates to both Edinburgh and Leith. This virtually halted development for the next thirty years. The result of all these problems was that very little of Playfair's original scheme was ever built.
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