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Latitude: 55.9561 / 55°57'22"N
Longitude: -3.1742 / 3°10'27"W
OS Eastings: 326781
OS Northings: 674301
OS Grid: NT267743
Mapcode National: GBR 8SD.JC
Mapcode Global: WH6SM.6KQ9
Entry Name: 23 - 42 (Inclusive Nos) Carlton Terrace Mews Including Shared Cobbled Courtyard and Lane
Listing Date: 7 February 2002
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 395803
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB48384
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: City Centre
Traditional County: Midlothian
Laid out by William Playfair, circa 1825; built gradually from 1820s to 1880s. 2-storey, rectangular-plan, plain mews houses around pentagonal cobbled courtyard; single storey to rear. Former carriage entrances to ground floor; some wallhead dormers and hayloft doors breaking eaves; projecting sills to plain windows. Squared and snecked coursed ashlar sandstone. Plain skews on gables and dividing walls.
S (COURTYARD) ELEVATION OF N RANGE, NOS 23 - 29: range of seven 2-storey mews houses comprising from left No 23: altered ground floor with door to left and 4 windows to right; paired piended dormer windows to 1st floor centre and right breaking through eaves. No 24: later door to left, adjacent pair of 2-leaf timber garage doors to right; window to central and right hand bays of 1st floor; rooflight to left. No 25: pair of semi-glazed garage doors to ground floor with later door to centre and bipartite window to right; small window to 1st floor left with square headed piended dormers breaking eaves to centre and right bays. No 26: central entrance door with timber garage doors to left and window to right; to 1st floor, square headed dormers breaking eaves to centre and right bays. No 27: central entrance door with window to left and paired garage doors to right; altered and heightened 1st floor with small window to left and much later bipartite window to right. No 28: concealed by shrubs, with door and windows flanking to ground floor; to 1st floor, pair of square headed piended dormers breaking eaves. No 29: small door with rectangular fanlight above, to centre and right 2½-leaf sliding garage door; window to 1st floor right, raised gable headed window to left formed from hayloft door.
SW (COURTYARD) ELEVATION OF NE RANGE (NOS 30 - 31): to left, No 30: entrance door and window to left bay, timber garage doors to right; to 1st floor, pair of stone gablehead dormers breaking eaves. To right, No 31: entrance door with long range of timber garage doors to right; to 1st floor, stone gabled dormer window breaking through eaves, small window to extreme right with wallhead stack adjacent to left.
NW (COURTYARD) ELEVATION OF SE RANGE (NOS 32 - 35): to left, No 32 and 33: 4-bay elevation; to ground floor, semi-glazed timber garage doors and window to outer left, timber and glazed door with letterbox fanlight to inner left, large window in partly blocked opening to inner right, timber boarded door with letterbox fanlight to outer right; to 1st floor, large window in altered opening to outer left, stone gabled dormer-headed windows breaking eaves. No 34: altered stable entrance to right now entrance door with bipartite window to right, window to central bay, modern garage door to left bay; 3 regularly placed windows to 1st floor, window at right formerly hayloft door. To right, No 35: pair of long semi-glazed garage doors; two irregularly placed windows to 1st floor; 2 rooflights.
NE (COURTYARD) ELEVATION OF SW RANGE (NOS 36 - 42): to left, No 36: slightly canted entrance bay with timber panelled door with 3-light fanlight to ground floor and gabled dormer headed window breaking eaves to 1st floor; further bay following line of main range to right with window to both storeys. No 37: to ground floor, timber boarded door with rectangular fanlight to centre, semi-glazed double doors to right, window to left; paired windows to 1st floor; rooflight to left. No 38-39: large pair of sliding timber doors to ground floor; pair of widely spaced replacement windows in probable former hayloft doors. No 42: altered ground floor with double timber doors to right, recessed bipartite window to centre and plain window to left; window to outer bays of 1st floor. To extreme right, Nos 40 and 41: former stabling now converted to 2 bipartite windows to ground floor; paired windows to 1st floor; further canted section to right with entrance door to left and semi-glazed 2-leaf timber garage doors to ground floor; window to 1st floor; large rooflight to right.
N ELEVATION OF N RANGE (REAR ELEVATIONS OF NOS 23 - 29): partially concealed by high rubble garden wall of Carlton Terrace but mostly blind with single storey lean-to extensions to ground floor replacing former passageway. Blind gable-end to right return with 3 much later square windows placed near top of ground floor.
NE ELEVATION OF NE RANGE (REAR ELEVATIONS OF NOS 30 - 31): not seen, 2002.
SE ELEVATION OF SE RANGE (REAR ELEVATIONS OF NOS 32 - 35): blind return of SW range adjoining to left; 4 single storey elevations with central entrance door to 1st and 2nd mews buildings. Painted wrought-iron gate with pointed bars and plain wrought-iron uprights to entrance, leading to sloped path accessing rear of properties.
SW ELEVATION OF SW RANGE (REAR ELEVATIONS OF NOS 36 - 42): long single storey range divided into 5 sections; blind elevation to 5th section (to far right); 4-bay 4th section with long window to left and door with windows flanking to rest of elevation; door to left and window to right to 3rd section; to 2nd section, door to right with paired windows to left; to 1st section, canted arm adjoining to N with small window to 1st floor left and blind gable end to left return.
Variety of replacement glazing plans to principal elevations. Many Velux roof lights to rear elevations with some 2-pane cast-iron Carron lights still surviving in places. Pitched grey slate roofs with lead and replacement aluminium flashing and valleys. Painted cast-iron rainwater goods. Mutual coped stone stacks with plain paired cans surviving in places.
INTERIORS: many converted to provide modern garaging or workshop space at ground floor; living accommodation to 1st floor.
SHARED COBBLED COURTYARD AND LANE: properties surround cobbled courtyard with raised garden ground to centre. Cobbled lane divides these mews from Regent and Royal Terrace Mews (listed separately).
Part of the Calton A-Group.
Carlton 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. There is no evidence to suggest that the elevations of Carlton Terrace Mews are based on designs by Playfair.
The majority of the mews buildings no longer serve the large houses of Carlton 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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