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10 Gayfield Square Including Railings

A Category B Listed Building in Edinburgh, Edinburgh

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.9595 / 55°57'34"N

Longitude: -3.1868 / 3°11'12"W

OS Eastings: 325999

OS Northings: 674691

OS Grid: NT259746

Mapcode National: GBR 8PC.Z5

Mapcode Global: WH6SM.0GQQ

Entry Name: 10 Gayfield Square Including Railings

Listing Date: 19 April 1966

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 396710

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49147

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Edinburgh

County: Edinburgh

Town: Edinburgh

Electoral Ward: City Centre

Traditional County: Midlothian

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Description

1790-1800. 2-storey and basement, 2-bay (single bay to side elevation) house at end of terrace. Droved ashlar; rock-faced with broached margins to basement; to rear, coursed squared rubble with droved long and short quoins and dressed margins. Dividing band between basement and ground floor; cill course to ground floor; eaves cornice; blocking course. Regular fenestration.

NE (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: steps and platt oversailing basement recess to right; timber-panelled door with letterbox fanlight, in cavetto-framed opening framed by Roman Doric pilastered doorpiece. To left, architraved and corniced window opening.

SW (REAR) ELEVATION: to right bay, tripartite windows to ground and 1st floors. Canted tripartite dormer to right bay to roof.

GLAZING etc: predominantly 12-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows; 8-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows to flanking lights of canted dormers; 4-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows to flanking lights of tripartite windows. Timber fascia, grey slate haffits and piend roof to dormers. 2 rooflights to front elevation. Pitched roof; graded grey slates; stone skews and skewputts. Corniced rendered stack to SE.

RAILINGS: spear-head and urn finialled cast iron railings, set on ashlar copes, edging basement recess. Plain railings edging steps and platt.

Statement of Interest

The simple elegance of this small house emphasises its importance as an early example of the semi-detached suburban villa in Edinburgh. It also has streetscape and historical value as an element of the Gayfield estate development.

It is possible that 10 Gayfield Square was designed by the architect Alexander Laing; an advert in the Edinburgh Evening Courant in 1791 proclaimed that Laing was selling a villa in Gayfield Square, but did not specify which one. In 1820, Laing himself was living at 6 Gayfield Square (see separate List description). It therefore seems likely that Laing designed at least one, and possibly all, of the villas on the south side of Gayfield Square.

10 Gayfield Square was originally designed and built with a 3-bay front elevation; the 3rd bay being to the right of the door, forming a symmetrical elevation. In 1887, the Edinburgh School Board submittted a proposal to build London Street Primary School on the corner of East London Street and Gayfield Square. The Board were at this point in possession of 10 Gayfield Square. As part of the scheme for the school, the gardens of the house became the site of playsheds and playground. The house itself was converted for use as a janitor's house. The alterations involved the removal of the bay to the right of the door, and the construction of a new gable-end.

10 Gayfield House forms part of the Gayfield Estate, so called because it stands on the former grounds of Gayfield House (East London Street; 1763-5, still extant; separately listed Category A). These lands were feued by the solicitor James Jollie from 1783. Building began on either side of the drive to the house; the building line on the SW of Gayfield Square follows the line of the drive. These developments began to establish the form of Gayfield Square, which forms the heart of the estate. It was part of Jollie's plan from the beginning that this should be so; in January 1783 he advertised that the Gayfield grounds were to be feued for building purposes 'according to a plan.' His advertisment promised prospective feuars 'remarkably pleasant' rustic situation and 'uncommonly beautiful views' in addition to 'the privilege of the area of the square'. Sasines record that '..the area of Gayfield Place [is] to remain an open space for all time coming.'

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