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Latitude: 55.9332 / 55°55'59"N
Longitude: -3.217 / 3°13'1"W
OS Eastings: 324068
OS Northings: 671798
OS Grid: NT240717
Mapcode National: GBR 8HN.WL
Mapcode Global: WH6SS.K4BB
Entry Name: Napier Road and Spylaw Road, Walls and Gatepiers of Former Rockville House (1-18 the Limes)
Listing Date: 1 August 2003
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 396853
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49358
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Morningside
Traditional County: Midlothian
Sir James Gowans, 1858. Walls and gatepiers of the former Rockville House, demolished 1966. Pyramidally-capped circular?plan gatepiers in rubble banded with ashlar. Rubble walls with bull-faced ashlar copes, alternately stepped.
The walls and gatepiers are all that remain of Rockville, the house which Gowans designed for himself in his own idiosyncratic style. There were previously railings with Gowans' initials. The house had steep mansard roofs with deep bracketed eaves and decorative brattishing, and a 5-stage domed tower 64 feet tall due to which it came to be known affectionately as 'the pagoda'; it was constructed of rubble with a grid system of banded ashlar.
Gowans' buildings were based on his theory of standardised construction, with fixed angles and a stock module of 2 feet, to facilitate mass production. He ran a quarrying business, and was deeply. interested in the practical and aesthetic qualities of stone. Rockville could be seen as the ultimate expression of Gowans' fusion of Rationalism and Romanticism. 'Lammerburn', a smaller and less ambitious house on the other side of Napier Road, survives and gives some idea of how Rockville must have been.
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