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Latitude: 55.9388 / 55°56'19"N
Longitude: -3.1641 / 3°9'50"W
OS Eastings: 327379
OS Northings: 672361
OS Grid: NT273723
Mapcode National: GBR 8VL.KL
Mapcode Global: WH6SM.CZJM
Entry Name: Holyrood Park, Wells O' Wearie Cottage
Listing Date: 7 October 2003
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 397052
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49515
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Southside/Newington
Traditional County: Midlothian
Circa 1857. Single storey L-plan former shepherd's cottage. Squared and snecked rubble. Entrance elevation to W with slightly advanced pedimented porch in re-entrant angle with 4-panel timber entrance door with fanlight above. Advanced gable to right. Later lean-to to S.
Predominantly 12-pane timber sash and case windows. Graded grey slates. Coped wallhead and gable stacks. Raised skews with skewputts.
INTERIOR: comprehensively modernised. Some 4-panel timber doors and working timber shutters. (Seen 2007).
This characteristically simple 19th century former shepherd's cottage is of much interest to the character and history of the park. The cottage was built for the shepherd who worked in the park and it is a less ornate style than the lodges of the period, which were erected by Robert Matheson. Sheep were kept in the park until 1975, after which they were thought to be a hazard to traffic. The building first appears on the 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey Map of 1876-7, whilst the 1st Edition of 1849-53 shows a small rectangular building to the West described as a sheep ree (a permanent stone sheepfold for use during stormy weather, shearing, etc). A brick building now stands on this site.
The wells in the area, after which the cottage is named, were used by local washerwomen, who laid out their clothes to bleach nearby. This stopped in 1845 when the activity was deemed inconsistent with the Park's recreational function.
The grounds known as Holyrood Park had been associated with the Scottish royal household since the 12th century, and were extended to roughly their present boundaries in 1541-2 by James V. The rights of the Earl of Haddington as hereditary keeper of the Park were bought out in 1843, after Queen Victoria's first visit to the Palace in 1842, bringing it again under Royal control. In 1855-8, at the instigation of Prince Albert, plans were drawn up for the landscaping of the Park. Bogs were drained, Dunsapie and St Margaret's Lochs were formed, the Queen's Drive (originally Victoria Road) was constructed, and lodges built by Robert Matheson, who also executed work at Holyrood Palace during the same period. The other lodges are at Duddingston, Meadowbank, St Leonard's and Holyrood (see separate listings). Albert also intended to build a rustic thatched restaurant at Dunsapie Loch, but this plan was abandoned in the face of stout public opposition. With the exception of the occupied buildings, including the lodges, the Park is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.
List description revised as part of Edinburgh Holyrood Ward resurvey 2007-08. Category changed from B to C(S), 2008.
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