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Latitude: 55.912 / 55°54'43"N
Longitude: -3.2537 / 3°15'13"W
OS Eastings: 321732
OS Northings: 669477
OS Grid: NT217694
Mapcode National: GBR 88X.F6
Mapcode Global: WH6SR.ZNTN
Entry Name: Colinton Road, Merchiston Castle School, Main School Building
Listing Date: 19 November 2003
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 397112
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49558
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Colinton/Fairmilehead
Traditional County: Midlothian
Dick Peddie and Walker Todd, 1928 (main school buildings), and John Burnet Son and Dick, 1928 (Memorial Hall). 2-storey, 19-bay porticoed school building with advanced end pavilions; 6-bay Memorial Hall extending behind school at right angles, with pedimented dormers and relieving arches at ground to side elevations; astylar study wings parallel with school building; kitchen and service rooms to rear. Harled with sandstone ashlar dressings. Base course and eaves course to all buildings; blocking course and rusticated quoins to school building; 1st-floor cill course to study wings. Regular fenestration throughout. Octagonal ashlar belfry to roof of school with copper roof topped by acorn finial and weather-vane; louvred round-arched openings between paired pilasters.
MAIN SCHOOL BUILDING: slightly advanced Corinthian tetrastyle in antis portico with carved pediment; 4 steps to half-glazed timber panelled doors with border-glazed fanlight in roll-moulded architrave with consoled cornice and garlanded school crest. Advanced end bays with pilastered architraves in rusticated openings to ground-floor windows; similar windows to 3rd and 6th bays from portico. 3-bay side elevations with similar windows at ground to centre and architraved doorways to one side. High base course and regular fenestration to rear.
MEMORIAL HALL (E AND W ELEVATIONS): 2-storey and attic, 6-bay symmetrical hall. 2-storey relieving arches springing from imposts; paired windows at ground to inner arches; 2-leaf, half-glazed timber panelled doors with sidelights to outer arches; single windows at 1st-floor. Pedimented dormers breaking eaves to attic, with roof shot through between.
STUDY WINGS: 2-storey, 7-bay wings at right-angles to Memorial Hall. Central 2-leaf glazed door with fanlight in pilastered, arched architrave with ashlar voussoirs and prominent keystone. Regular fenestration.
N (REAR) ELEVATION: regularly fenestrated 2- and 3-storey service wing (including dining hall, kitchen, boiler house and some bedrooms) with large circular industrial brick stack.
Small-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows. Leaded glazing between timber glazing bars to Memorial hall. Piended grey slate roof with stone ridge tiles. Harled stacks with projecting ashlar neck copes and plain brown cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods with decorative hoppers.
INTERIOR: purpose built main school building housing medical centre, reception and administration to front, library and common rooms to centre with Memorial Hall above. Kitchen, dining room, accommodation and boiler house are located to the rear. Large columned entrance hall leading to double sweep staircase with barley-twist wrought-iron balusters and MCS monogram to each flight. Memorial hall (doubles as chapel): timber braced collar roof; timber stage with large organ at NW end within roll-moulded arch; carved galleries lit by dormers between massive arched principles on beast-headed hammerbeams; timber panelling below; original ironwork hanging lights; timber seating; elliptical arched windows to ground with deep splays;
B-Group with Colinton Castle, Dovecot, Ha-Ha, Gibson House (formerly Colinton House), Stables, House at Walled Garden, Walled Garden, Garden Store, Chalmers and Rogerson Houses, Headmaster's House, South Lodge, Gatepiers and Boundary wall. The school was originally sited at Merchiston Castle, but was moved in the 1920s. The move was instigated by the Dean of Guilds refusal to allow the building of a Memorial Hall at the old site. The Colinton House estate was purchased and the school moved into this purpose built building. The Lutyens inspired main school block contains the administration and medical centre. Behind this is the War Memorial Hall, designed by old Merchistonian, Norman A Dick. It was designed and built to be the centrepiece of the new school with its large Corinthian portico, pediment and great lantern. Two separate blocks (by the same architects), Chalmers House and Rogerson House (listed separately), are boarding houses. The original Colinton House was altered at this time to form the science block and the SW wing altered and a gymnasium added. It is now know as Gibson House. The lodge, also by Dick Peddie and Walker Todd, is stylistically similar and of around the same date.
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