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Latitude: 55.9079 / 55°54'28"N
Longitude: -3.2513 / 3°15'4"W
OS Eastings: 321870
OS Northings: 669017
OS Grid: NT218690
Mapcode National: GBR 88Y.XN
Mapcode Global: WH6SS.1R1T
Plus Code: 9C7RWP5X+5F
Entry Name: Nos 1-4, 15 Thorburn Road, Edinburgh
Listing Name: 15/1-4, 15/9-15, 15/17-22, 15/27-31 Thorburn Road, (All Inclusive Numbers) and 4 Redford Road, the Cottage Homes, with Sundial, Boundary Walls, Gates and Gatepiers
Listing Date: 19 November 2003
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 397133
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49571
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Colinton/Fairmilehead
Traditional County: Midlothian
Robert Wilson, 1891; John A Carfrae, 1902-1928; some later additions. 3 single-storey and 2 2-storey almshouses. Earlier buildings sandstone with grey slate; later buildings rendered with red tiles. Predominantly non-traditional uPVC windows.
4 REDFORD ROAD: J A Carfrae, 1902. Single-storey, T-plan, cottage with deep eaves and broad half-timbered bargeboarded gables. Squared, snecked sandstone with red sandstone ashlar dressings. Advanced gable to NE with timber boarded door in stop-chamfered depressed-arch architrave with small flowers in spandrels; FLEMING HOME OF REST 1903 inscribed to right of door; mullioned bipartite window to left. 4-light canted window below bracketed gablehead to SE. 3-bay elevation to SW with asymmetrical gables to outer bays. Later 2-window flat-roofed extension to NW.
Corniced, coped stacks with red clay cans. Graded grey slate roof with red ridge tiles.
15/1-4 THORBURN ROAD: R Wilson, 1891. Single-storey, 6-bay rectangular-plan row of cottages with bargeboarded M-gable and lower modern extensions to NW and SE elevations; king-posted gabled porches in penultimate bays to SW and NE elevations with small flanking windows and mullioned bipartite windows in other bays. Squared, snecked brown sandstone with droved red sandstone ashlar dressings. Timber boarded doors with plate glass fanlights below porches to SW elevation; inscription by left-hand door reads: WILLIAM SMALL MERCHANT EDINBURGH BEQUEATHED THIS COTTAGE TO THE AGED CHRISTIAN FRIEND SOCIETY OF WHICH HE WAS ONE OF THE FOUNDERS AND ITS FIRST HON: SECRETARY. THINE HEARTS DESIRE. Inscription by right-hand door reads: THIS COTTAGE IS DEDICATED TO EMILY COLDSTREAM WIFE OF THE DONOR JOHN COLDSTREAM W.S. ONE OF THE VICE-PRESIDENTS AND THE FIRST CHAIRMAN OF DIRECTORS OF THE SOCIETY MAY 1892. Timber boarded doors in extensions to NE; windows under porches.
Graded grey slates with red ridge tiles. Corniced stacks; clay cans.
15/9-15 THORBURN ROAD: 1906, J A Carfrae. Single-storey U-plan block of cottages with piended roof (bell-cast to SW elevation), Scots Renaissance style cartouches and dentilled eaves and gables to SW elevation. Painted roughcast with sandstone dressings. Sandstone base course. Timber panelled doors with decorative-glazed fanlights in plain architraves to courtyard. uPVC doors with decorative-glazed fanlights to SW; decorative cartouches above doors with putti-heads and scrolled decoration: inscribed AC JS above left-hand door and 1907 above right-hand door. Regularly fenestrated to all elevations.
Graded grey slates. Coped stacks with clay cans.
15/17-22 THORBURN ROAD: 1928. 2-storey with single-storey wings to side. Central brick-arched pend; small gables to sides, with jettied-out sections at first floor below; forestairs to upper flats at outer bays; depressed arches below forming porches to downstairs flats. Roughcast with sandstone cills; red brick base course and dressings to arch. SW elevation: sandstone architraved window above central arch with moulded apron below dedicated to the memory of Jean Guthrie and dated 1928; half-glazed timber panelled doors to upper and lower flats; 2 doors at ground through each arch below forestairs; original painted timber benches below arches. Regular fenestration to other elevations; tall, shouldered, wall-head stacks to NW and SE elevations.
Red tiles to bell-cast piended roof. Corniced stacks with red clay cans.
15/26-31 THORBURN ROAD: 1928. Similar to 15/17-22, but without central arch. M-glable to centre; single doors below forestairs. Stone plaque with moulded frame to centre inscribed with dedication to William Small and William Porteous Small, dated 1928.
SUNDIAL: bronze sundial (without gnomon) on later sandstone plinth. Face of sundial dated 1620 (writing very faint), and inscribed LET OTHERS TELL OF STORMY HOURS / I?LL ONLY COUNT THE SUNNY ONES.
GATES TO REDFORD ROAD: probably by Thomas Hadden. Wrought-iron gates hinged to wrought-iron posts with decorative Arts and Crafts flower finials.
BOUNDARY WALLS, GATEPIERS AND OTHER GATES: low coped snecked sandstone boundary walls to Thorburn Road and Redford Road. Main entrance to Thorburn Road with red brick gatepiers and rendered quadrant walls. 2-leaf decorative cast-iron gates; single decorative cast-iron gate to side entrance.
This List only includes those structures described above. It does not include 15/23-25 Thorburn Road, or 10-22 Redford Road. These cottages form a picturesque group between Thorburn Road and Redford Road, and are also an important part of Edinburgh?s social history. They were built for, and are still run by, the Aged Christian Friend Society. The Aged Christian Friend Society was founded in 1889 by an Edinburgh draper, William Small, who was concerned about the plight old people, such as former servants, who had become destitute after retirement. The society provided pensions for people over the age of 60, and in about 1891 The Cottage Homes were built to provide houses for some of the pensioners. The first "cottage" originally contained four dwellings, but the accommodation has been greatly expanded during the course of the twentieth century. In addition to the buildings described above are 15/23-25, which were built at about the same time as the two 2-storey blocks, and 10-22 Redford Road, which were built in the 1960s. In the late 1970s or early 1980s the charity acquired the Lady Anderson Memorial Cottage at 1 Thorburn Road (listed separately), and built another annex in its garden. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries there was considerable concern for the elderly poor, and a number of almshouses were built, another example being the William Fraser Homes on Spylaw Bank Road.
Other nearby listed buildings