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2, 3, 4 Carlton Terrace Including Railings and Boundary Walls

A Category A Listed Building in Edinburgh, Edinburgh

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.9559 / 55°57'21"N

Longitude: -3.1741 / 3°10'26"W

OS Eastings: 326789

OS Northings: 674274

OS Grid: NT267742

Mapcode National: GBR 8SD.KG

Mapcode Global: WH6SM.6KSH

Entry Name: 2, 3, 4 Carlton Terrace Including Railings and Boundary Walls

Listing Date: 16 December 1965

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 397351

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49746

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Edinburgh

County: Edinburgh

Electoral Ward: City Centre

Traditional County: Midlothian

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Leith

Description

William Playfair, designed 1821-1825, built from late 1820s-mid 1830s. Part of long hairpin-curved terrace of 19 classical town houses; Nos 1-4 and 14-19, rectangular-plan houses with straight 3-bay front elevations; Nos 5-13, wedge-plan houses with curved 4-bay front elevations; predominantly 2-storey and basement with balustraded parapet; panelled parapets to Nos 1, 14 and 17. Droved ashlar to basements; polished ashlar to upper floors; predominantly coursed squared rubble with droved margins to side and rear elevations. Base course to basements; dividing band between basement and ground floors and ground and 1st floors; modillioned eaves cornice to front elevations, eaves band to rear elevations. Raised door surrounds with consoled cornices. Regular fenestration; architraved and corniced windows with panelled aprons to ground floor; architraved windows with cast-iron balconnettes to 1st floor.

SE (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: 9-bay elevation (3 bays to each original house), No 4 slightly advanced; 2-storey, basement and dormer attic to No 2; 2-storey, basement and additional attic storeys to Nos 3 and 4. To basement: windows to 1st, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th and 9th bays from left; timber door with 4-light fanlight to 8th bay; original doorways altered to form windows to 2nd and 5th bays. To ground floor, to 3rd, 6th and 9th bays from left, steps and platts overarching basement leading to 2-leaf timber and glazed doors with rectangular fanlights. Above eaves cornice: to No 2, balustraded parapet with 2 canted, piend-roofed dormer windows to roof; to Nos 3 and 4, 3-bay attic storeys (later additions), to No 3 cill band and band above windows; cill band, panelled aprons and lintel band to No 4; eaves cornice to botH

NW (REAR) ELEVATION: 6-bay elevation; full height, square-plan pyramidal- roofed snecked rubble extension to outer left; small single storey mono-pitch roofed extension to ground floor to centre. Bipartite windows to 4th and 6th bays from left.

GLAZING etc: predominantly plate glass in timber sash and case windows; some 12-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows to rear elevation and basement to front elevation. Pitched roofs with central valley; predominantly graded grey slate; stone skews and skewputts. Predominantly rendered mutual ridge stacks to rear; to front, mutual ashlar ridge stack between No 1 and No 2; mutual ashlar ridge stack with canted front between No 2 and No 3; all stacks corniced with circular cans. Some cast-iron rainwater goods.

RAILINGS AND BOUNDARY WALLS: to front, edging basement recesses and platts, stone coping surmounted by cast-iron railings with dog bars, spear-head finials and distinctive circled border; wrought iron lamp standard to left of platt to No 3. To rear, forming boundary of garden, random rubble walls with predominantly flat coping.

INTERIOR: to ground floor, largely altered with many original features including staircases and lobbies of No 2 and No 3 removed: to entrance lobby of No 4, screen of 2 Greek Doric columns in antae to far end, compartmented ceiling, good plasterwork; to former dining room to No 4 (now slapped through to rear), excellent plasterwork and black slate classical chimneypiece; to former dining room to No 2, good plasterwork and grey marble classical chimneypiece. To 1st floor: majority of original rooms now subdivided; some good plasterwork remains. To stair and stair hall of No 4: rectangular pitched cupola in compartmented ceiling (part divided off); stone stairs with cast-iron balusters; wrought iron lamp bracket to 1st floor landing; to 2nd floor, shallow relief frieze to stair walls and side of landing.

Statement of Interest

Part of the Calton A-Group.

Currently (2003) in use as a hotel.

2 Carlton Terrace was first occupied circa 1832 by the Misses Guthrie. Miss Rose Guthrie and Miss Emily Guthrie of Forfar. They were succeeded in the house by their niece and the house stayed in the same family from 1832 to 1886.

Carlton Terrace forms part of the showpiece of Playfair's Eastern New Town (or Calton) scheme, and as such is an important example of the work of one of Scotland's leading early 19th century architects. Playfair was one of the major driving forces of the Greek Revival in Edinburgh at this time, and his public commissions such as the National Monument, the Royal Institution and the National Gallery (see separate listings) gave strength to Edinburgh's reputation as the Athens of the North. The Calton Scheme was one of his few domestic commissions, and the variety of designs, different for each street, demonstrates Playfair's expertise with the Grecian style and his characteristic punctilious attention to detail. The railings are important as their design features distinctive elements which Playfair repeated in large areas of the Calton scheme.

3 Carlton Terrace was first occupied in 1833 by the Rev. Walter Tait. He was minister of Trinity College Church from 1813 until he was deposed in 1833, when he became pastor of the Catholic Apostolic Church in EdinburgH In 1912, the sculptor Birnie Rhind moved into No 3. Rhind sculpted the King's Own Scottish Borderers memorial on North Bridge and the figures around the doorway of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery among many other works. His brother Massey, also a sculptor who did the majority of his work in America, took over the house from 1930, following his retirement.

The origins of the Eastern New Town, which was to occupy the east end of Calton Hill and lands to the north of it on the ground between Easter Road and Leith Walk, lie in a 'joint plan for building' which three principal feuars (Heriot's Hospital, Trinity Hospital and Mr Allan of Hillside) entered into in 1811. In 1812 a competition was advertised for plans for laying out the grounds in question. Thirty-two plans were received, displayed and reported on by a variety of people, including eight architects. Eventually, it was decided that none of the plans was suitable. However, it was a more general report by William Stark (who died shortly after submitting it) which caught the attention of the Commissioners and formed the basis of the final scheme. Stark's central argument stressed the importance of planning around the natural contours and features of the land rather than imposing formal, symmetrical street plans upon it. After several years of little or no progress, in 1818 the Commissioners finally selected William Henry Playfair, Stark's former pupil, to plan a scheme following his master's Picturesque ideals.

The resulting scheme, presented to the Commissioners in 1819, preserved the view of and from Calton Hill by the creation of a limited triangular development of the three single-sided terraces (to make the most of the spectacular views), Royal, Regent and Carlton (originally known as Carlton Place, named after the Prince Regent's Carlton House in London), on the hill itself. These looked over a huge radial street pattern, centred on the gardens of Hillside Crescent, on the land to the north The feuing of these lower lands started well, with Elm Row, Leopold Place, Windsor Street and the west side of Hillside Crescent being built fairly swiftly. Carlton Terrace was marked out in plots in 1826, and building began slowly the following year; the majority of houses were not complete until the 1830s. Meanwhile, demand for the feus in other streets of the scheme faltered severely, due to the growing popularity of new properties being built to the west of the New Town. This had a particularly bad effect on Royal Terrace, where construction stopped for 20 years, leaving 2 large gaps in the Terrace and a further 3 unbuilt feus to the west end. The fate of the whole Calton scheme was sealed in 1838, when it was decided that feuars should pay poor-rates to both Edinburgh and Leith. This virtually halted development for the next thirty years. The result of all these problems was that very little of Playfair's original scheme was ever built. When building resumed in the 1880s, some of Playfair's original street lines were adhered to, as was the case with Hillside Crescent, and in others such as Brunton Place, Brunswick Street, Hillside Street (originally to be a longer street called Hopeton Street), and Wellington Street (also curtailed). However, due to piecemeal residential, industrial and transport developments immediately to the north, it would have been impossible to further follow Playfair's original layout, even if this had been considered desirable.

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