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Latitude: 55.8478 / 55°50'52"N
Longitude: -4.4114 / 4°24'41"W
OS Eastings: 249124
OS Northings: 664254
OS Grid: NS491642
Mapcode National: GBR 3L.4L7R
Mapcode Global: WH3P6.68LT
Entry Name: 5 Mansionhouse Road
Listing Date: 17 October 2005
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 398080
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50163
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Paisley Northeast and Ralston
Traditional County: Renfrewshire
Charles Davidson, 1898-9 with 1924, 1939 and late 20th century additions (see Notes). 2-storey and basement (exposed to S), 5-bay, U-plan villa-style former Eye Infirmary on sloping site with slightly advanced bowed end bays to front (E) elevation, Ionic porch, distinctive circular glazing pattern to principal windows, and 1924 addition forming S wing with balconied windows over arcaded ground floor loggia. Stugged, snecked sandstone with polished sandstone dressings. Base course; projecting window cills; 1st floor cill course; deep bracketed eaves, regular fenestration arranged in bays. Stone mullioned bipartite windows to principal (E) elevation with long and short window margins, corniced ground floor windows, deep bracketed cills (or balconies) to 1st floor windows, and distinctive hoodmoulds terminating in Ionic scrolls.
FURTHER DETAILS: principal elevation facing E with N and S wings extending from rear elevation, forming U-plan; 1924 outshot on S elevation (see Notes); modern additions in rear courtyard.
Stone steps to central 2-leaf timber panelled door with arched fanlight; plain round-arched architrave with prominent keystone and hoodmould terminating in Ionic Scrolls. Distyle Ionic porch with fluted granite to upper halves of columns. Regular fenestration to 3-storey S elevation; tall 1-bay outshot raised over arched base. Lower octagonal-ended extension to W raised over loggia; bracketed balconies to 1st floor windows with decorative cast-iron railings. Fairly irregularly-fenestrated courtyard elevations; courtyard partially filled by tall corrugated iron fire-escape. Slightly irregular fenestration to N with some later additions at ground.
Predominantly plate glass in timber sash and case windows with horns; circular glazing pattern to upper sashes of principal windows; some smaller-pane glazing to rear and side windows. Corniced sandstone ridge stacks with red clay cans. Red tile roof with red ridge tiles and small terracotta ridge finials.
INTERIOR: relatively plain. Half-glazed timber-panelled lobby door with frosted glass. Timber stair with tapered newel and turned balusters. Fairly plain plaster cornicing to most rooms. 1 timber fireplace to upstairs sitting room. Some timber-panelled interior doors (many boarded over as fire doors).
A very well detailed villa-style former hospital (now a nursing home) designed by an important local architect and occupying a prominent position near the foot of Mansionhouse Road.
5 Mansionhouse Road was built as the Royal Victoria Eye Infirmary, and was paid for by Provost Mackenzie as a 'Jubilee offering' (The Builder) in honour of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. The infirmary had originally opened in 1888 with four beds in a rented house, and the name 'Royal Victoria' had been granted to the establishment in celebration of the Queen's Golden Jubilee, the previous year. The present building held 17 beds and gave the infirmary a permanent home. Various extensions were made to the building in the 1st half of the 20th century. The principal addition comprising the balconied S wing and tall outshot on the S elevation were built in 1924 by the architect J W Weddell. A small addition to the N wing was made in 1939 by the firm Abercrombie and Maitland.
The architectural detailing of the front elevation is very good, particularly the use of circular glazing in bowed windows, and the Ionic scrolls that terminate the hoodmoulds and reflect the Ionic porch. The use of Ionic and the circular glazing may have been intended as a pun to reflect the use of the building as an eye hospital.
Very little is known about the architect, Charles Davidson. He was a local architect and built a number of buildings, mainly in Paisley and nearby towns, between about late 1887 and 1914. His practice was prolific and, although predominantly concerned with industrial buildings and tenements, he built a wide variety of other buildings including schools, churches, police stations and villas.
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