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Latitude: 55.6181 / 55°37'4"N
Longitude: -2.8116 / 2°48'41"W
OS Eastings: 348980
OS Northings: 636350
OS Grid: NT489363
Mapcode National: GBR 83TG.2X
Mapcode Global: WH7WN.S1BY
Plus Code: 9C7VJ59Q+69
Entry Name: 81 And 83 High Street
Listing Name: 81 and 83 High Street
Listing Date: 14 November 2006
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 399223
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50694
Building Class: Cultural
County: Scottish Borders
Electoral Ward: Galashiels and District
Traditional County: Selkirkshire
A G Sydney Mitchell, dated 1884 with later additions. 3-storey, 3-bay corner-sited Baronial style commercial premises with tenements above. Prominent curved tripartite corner turret with relief pilasters punctuating windows and carved scrolls to parapet inscribed 'ditat servata fides, the motto of the Commercial Bank of Scotland; double height pedimented eaves breaking canted bay; projecting stack; curved stair tower to rear; late 20th century timber and plate glass shopfront. Coursed smooth red sandstone ashlar; whin and sandstone rubble with smooth red sandstone margins to side and rear. Double band course at 1st floor; moulded string course to 2nd floor.
Predominantly 12-pane timber sash and case windows; part glazed timber panelled stair door; plain 20th century door to rear. Small grey slates, fishscale slates to turret with decorative metal urn finial; flat lead roof section. Tall corniced rectangular ashlar stack corbelled out from second floor; cast-iron gutters and downpipes recessed into to string courses. Wrought iron gate to side pend.
INTERIOR: entrance corridor to right with plain cast-iron balusters leading to single apartments to each floor. Late 20th century fitted shop cladding. Original plan form retained in upper flatted accommodation.
This is a well-detailed and well-proportioned plain Baronial styled tenement with a prominent corner turret designed by A G Sydney Mitchell, a prominent and well respected Edinburgh-based architect. It is an early example of work from his long professional career, undertaken in the first year of his own practice, after having left apprenticeship with Rowand Anderson. It demonstrates good decorative stone detailing but in a simpler style than some of his later works.
The tenement was built as the extension to the adjacent David Rhind Commercial Bank (see separate listing) as Sydney Mitchell had become the official architect to the commercial Bank on the death of Rhind, ('ditat servata fides' is the motto of the Commercial Bank of Scotland).
Drawings in the Royal Commission (SMW/1880/13/1+2) illustrate the building as built, with the original shopfront having two large stone arches with recessed plate glass and integral entrance door to the left arch; 'Alexander Murray, Silk Mercer and Draper' is drawn as the company name. The shop interior was an open plan space spanning the whole ground floor. An earlier unrealised design shows the turret with an ogee roof. Photographs show a previous c.1950s recessed shopfront previous to the current (2006).
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