Latitude: 55.9523 / 55°57'8"N
Longitude: -3.1737 / 3°10'25"W
OS Eastings: 326803
OS Northings: 673875
OS Grid: NT268738
Mapcode National: GBR 8SF.MR
Mapcode Global: WH6SM.6NY7
Plus Code: 9C7RXR2G+WG
Entry Name: Stables, Holyroodhouse
Listing Name: Holyroodhouse, Stables
Listing Date: 26 September 2008
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 400037
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB51178
Building Class: Cultural
ID on this website: 200400037
Electoral Ward: City Centre
Traditional County: Midlothian
Tagged with: Architectural structure
Robert Matheson, 1861. Single-storey, 7-bay, near symmetrical, crowstepped former stables with slightly advanced central gable breaking eaves to E (principle) elevation. Central tall, louvred ventilation shaft with pyramidal roof to ridge. E elevation with pair of 2-leaf timber entrance doors with multi-pane fanlights above. W (street) elevation blank except for single crowstepped gabled hayloft opening breaking eaves to far right with boarded timber door. Single storey outbuilding projects to S and leads to attached modern café wing.
Predominantly 12-pane timber sash and case windows to E. Graded grey slates.
INTERIOR: Fine extant interior. Boarded timber stalls to W with tall, decorative, curving cast-iron balustrades; posts with acorn finials. Cast-iron hay racks and feeding troughs. Leather and metal saddle racks.
The ground beneath the Palace of Holyroodhouse and nearby structures (including Croft-an-Righ House, the buildings on the N side of Abbey Strand and the buildings around Mews Court) is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 for its archaeological importance. The upstanding remains of Holyrood Abbey and Queen Mary's Bath are also scheduled monuments. Significant upstanding and below-ground archaeological remains may survive as part of and in addition to the structures and features described above.
This well-detailed stable block has a largely unaltered interior of particularly high quality. The stalls, hay-racks and saddle racks all have distinguished decorative features. The stables form part of the West side of the Palace courtyard complex and are ensured privacy by having one long blank wall to the street, punctuated only by a single hayloft door. The stables are clearly marked on the 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey Map of 1876-7, with each individual stall plainly defined.
The stables were built in 1861 by Robert Matheson (circa 1807-1877), the Clerk of Works for Scotland, who carried out a programme of gradual improvements to the Palace, the Park and the Abbey Precincts at this time, at the request of Queen Victoria. These improvements included designing Lodges for the entrances to the Park and the fountain in the forecourt.
In 1128, David I built an Augustinian Abbey at Holyrood. This flourished and when the Royal Court was in Edinburgh many Royal Guests chose to stay in the guesthouse of the abbey rather than the Castle, as the former was considered more comfortable. In 1501, James IV built a Palace on the site of the Abbey guesthouse and a gatehouse was constructed. This gatehouse was demolished in 1753 and the surrounding area, where these stables are situated, is thought to have become quite dilapidated. In 1822-3, the King's architect, Robert Reid began a new building programme in the area, but it was not until the more comprehensive rebuilding programme by Robert Matheson in the 1850s and 60s that these stables were built. Archaeological work suggests that some of the earlier Royal stables built by John Mylne in 1633 may survive close to this site.
Part of A-group comprising: Palace of Holyroodhouse; 28 and 30 Croft-An-Righ (Croft-An-Righ House); Abbey Strand Eastern Building; Abbey Strand Western Building; Queen Mary's Bath House; North Garden Sundial; Palace Forecourt Fountain; Abbey Court House; Gatehouse and Former Guard Rooms; Palace Coach House; Stables; Queen's Gallery (see separate listings). List description updated 2013.
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