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Boraton House, 22 Ravelston Dykes Road

A Category C Listed Building in Inverleith, Edinburgh

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Latitude: 55.9543 / 55°57'15"N

Longitude: -3.2606 / 3°15'38"W

OS Eastings: 321381

OS Northings: 674191

OS Grid: NT213741

Mapcode National: GBR 87F.01

Mapcode Global: WH6SK.WLHQ

Plus Code: 9C7RXP3Q+PP

Entry Name: Boraton House, 22 Ravelston Dykes Road

Listing Name: Boraston House, 22 Ravelston Dykes Road, excluding the later, two-storey, mansard-roofed addition, the conservatory to the rear (north) elevation and the gate piers and boundary walls to the northeast

Listing Date: 24 February 2021

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 407424

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB52579

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Edinburgh

County: Edinburgh

Town: Edinburgh

Electoral Ward: Inverleith

Traditional County: Midlothian


Boraston House is a large former manse designed in 1900-1901 by Peddie & Washington Browne, likely to designs by George Washington Browne, and built 1901-1902. The manse is two-storey and attic, irregular plan and is designed in the Queen Anne style with neo-Jacobean details. It is built of coursed rubble sandstone with ashlar dressings including window surrounds, canted bays and skews. Located in Ravelston, a suburb to the west of Edinburgh city centre, the house has a secluded setting, surrounded by a tree lined garden and bordered to the south by Ravelston Golf Course.

The principal (south) elevation has a three-bay, two storey and attic main block with a two-storey, pitched gable addition set back to the right with a curved entrance porch. The three-bay main block features two-storey, canted, corniced bay windows in the outer bays. The bays are ashlar and feature six-light mullioned window openings at the ground floor and three-light mullioned openings at the first floor. The centre bay features a two-light mullioned window and a long nine-light mullioned window spanning the stair from the ground to first floor. There are three Queen Anne style timber dormers at the attic floor with the centre dormer narrower. The addition set back to the right features a two-storey pitched gable section with a circular entrance porch in the left corner and a single storey, piended roof section at the right.

The west elevation features a two-storey canted bay at the left of the gable with a single opening above. The rear (north) elevation is eight-bay and has two pitched gable ends in the centre and centre-left bays. The gable in the centre-left bay features two garage door openings with two-leaf timber doors. To the left of this gable is a single storey, two-bay projection with a piended roof and a door and window opening. This projection is surrounded by a stone wall that forms a courtyard.

The openings are predominantly replacement uPVC. The entrance door is six panel timber with metal bosses. The roofs are slate with cast iron rainwater goods, hipped, ashlar skews and tall corniced stacks.

The description of the interior is based on photographs in the sales particulars published in 2020 by Rettie. Much of the early 20th century interior appears to have been altered although early 20th century timber panelling and fire surround in the ground floor dining room and cornicing in the sitting room are still evident. There is a timber staircase which has been painted and a vaulted hall.

In accordance with Section 1 (4A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 the following are excluded from the listing: the later, two-storey, mansard-roofed addition, conservatory to the rear (north) elevation and gate piers and boundary walls to the northeast and south.

The two-storey, mansard-roofed addition is rectangular in plan and is built of coursed rubble with a partially slated roof. It dates from the late 1930s to early 1940s. The conservatory is single storey with a semi-circular plan and piended roof. The conservatory dates from the late 20th century.

There are pairs of square plan gate piers at either side of the driveway entrance at the northeast of the house and at the south of the house leading to Ravelston Golf course. They date to the later 20th century.

Historical development

Boraston House was built around 1901 as the manse for St. Columba's Church, Queensferry Road, Blackhall (LB27318). St. Columba's Church is located just under half a mile away to the northeast of Boraston House and was designed by P. McGregor Chalmers between 1899 and 1900.

Plans prepared by architectural firm Peddie and Washington Browne dating from 1900 to 1901 describe the building as a 'House at Craigcrook for Rev. W. B. Stevenson'. The West Lothian Courier reported in 1901 that 'the Rev. W. B. Stevenson had erected for himself an elegant mansion near Ravelston'. This suggests that while the manse was built for the minister of the Church of Scotland church at Blackhall, that Rev. Stevenson himself may have commissioned and partially or wholly funded its construction.

Boraston House is shown on Ordnance Survey map (surveyed 1905, published 1908) labelled as 'Manse'. Immediately to the west of the house is an old quarry and beyond that Craigcrook Castle (LB28014). The manse is shown with an irregular footprint.

By the time of the Ordnance Survey map of 1933 the building is labelled as 'Boraston Knowe' and it no longer appears to be in use as a manse. A U-plan building, with a small rectangular-plan outbuilding to the left, is shown within the grounds of the house at the north by the entrance. In the wider setting, the house is now shown surrounded to the north and east by Ravelston Golf Course and the area of Blackhall between the former manse and St. Columba's Church has been developed with housing.

The Ordnance Survey map of 1947 shows a rectangular-plan addition to the rear (north) elevation of the house adjoining the dining room (now in use as a study). The U-plan building to the north of the house is labelled 'Boraston Cottage'.

In the late 20th century a single-storey conservatory was added to the rear (north) elevation of the house which is accessed via the dining room. Boraston Cottage also appears to have been separated from the house into private ownership in the later 20th century.

Statement of Interest

Boraston House meets the criteria of special architectural or historic interest for the following reasons:

In accordance with Section 1 (4A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 the following are excluded from the listing: The later, two-storey, mansard-roofed addition and the conservatory on the rear (north) elevation.

Architectural interest


The building is designed in the Queen Anne Style with Neo-Jacobean details. The Queen Anne style became popular in the later 19th century particularly in new, middle-class London suburbs and was mainly associated with domestic architecture. The style draws on an eclectic range of motifs including 17th century domestic classism and often features pedimented gables and dormers, prominent roof lines and tall chimney stacks. Boraston House retains typical features of the style including white pedimented timber dormers, steep roof, prominent gables and tall chimney stacks. The prominent feature of the neo-Jacobean style bays with mullioned windows are also characteristic of the style.

The building also a significant survival of the domestic work of the renowned architectural firm Peddie & Washington Browne (c.1896-1907) and is likely to have been designed by architect George Washington Browne (1853-1939), joint partner of the firm. The design of the principal (southeast) elevation and the southwest elevation of Boraston House bear a strong resemblance to the south and west elevations of the Queen Anne Style home that Brown designed for himself in 1896-1902 'The Limes', 35-39 Blackford Road, Edinburgh (formerly 17 Blackford Road) (LB30497).

John More Dick Peddie (1853-1921) and George Washington Browne were individually regarded as leading Scottish architects when they established the partnership Peddie & Washington Browne in 1896. The firm was highly successful and won a number of significant commissions with designs were typically attributed to either Peddie or Brown.

Browne was one of the foremost architects of the late 19th and early 20th century and was recognised as such when he was knighted in 1926. His work includes the Central Library, Edinburgh (LB27587), Edinburgh College of Art (LB27974) and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children (LB30480). Browne worked in London with one of the leading advocates of the Queen Anne Style, architect John James Stevenson. He brought this knowledge to Scotland and worked with Wardrop and Anderson on a scheme of Queen Anne style houses in the Braid area of Edinburgh during the 1880s.

Early 20th century domestic buildings had a variety of plan forms and an irregular plan form was standard for many. Aside from additions to the rear of the building around the mid and the later 20th century, the irregular early 20th century footprint is largely unchanged.

There have been several alterations to the interior plan form over the 20th century. These include the movement of the kitchen from what is currently the garage (2020) to the former servant's hall at the south of the building and the removal of partitions between the boudoir and hall to form a single large drawing room. It is common for large villas of the 19th and early 20th century to have been reconfigured or subdivided however the interior plan form of the house is substantially unchanged.

The house is built of coursed rubble sandstone with ashlar margins. While Queen Anne style homes in England were commonly built of red brick, Boraston House reflects the Scottish context with traditional vernacular of coursed rubble sandstone. The material of the house and the high quality of the stone detailing therefore adds to its design interest.

The interior of Boraston House has not been seen. However, sales particulars of 2020 show that the interior retains some features of the early 20th century decorative scheme. These include timber panelling in the dining room, a vaulted hall and a timber stair rail. There are simple cornices and window panelling in the first floor and attic rooms. The house has undergone modernisation throughout the 20th century with replacement fire surrounds in the siting room and drawing room and decorative plasterwork added to the ceiling of the drawing room (information provided by the owner 2021).

Boraston House is an unusually large and well detailed early 20th century former manse and a significant example of the Queen Anne style of architecture in Scotland. While the building has undergone some alteration in the 20th century including the replacement of the early 20th century glazing, alterations to the interior and the addition of an extension and conservatory to the rear elevation, its distinctive exterior form and characteristic Queen Anne and neo-Jacobean features are substantially unaltered.


Boraston House is located in the suburb of Ravelston to the west of Edinburgh City Centre and is accessed by a small private lane from Ravelston Dykes Road.

The House is surrounded by a mature wooded garden at the north and west. To the south of the house the garden opens up with views across Ravelston Golf Couse. Although the golf course was built after the house in 1912, this has not altered the open view to the south. The immediate vicinity of the house therefore retains a secluded setting as it would have had in the early 20th century.

The wider setting of Boraston House has been altered since the early 20th century as the suburbs of Ravelston and Blackhall have expanded. The area of Blackhall developed from the 1890s and amounted to only a few streets when Boraston House was built around 1901. In the early 20th century the space between the former manse and St Columba's Church was largely open fields. By the mid to later 20th century this area had been developed with housing.

As the home of the church minister, manses were typically built neighbouring or near their associated church. Located just under half a mile away from St Columba's Church, the former manse was built an unusually large distance away from its associated church. This setting affects our understanding of the original function of the building as a manse.

Historic interest

Age and rarity

Manses are not considered to be a rare building type as every parish was required to provide a house for its minister and many examples survive from the 18th and 19th and early 20th centuries. However, they are an integral part of Scotland's ecclesiastical built heritage.

Dating to around 1901, the former manse of St Columba's Church is not an early example of its building type however it is notable for its large scale and the high-quality of its design. Manses were typically modestly detailed and constructed. In contrast, Boraston House was designed by a prominent architectural practice of the period and features high quality stone detailing and interior decoration. As noted above (see Historical Background section) the unusually large scale and employment of notable architects is likely to have been due to the contribution of the minister himself as it is unlikely that the Church of Scotland would have funded a manse of this design.

Social historical interest

Manses are a common building type in Scotland and all have some social historical interest because they are part of the spiritual history of a place. Although Boraston House is no longer in use as a manse it retains a historical association with St Columba's Church, Blackhall.

Association with people or events of national importance

There is no association with a person or event of national importance.

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