CLIFTON HALL WITH STABLES, OUTBUILDINGS, DOVECOT AND CLIFTON BEAG (Ref:26891)
This building is in the Edinburgh Council and the
It is a category A building and was listed on 30/01/1981.
Group Items: N/A,
Group Cat: N/A,
Map Ref: NT 1093 7096.
David Bryce, 1850. 2-storey with raised basement and 1st floor breaking eaves, attic at intervals. Scots Baronial mansion. Rambling plan. Stugged squared and snecked sandstone with ashlar dressings and mullions. Round towers, bartizans with roll-moulded corbels; gablet dormers and dormerheads. Crowstepped gables.
E (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: asymmetrical; advanced gabled entrance bay with pepperpot bartizans flanking gable. Perron stair to door with lugged, roll-moulded architrave. Tripartite stone mullioned window above door, framed by stepped hoodmould continuing as string course on returns.
Window at 1st floor and small window to gablehead. Thistle finial. Each bartizan with small rectangular window, candle-snuffer roof and finial. Stair tower breaking eaves in re-entrant angle to left. To right of entrance taller crowstepped gabled block, articulated in 4 storeys by windows which decrease in size from ground to 3rd floor. Gable clasped by substantial 5-storey round tower to outer right. Narrow windows mirror those of main elevation. Billeted corbel course to towerhead with balustraded parapet on deeper corbelling. Access to balustraded towerhead via corbelled turret stair on N elevation in re-entrant angle.
To S of porch entrance 3 recessed asymmetrical bays. Grouped at ground 1-2, window at extreme left, with door and window to right. Large tripartite stone mullioned window at 1st floor lighting stair hall, single window to left at re-entrant angle. Regular dormerheaded windows at 2nd floor. Broad projecting gable to outer left. Canted oriel window at 1st floor over window at ground and below 2nd floor window. To S of main house recessed single storey link block with attic breaking eaves to projecting crowstepped gable of 2-storey service block, in turn abutted by outbuildings advanced to S.
W (REAR) ELEVATION: 8 symmetrical range. Penultimate outer bays canted, corbelled to square at 1st floor, bridged at principal floor by stone consoled and balustraded balcony with double scale and platt stairs. Bipartite window to basement and tripartite window at principal floor bridging centre bays. 4 dormerheaded windows at 1st floor. Canted bays with basement window, 5-light window to principal floor (1-3-1), bipratite in gablehead at 1st floor and small attic window; apex stacks. Outer bays with pepperpot bartizans (see return elevations) and basement window to outer right. Immediately to right single-storey with raised basement gabled link block to recessed 1930s Gothic hall to S. 2 storey, 3-bay asymmetrical hall. Stugged squared and snecked sandstone at ground level with squared and snecked sandstone for upper floor. String course divides ground from 1st floor. Crowstepped gables, outer gabled bay to right advanced. 4 windows at ground level, 1 at either end and 2 to centre. 2 tall bipartite leaded 4-centred windows with stone mullions, transoms and trefoil cusps. Window in gable to left at 1st floor; corniced gablehead stack. Jettied gablehead with stone mullioned 5-light window to advanced bay to right. Modern skylight to right of centre. Unsympathetic modern flat-roofed 2-store. dormitory abuts to S.
N ELEVATION: asymmetrical gabled range with round tower to outer left and bartizan to outer right. Round turret on roll-moulded corbelling at centre between M-gabled bays corbelled to square with gabled towerhead. Door with stop chamfered surround placed off-centre W between gables. Window to left and to outer left and right, corbelled to square, pitch-roof at 2nd floor. Small window in gable. Bipartite window to left of turret at principal floor, smaller window to outer left, tall tripartite window to outer right. Window offset to left at 2nd floor, small window offset to left in gablehead of outer right bay. Window in bay to left of centre at 1st floor. Smaller window centrally placed in outer left bay. Dormerheaded window to outer left.
12- and 8-pane sash and case windows, 3-pane, large- pane glazing at principal floor on W elevation and tripartite to N. Grey slate roofs, fish-scale slates on turrets and tower. Finials on bartizans and tower of main front. Squared, corniced gablehead stacks, stacks also placed along roof ridge.
INTERIOR: small vestibule with 2 internally expressed turrets at right and left of stair to main hall. Main hall has heavy oak staircase at S end. Dentil and egg and dart cornice in main stair hall. Dining and drawing room open off to W, lit by bay windows. Bead and reel cornice. Library between rooms has shelves topped by masks. Chimneypieces of Peterhead granite. Gothic hall has heraldic stained glass, ribbed ceiling and timber chimneypiece with 2 tiers of columns.
STABLES AND OUTBUILDINGS: outbuildings of main house extend SE in rambling line. Early 19th century stable court incorporated at S of range.
N ELEVATION: (facing entrance court at right angles to main house.) Squared and snecked red sandstone with ashlar margins. String course. Asymmetrical, 2-storey. with 1st floor breaking eaves. Door into court 2nd bay from right; roll-moulded stone surround. Flanking windows, 6-pane sash and case to left, plate glass sash and case to right. Modern door inserted to outer left, modern aluminium flue immediately to right of door. 4 dormerhead windows with alternating triangular and segmental pediments. Bartizan on roll-moulded corbelling terminates E corner.
E ELEVATION: squared and snecked sandstone for gablehead to outer right; random rubble for ground and long range. Alterations to openings and roof height. Single storey with attic. Blocked door visible to right; evidence of blocked upper floor windows. 2 flat-roofed dormers. Modern addition built in re-entrant former with this range and rear of block to SE.
S ELEVATION: (at right angles to E facing range). Single storey, 6-bay cottage. Squared and snecked sandstone with ashlar chamfered margins. Slightly advanced W gable (crowstepped). Regular 12-pane sash and case windows, that in W advanced bay larger. 3 louvered, gablet ventilation dormers bays to E. Recessed behind and also facing S is a low 2-storey range with pedimented dormerheaded windows and crowstepped gables.
DOVECOT: Early 19th century, dated 1812. Symmetrical, ashlar, octagonal dovecot sited above a segmental, low, arched pend into courtyard. Base course; string and band courses. Archway in red sandstone rubble with expressed voussoirs and ashlar keystone with inscribed date "1812". Arch springs on moulded impost. Passage roofed by later grey sandstone ashlar dovecot, with base course, blank frieze and step-back blocking courses. Ashlar margined oculus flight-holes in centre panel of alternating facets.
INTERIOR: square-plan arched pend open to E and W, with blocked arches to N and S supports dovecot, now roofless and floorless. Each face of octagon has 2 bands of nesting boxes; each section having 20 nesting-boxes, giving 320 in total. Spandrels bridged by wooden joists (modern), with relieving arches above.
CLIFTON BEAG: to S of range is a free-standing rectangular-plan, 2-storey cottage. Aligned N to S on ground falling to N. Squared and snecked sandstone with stugged, stop-chamfered margins. Quoins. Pedimented dormerheads. Crowstepped gabled elevations.
S ELEVATION: gabled door at centre with flanking windows.
E ELEVATION: 4-bay. Regular fenestration; 12-pane sash and case windows at ground. Dormerheads to 1st floor windows with alternating finials of star, flower and thistle.
N ELEVATION: gabled; 3-bay. Door at centre; flanking windows. Square plaque in gablehead.
W ELEVATION: door at ground level outer right. Stone forestair to 1st floor door; modern window on either side. Curved angle at ground, sharp arrises above.
12-pane sash and case windows; modern plate casement windows on W elevation. Slate roof, crowstepped gables. Square, coped stacks, 2 end stacks, centre ridge stacks.
Clifton Hall was sold in 1761 to Thomas Gibson of Pentland and the lands passed to Alexander Charles Maitland on the marriage of Helen Gibson Wright in 1786. The house was sold circa 1880. A house probably existed on the lands from the later 16th century, and there is the shell of an earlier house within Clifton Hall. The stables and lodge date from the early 19th century. A Tudor-style reconstruction scheme by Wardrop in 1848 was never carried out. Clifton Hall now serves as a school, most of the outbuildings have been converted to classrooms. The older stable block is in a ruinous state.
Donald Whyte KIRKLISTON, A PARISH HISTORY (1991) pp13-14. Colin McWilliam LOTHIAN (1978) p137. Ordnance Gazetteer (1895) Vol I p266 & Vol iv p431. NSA pp137-138.
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