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This building is in the Edinburgh Council and the Edinburgh Burgh. It is a category A building and was listed on 14/12/1970.

Group Items: N/A, Group Cat: N/A, Map Ref: NT 2411 7181.


James Gowans, dated 1859. 2-storey irregular-plan American stick-style villa, later alterations in same style. Cyclopean rubble and quartz from different quarries, raised bull-faced bands, vertical panels and dressings of grey sandstone, dividing rubble into grid of strips. Overhanging eaves; timber brackets on bull-faced corbels to gebles and dormerheads; exposed rafters; bull-faced banded mullions; battered base to garden elevations; banded stacks with gabled canopies.

SE (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: 4-bay; broad advanced gabled entrance bay to left of centre flanked by narrower recessed gabled bays, doorway off-centre flanked by narrow single window to right and tripartite to left with polished ashlar mullions under common polished ashlar lintel and hoodmould, tiled vestibule and penelled door; stepped quadripartite window at 1st floor above under corbelled gableline; 2 carved tablets with entwined letters MS to left, date 1859 to right in raised section of gablehead above. Bay to right of centre with projecting ground floor addition with lean-to roof and cast-iron brattishing clasping corner formed with further recessed bay to outer right; 3 narrow windows at ground floor that at centre with gabled dormerhead, stepped tripartite window to 1st floor. Bay to outer left with canted window to half-piend roof at ground floor, single window at 1st floor with shaped triangular head and gablet hoodmould. Bay to outer right with bipartite window at ground floor, small single window at 1st floor to right, single window to left breaking eaves in gabled dormerhead.

SW (NAPIER ROAD) ELEVATION: 2-bay; advanced gabled bay to left with tripartite window at ground floor, shaped triangular head to central window; quadripartite window under gable at 1st floor with canted central lights as part of diamond canted wallplane on single carved corbel rising through gable to projecting gablehead. Bay to right with tripartite window at ground floor with carved corbels carrying stone slate canopy; transomed tripartite window at 1st floor breaking eaves in gabled dormerhead. NW (SPYLAW ROAD) ELEVATION: 4-bay, 2 advanced bays to left with single window at ground floor toleft, bipartite window at ground floor to right and central shouldered wallhead stack corbelled above ground floor; gabled return elevation with single gabled window at 1st floor. Bays to right with stepped tripartite window with individual stone slate canopies at ground floor to left, single round-arched window at 1st floor breaking eaves in gabled dormerhead. Advanced broad bay to right with 2-storey canted window flanked by single windows, carved corbels carrying stone slate hood to ground floor windows, gable over central bipartite window at 1st floor.

NE (REAR) ELEVATION: 2-bay with single storey wash house (later addition) of rendered concrete (echoing masonry pattern of main house) with mansard roof to right; adanced gabled bay to right with single gabled window at 1st floor, on return single window at ground floor, single window at 1st floor breaking eaves in gabled dormerhead; gabled bay to left with 2 small blocked up windows at 1st floor.

Timber sash and case windows, some with plate glass glazing, some 4-pane sashes, original windows to NW elevation with 8-pane sashes of perfect squares; Scottish slate roof, lead flashings; 1 cross-sectioned stack and 1 drum stack to SW, transverse ridge stack to NE, wallhead stack (see above); moulded gutterheads and brackets; single storey detached garage and shed to NE.

INTERIOR: tiled hall; roll-moulded door cases; doors and window shutters and surrounds of deeply moulded square panels; stone stair with turned timber balustrade and pendants; skylight above with characteristic cornice brackets; ground floor dining room with elaborate bracketted cornice and marble fireplace with carved timber surround of pilasters with fluted tapering heads and roundels with carved heads; 1st floor drawing room coved ceiling with bands of octagonal mouldings, octagonal cornice with twisted band, characteristic corbelled detail over bay window. BOUNDARY WALL AND GATEPIERS: tall wall of cyclopean rubble with flat bull-faced coping to rear and NW, low rubble wall to SW, square rubble gatepiers with grid of polished ashlar bands and battered base, corbelled stepped coping; cast-iron gates and railings.


Lammerburn was designed using a standardised 2ft module expressed in a grid on the exterior. The modular system enabled Gowans to standardise details and fittings. In doing this he believed to revive medieval masonry traditions. As his own house, Rockville (dem. 1966), on the other side of Napier Road, Lammerburn was built using stones from a large number of Scottish quarries, some claim that every working quarry in Scotland was represented.


THE BUILDER, 17 March 1860; D McAra, SIR JAMES GOWANS ROMANTIC RATIONALIST, (Edinburgh, 1975), pp26-7; Nicholas Taylor Modular Rockery in AR Feb 1967, pp147-151; Gifford et al., EDINBURGH (1984), p502.

© Crown copyright, Historic Scotland. All rights reserved. Mapping information derived from Ordnance Survey digital mapping products under Licence No. 100017509 2012 . Data extracted from Scottish Ministers' Statutory List on . Listing applies equally to the whole building or structure at the address set out in bold at the top of the list entry. This includes both the exterior and the interior, whether or not they are mentioned in the 'Information Supplementary to the Statutory List'. Listed building consent is required for all internal and external works affecting the character of the building. The local planning authority is responsible for determining where listed building consent will be required and can also advise on issues of extent or "curtilage" of the listing, which may cover items remote from the main subject of the listing such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. or interior fixtures. All category C(S) listings were revised to category C on 3rd September 2012. This was a non-statutory change. All enquiries relating to proposed works to a listed building or its setting should be addressed to the local planning authority in the first instance. All other enquiries should be addressed to: Listing & Designed Landscapes Team, Historic Scotland, Room G.51, Longmore House, Salisbury Place, EDINBURGH, EH9 1SH. Tel: +44 (0)131 668 8701 / 8705. Fax: +44 (0)131 668 8765. e-mail: hs.listing@scotland.gsi.gov.uk. Web: http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/historicandlistedbuildings.

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Buildings are assigned to one of three categories according to their relative importance. All listed buildings receive equal legal protection, and protection applies equally to the interior and exterior of all listed buildings regardless of category.

ACategory A

Buildings of national or international importance, either architectural or historic, or fine little-altered examples of some particular period, style or building type. (Approximately 8% of the total).

BCategory B

Buildings of regional or more than local importance, or major examples of some particular period, style or building type which may have been altered. (Approximately 51% of the total).

C(S)Category C(S)

Buildings of local importance, lesser examples of any period, style, or building type, as originally constructed or moderately altered; and simple traditional buildings which group well with others in categories A and B. (Approximately 41% of the total).