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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 14/07/1966.

Group Items: N/A, Group Cat: N/A, Map Ref: NT 2184 7334.


William Henry Playfair, 1828; later alterations. 2-storey and attic Italianate villa. Sandstone ashlar. Balustrading at 1st floor supported by large voluted brackets; string course at 2nd floor; balustraded platform roof.

E (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: large, balustraded porte cochere with terrace above; single windows flank entrance; irregular fenestration at floors above.

S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: symmetrical elevation. Projecting end bays; large tripartite windows at ground floor; single, central window at 1st floor; 3 single windows above; large single windows at ground floor on returns. 6-bay central section; 4 large single windows in central bays flanked by plate doors; 6 single windows above at 1st floor; modern attic extension with balcony above.

W ELEVATION: single storey central projection with short approach flight of stairs and terrace above; tripartite window on main front and single windows on returns; 2 single windows above at 1st and 2nd floors. Single window in right bay at ground floor; tripartite window in left bay at ground floor; broad band course at 1st floor.

N ELEVATION: irregular massing.

6-, 12-, 15-, 16-pane and plate glass timber sash and case windows; modern fenestration at additions. Low pitched slate roof with overhanging bracketed eaves; ashlar octagonal corniced stacks, some in groups of 2, 3 and 4 flues.

INTERIOR: many original features survive including decorative cornices, timber work, curtain pelmets, marble fireplaces and later stained glass. Long barrel vaulted hall with entrance door at E end; glass doors leading to garden at W end; hall divided by doors half-way down. W hall wall paintings after Turner. Most rooms redecorated; room at far end of hall (originally the Drawing Room) still opulent with gilded cornice and large mirrors; upholstered door in upstairs bedroom, 19th century. Main stair in W end and is well-stair. Window with names of Hope family scratched on. W basement relatively untouched since 1st half of 20th century. Part of E basement converted into flat and has modern amenities. Large wine cellar, coal cellar and barrel-vaulted room that was used as an air-raid shelter by the family also in basement.

GARDEN: a small pond with white timber ornamental bridge to N of house; stone base of a sculpture also to N; sculpture of three children to the E (may be the statue that once stood on the base); garden terraces to W. Drive curves to E leaving an unspoilt lawn with box hedges to the S.

COACH HOUSE: 1- storey, 3-bay main block; large central arched entrance leads in the porch on N front; modern garage door flanks archway (used to be archway too); 3 single windows above. L-plan extension to right; single window flanked by door on N front; timber door above; timber door on E return; garage doors on W return.

WALL AND GATEPIERS: coped rubble wall; ashlar piers with ball finials.


The original house on this site was Brucehill and was built for Charles Bruce in the 1720's. It was purchased by David Campbell in 1762, who renamed the house Belmont. In 1827, Lord MacKenzie purchased the estate and the following year employed Playfair to design a new house for the site. In 1853, the house was bought by the Hope family and remained in their possession until the 1930's when James Miller acquired the house and grounds. The entrance to the estate was originally on Corstorphine Road but Miller moved the boundaries back to Ellersly Road and used the land in front for a housing development. The core to Playfair's design is the convergence of the interior and exterior, which is achieved by bringing the garden right up to the house, framing the garden patio with projecting bays and the use of large plate windows that enable the finery of the garden to be enjoyed from the principal rooms. This design principle became increasingly popular during the 19th century with the fashion for orangeries and conservatories which created a space that married the outside and inside.


1773 Map by Andrews and Mostry Armstrong MAP OF THE THREE LOTHIANS; Drawings in Edinburgh University Library, Playfair Collection; Gifford, McWilliam & Walker EDINBURGH (BUILDINGS OF SCOTLAND) (1984), p629-30; J Wallace HISTORIC HOUSES OF EDINBURGH (1987) p185-186; Gow NOTES FOR THE COCKBURN ASSOCIATION VISIT TO BELMONT HOUSE (1987), NMRS D8.41 BEL(P), H Colvin DICTIONARY OF BRITISH ARCHITECTS (revised edition 1995) p766.

© 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).