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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 2679 7201.


Sir James Gowans, 1859-60. 2-storey with attic and basement, symmetrical 4-bay rectangular-plan pair of idiosyncratic houses. Polished sandstone ashlar, polychromatic banded masonry, stugged rubble sides. Base course; dividing band course; bracketed cornice; banded quoins and central banded pilaster; architraved windows, with aprons at ground; semicircular pediments and carved keystones to ground and attic windows; bracketed cills and cast-iron window guards to 1st floor windows.

W (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: slightly recessed single storey entrance porches with glazed sides to N and S; glazed conservatory above N porch. Semicircular pediments to architraved doorways with round- arched fanlights. Venetian windows to inner bays at ground; round- arched single windows to outer bays at ground; single windows to 1st floor; round-arched dormers to attic; regularly fenestrated basement with decorative iron guards.

4-pane timber sash and case windows to ground and 1st floors; Venetian windows flanked by 2-pane lights; 4-pane sash and case; 6-pane sash and case to attic. Grey slate mansard roof with 1 mutual and 2 pairs of wallhead stacks, crowstepped, banded and with bracketed cornices; decorative iron brattishing roof, in front of basement fenestration, and along coping of wall to street.

INTERIORS: not seen 1996.

BOUNDARY WALLS: coped boundary wall to street; later railings; coped mutual boundary wall and gatepier to Nos 21 and 27.


Dr Benjamin Bell of Hunthill, an eminent Edinburgh surgeon and farmer, speculated on the potential for development in the lands of Newington. In 1806, aware of the demand for countrified dwellings near the city, he advertised his intention to sell 58 plots of land within his 8.5 acres. On his death in the same year his son George Bell, also a surgeon, inherited the land and, in 1825, commissioned James Gillespie Graham to design a plan for new streets within the grounds of Newington House, bounded by the back garden walls of Minto Street, Salisbury Road, East Mayfield and Dalkeith Road. Feus were offered for sale and Blacket Place began to take shape, the houses possibly being built speculatively by one builder or building company. Security was an important feature of the development, with Gothic gates, the octagonal piers of which survive, locked at night and single storey lodges at the entrances from Minto Street and Dalkeith Road. This pair of Gowans houses forms a highly unusual interlude in the generally restrained classical character of the Blacket Estate.


Appears on Lancefield's 1861 Survey Map and on 1867 PO Directory Map. D McAra SIR JAMES GOWANS: ROMANTIC RATIONALIST (1975), pp26, 29; Gifford, McWilliam and Walker EDINBURGH (1988), p643; The Blacket Association and Edinburgh Corporation Town Planning Department BLACKET CONSERVATION: AN ADVENTURE TRAIL (NMRS); C McKean EDINBURGH: AN ILLUSTRATED ARCHITECTURAL GUIDE (1992), p150.

© 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).