DALKEITH ROAD, SALISBURY GREEN INCLUDING BOUNDARY WALLS (Ref:28620)
This building is in the Edinburgh, City Of Council and the
It is a category A building and was listed on 14/12/1970.
Group Items: N/A,
Group Cat: N/A,
Map Ref: NT 2694 7228.
John Lessels, 1860-1867, incorporating smaller mansion circa 1780. 3-storey and attic, L-plan Baronial mansion. 3-bay original house with single storey extension (circa 1820) to S; 1860-1867 additions including advanced, 3-stage cap-housed tower, new wing and single storey service wing to N; extension to SE by Gordon, Duncan and Somerville (1979). Stugged cream sandstone ashlar to principal elevation and single storey wing; stugged, squared and snecked sandstone to modern extension; rubble to sides and rear of original 18th century house and to 1820 wing. Circular bartizans; cable moulding and cherub friezes to corbels;
3 small single windows with cable moulded architraves; heraldic carving to eaves course; cast-iron finials to conical roofs.
MAIN BLOCK: (original 18th century house).
W (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: base course; carved biblical inscription and cornice to entablature of 1st floor windows; cable moulding to architraves and heraldic carving to pediments to 2nd floor windows; eaves course; cornice. Central, advanced doorway; 2-leaf panelled door; doric columns and pilasters, cornice and heraldic panel to doorpiece; 3-light, corniced, canted window to 1st floor above; single window to 2nd floor above with bracketed cill and carved scrolls to architrave. 3-light canted window to ground floor outer right; single window to 1st floor above with consoled cornice to architrave; single window to 2nd floor above. Tripartite window to ground floor outer left; single window above with consoled cornice to architrave; single window to 2nd floor above. Bartizan to 2nd floor at SW angle. S ELEVATION: 2-bay with single storey wing adjoining to E (see below); crowstepped gable; single windows to both bays to all floors; 2 smaller windows with decorative cast-iron window guards to attic; bartizan to 2nd floor at E angle.
TOWER: strip quoins; corbelled, castellated parapet with bartizans to
3 angles. W ELEVATION: advanced bipartite window at ground; cornice and finely carved heraldic panel above; band course between ground and 1st floors; bipartite window to 1st floor with carved panel above corniced architrave; single architraved window above with bracketed cill, corbelled cornice and broken pediment. Bartizans to SW and NW angles; crow-step gables and pedimented window to cap house above parapet. N ELEVATION: 2-bay; lean-to extension to ground floor with tripartite window to outer right; heraldic panel and pediment above; flanking skewputts; single windows to 1st and 2nd floors above with carved panels to corniced architraves; single pedimented window in lean-to to ground floor outer left; single architraved windows to 1st and 2nd floors above with carved panels and cornices; central carved panel depicting shield between bays and 1st and 2nd floors; bartizans to E and W angles.
NEW (1860-1867) WING: adjoining and advanced from N elevation of tower; 2-storey and attic, 2-bay; bipartite doorway to ground floor outer right; single window to 1st floor above with carved stone balcony and broken pediment; carved panel above single window to attic and to crowstepped gable above; single windows to ground floor outer left and to 1st floor above; single attic window with decoratively carved pediment breaking eaves; simple, square bartizan to E angle. Linking block to service wing to E.
SERVICE WING: L-plan, single storey wing adjoining new wing and modern extension to N. W ELEVATION: 2 crowstepped gables flanking 2-bay linking block; octagonal laundry at N angle; conical roof swept at eaves with original vents and cast-iron finial. E ELEVATION: advanced block to outer right with crowstepped gables; 5-bay linking block to left with central crowstepped gable and single windows with pediments breaking eaves; box dormers.
SINGLE STOREY WING (1820) TO S: 3-bay, bowed extension to original house. MODERN (1979) EXTENSION: on site of Lessel?s conservatory adjoining to E; single storey and attic; 3-bay to S with advanced 2-bay block to outer right with crowstepped gable; 6-bay to E elevation adjoining service wing.
Variety of small-paned, timber, sash and case windows. Grey slate pitched roofs; corniced wallhead stacks.
INTERIOR: fine interior with many original features remaining. Entrance via vestibule leading to STAIR HALL: polished stone dog-leg staircase to left with ornate wrought brasswork supporting handrail. 2 rooms to right of stair HALL: the RED ROOM , 1882, (now used as a study room) by Alexander Dingwall and John Haddon of Bonnar and Carfrae with a dramatic colour scheme in red, gold, black, white and olive green; ebony fittings and red velvet panels, both with gold leaf beading; carved classical figures to ebony overdoor; carved, black marble fireplace with decorative tiles to hearth; intricate papier mache cornice with classical male heads at corners of the room and between panels; ceiling decorated at each corner with elaborate Rococo design in gold. To the N of the Red Room, the DRAWING ROOM (now a music room), possibly of 1861, by Thomas Bonnar; bowed to S; oak skirtings, panelled doors and corbelled doorpieces; carved white marble, round-arched fireplace with pulvinated frieze and keystone; large mirror above; further full-height mirror to W wall; gilt beading to light green plasterwork panels; ceiling decorated with clouds, cherubs, flower vases, female classical heads and classical plaque in grisaille. BILLIARD ROOM to E of stair hall; top-lit with elaborately carved oak fittings; paired strapwork pilasters; recessed, panelled cue cupboard to W wall; white marble fireplace with decorative tiling within; strapwork pilasters and heraldic motifs to carved oak fire-surround; tripartite mirror to overmantle; egg and dart frieze and heraldic panels to cornice; carved wood panels to ceiling.
STUDENT BEDROOMS: some panelled corridors and doors; finely carved fireplaces with mirrored overmantles; beams with simple carved design.
BOUNDARY WALL: high rubble boundary wall surrounding estate.
Original house built by the merchant Alexander Scott and bought by the Dick Cunninghams of Prestonfield from whom William Nelson (son of Thomas Nelson, publisher) acquired it in 1860. The Nelsons owned the Parkside publishing works (on the Dalkeith Road/Holyrood Park Road site currently occupied by Scottish Widows) which was also designed by John Lessels. The decoration for the music room, often attributed to Charles Frechou, is in the RCAHMS collection of Thomas Bonnar?s designs.
NMRS Jubilee Collection ref no. XSD/5000/34/24A; A L Simpson IN MEMORIAM: THOMAS BONNAR (1876); Wilson WILLIAM NELSON: A MEMOIR (1887; published privately for Nelson?s family and friends), pp121-136; H M Paton "Lands of St Leonard?s" BOOK OF THE OLD EDINBURGH CLUB VOL 24 (1942), pp 233-234; J B Crossland "John Lessels" EDINBURGH TATLER
(11 May 1964); I Gow "The Finest Room in Scotland: Thomas Bonnar?s Decoration of the Drawing Room for Newbattle Abbey" SCOTTISH SOCIETY FOR ART HISTORY YEARBOOK (1988); Gifford, McWilliam and Walker EDINBURGH (1992), p637.
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