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1-41 (ODD NUMBERS) MELVILLE STREET, 1-6 (INCLUSIVE) MELVILLE PLACE, INCLUDING RAILINGS AND ARCHED LAMP HOLDERS (Ref:29324)

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

Group Items: (see Notes), Group Cat: A, Map Ref: NT 24459 73624.

Description

Robert Brown, 1814. Extensive classical terrace comprising unified fa├žade of 3-storey, and basement 2-bay townhouses with main-door and common stair flats behind, advanced off-centre 9-bay centre pavilion block with 3-bay Ionic columned centre-piece and rounded corner block to E, shops and 5-bay tenement block returning to Melville Place; later slate hung attic additions. Basement area to street including some vaulted cellars and retaining walls. Sandstone ashlar, channelled at ground floor, vermiculated basements to central pavilion. Banded base, cill and string courses at ground and 1st floors; corniced cill and eaves courses at 2nd floor (some 2nd floor windows meet string course). Breakfronted cast-iron balconies on foliate brackets at 1st floor windows. CENTRAL PAVILION: terminating axis to Stafford Street. Symmetrical. Advanced 9 bays with 3-bay tetrastyle Giant Order columned and balustraded centrepiece; paired outer columns. Central rounded arched doorway, narrow sidelights, radial and mouchette glazing to fanlight; flanking round arched windows in rounded recesses at ground floor. Architraved and corniced window surrounds, central pedimented window at 1st floor. Plain entablature, dentilled cornice, balustraded and stepped parapet with swagged bas-relief to centre; segmental arched bi-partite dormers above. End bays further advanced to flanking houses; radial fanlights over doorways; architraved and corniced 1st floor window above; stepped parapet and balustrade. E CORNER BLOCK: consisting of 3-storey, 5-bay townhouse (No. 1 Melville Street) with additional recessed curved bay to corner, and 5-bay classical tenement to Melville Place; advanced shops at ground floor, wrapping around corner. Attics and basements to Melville Street, ashlar attic storey to Melville Place. Small stepped parapet to centre. Melville Street: Stepped parapet to flanking and corner bays with bas relief panels. Recessed round arched surround to ground floor window on left. Round arched doorway with narrow sidelights, and fanlight with radial glazing. Architraved and corniced windows at 1st floor, pedimented central bay. Curved bay: recessed round arched surround with blind balustrade, with architraved, bracketed and consoled window at 1st floor, architraved surround at 2nd floor with blind sidelights. Predominantly 6- over 9-pane and 12-pane windows in timber sash and case to right of centrepiece at Melville Street, with plate glass in timber sash and case to left of centrepiece and at Melville Place; lying-pane glazing to curved corner bay; plate glass to shop fronts. Cast-iron railings on ashlar coping stone edging basement recess at Melville Street. Double pitch M-section roof; grey slates. Corniced ashlar parapet and gable stacks with modern clay cans. INTERIOR: interior typified by highly decorative classical scheme with detailed cornicing, converted for later office and residential use (2008).ARCHED LAMP HOLDERS: decorative cast-iron arches, with lamp holder to centre. Glass lamp bowls to nos. 15, 27, 37, 39. Original cast-iron serpent lamp extinguisher to railings throughout.

Notes

A-group with Melville Street, Melville Memorial and Melville Crescent (see separate listings). Melville Street is the central axis of the Walker Estate development and is the grandest part of the residential scheme. It is largely unaltered and the monumental impact on the streetscape is retained as it is set within a wide avenue. The fine classical detailing of the centrepiece provides a dramatic terminating view to Stafford Street. Original features are retained, the best of which are the serpent lamp extinguishers coiled in the railings by the entrance to most of the houses. By 1825 Melville Street was nearly complete and formed the centrepiece of the Walker Estate which was owned by Sir Patrick Walker and developed by him to a plan by Robert Brown. Melville Street is one of the earliest parts of the scheme to be built and provided an indication of the high class residential scheme that Walker intended to create. Robert Brown was an experienced architect, and by the time he was involved with the deigns for the Walker Estate he had already designed several other urban schemes, including between 1810 and 1830 laying out streets in Portobello on land belonging to the Marques of Abercorn. His other notable works include Newington and St. Leonard's church (now The Queen's Hall) and the rearrangement of the interiors for Yester House on behalf of the Marques of Tweeddale. Robert Brown worked on a number of smaller projects in the New Town but the cohesive planning of the Walker estate is amongst one of the best examples of his work. He was especially competent in the design of corner pavilions and parades of shops, as can be seen in his work at North West Circus Place (see separate listing). (List description revised 2009 as part of re-survey.)

References

Ordnance Survey, Large Scale Town Plan, (1849-53); John Wood, Plan of the City of Edinburgh, including all the latest and intended improvements (1823); J Gifford, C McWilliam, D M Walker, The Buildings of Scotland: Edinburgh (1988) p. 375; Youngson, The Making of Classical Edinburgh, (1988) p. 216; West End Community Trust, Edinburgh's West End, A Short History, (1984).

© 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).

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