46-60 (EVEN NUMBERS) MELVILLE STREET, 31 MANOR PLACE, INCLUDING RAILINGS AND ARCHED LAMP HOLDERS (Ref:29328)
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: (see Notes),
Group Cat: A,
Map Ref: NT 24260 73571.
Robert Brown, 1814; built 1826 (Nos. 58 and 60 built 1860). Classical terrace comprising unified façade of 3-storey and basement, 3-bay townhouses with m,ain-door and common stair flats behind; 5-bay corner block to W returning 5 bays to Manor Place. Later attic additions to No. 54 and 60. Later alterations to no. 54 by Robert Lorimer, 1903. Later alterations to No. 31 Manor place by R Hurd and Partners for the open university, 1970. Basement area to street including some vaulted cellars and retaining walls. Sandstone ashlar, droved to basement (vermiculated to end block), channelled to ground floor. Entrance platts oversailing basement. Banded base course. Banded cill and string courses at 1st floor. Parapet to corner block, balustraded to centre. Round arched recessed surrounds to outer bays of corner block. Architraved and corniced 1st floor outer windows to corner block. Return to Manor Place similar to that at Melville Street.Predominantly 12-pane in timber sash and case windows; 24- and 16-pane glazing to No. 54 (including leaded attic windows to rear elevation). Mansard roof; grey slates. Corniced ashlar gable end and ridge stacks with modern clay cans. Cast-iron railings on ashlar coping stone edging basement recess. INTERIOR: interior typified by highly decorative classical scheme with detailed cornicing, converted for later office and residential use (2008). Neo-Tudor interior scheme by Robert Lorimer to No. 54. Ribbed and timber panelled ceiling with carved boss in canted bay to rear at right. Large sandstone fire surrounds with neo-Tudor detailing. ARCHED LAMP HOLDERS: decorative cast-iron arches, with lamp holder to centre, few lamp bowls retained. Original cast-iron serpent lamp extinguisher to railings throughout.
A-group with Melville Street, Melville Memorial and Melville Crescent (see separate listings). Melville Street is the central axis of the Walker Estate and was designed as the grandest part of the residential scheme, clearly evidenced by the centrepiece terminating Stafford Street (see separate listing). The S side of the street was completed slightly later than the N and this can be seen in more stripped back approach to the design of this part of the terrace. It is still largely unaltered and the monumental impact of the streetscape is retained, set within a wide avenue. Many original features are retained, the best of which are the serpent lamp extinguishers coiled in the railings beside the entrance to many of the houses.
Melville Street forms 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.)
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).
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