2-12 (INCLUSIVE NOS) OXFORD TERRACE, INCLUDING RAILINGS (Ref:29471)
This building is in the Edinburgh, City Of Council and the
It is a category A building and was listed on 12/08/1965.
Group Items: N/A,
Group Cat: N/A,
Map Ref: NT 24183 74278.
John Tait, 1855-59, with some later alterations at attic. Extensive terrace of 3-storey, basement and attic, 3-bay townhouses in Italianate classical style, with advanced sections at No.4 and No.8 and advanced 6-bay corner tenement pavilion; set on ground falling to NE. Sandstone ashlar. Entrance platts oversailing basement area recess to street. Banded base course; banded cill course at 1st and 2nd floors, moulded cill course at 3rd floor of corner pavilion; some balconies on large scrolled brackets with geometric cast-iron balustrades at 1st floor; corniced and dentilled eaves course; balustraded parapet to No.4. Banded doorways with predominantly timber 2-leaf, 6-panel doors and rectangular fanlights (some with geometric glazing pattern). Moulded and lugged architraved ground floor windows; moulded architraved 1st floor windows with alternating triangular and segmental pediments, corniced 1st floor windows to Nos. 9 and 10, triangular pedimented 1st floor windows flanked by corniced windows to corner pavilion block; deep bracketed cills to moulded architraved 2nd floor windows. Large later tile hung mansard roof to No.8; variety of later attic dormers. NE (LENNOX STREET) ELEVATION: 3 bays. Blind windows to flanking bays. SW (REAR) ELEVATION: coursed squared rubble with some droved ashlar quoins, rybats, cills and lintels. Roughly regular fenestration with some paired windows at 1st and 2nd floors. Some canted 3-light bays. Predominantly 8-pane glazing pattern in timber sash and case windows, 12-pane at 2nd floor. Double-pitched roof; grey slates. Corniced ashlar ridge and end stacks with octagonal clay cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods. Cast-iron railings edging basement area recess to street. INTERIOR: (selection of interiors seen 2010) classical decorative scheme characterised by intricate plasterwork and large drawings rooms. Decorative cornicing to entrance vestibules and principal rooms, some ceiling roses, some large marble fireplaces; stone stairs with well-detailed cast iron balustrade and timber handrail, topped by large cupolas with decorative plasterwork beneath. Some later conversion to flats.
Well-proportioned crescent of townhouses with fine architectural detailing such as pedimented 1st floor windows. The terrace is part of the early development of the West End of Edinburgh in the mid 19th century after the completion of the nearby Dean Bridge. The design is a major example of the mid 19th century treatment of urban classical architecture with restrained astylar Italiante detailing. The terrace is an integral part of Edinburgh's New Town, which is an outstanding example of classical urban planning that was influential throughout Britain and Europe.
The terrace is the earliest phase of the long delayed residential expansion of the city in the late 19th century to the north of the Dean Bridge, following its completion in 1831-2. The bridge had been part funded by John Learmonth, Lord Provost of Edinburgh, who wanted to improve access to his land to the west of the Water of Leith to allow for further residential development. The delayed development of the area around Clarendon Crescent, Oxford Terrace and Eton Terrace forced Learmonth to sell the feus to the Heriot Trust.
John Tait designed Clarendon Crescent, Eton Terrace and Oxford Terrace on behalf of Learmonth, and his designs were retained following the transfer of the feus to the Heriot Trust. Tait was experienced in deisgning residential urban and suburban schemes having supervised Rutland Square (see separate listings) and worked on the feuing plan for Inverleith Terrace (see separate listings). Little is known about his architectural training, but his designs are marked by a refined use of restrained classicism. This contrasts with the bolder classical style of the mid to later nineteenth century, which was developed in other parts of the Learmonth estate, notably at Buckingham Terrace and Learmonth Terrace (see separate listings), both of which followed the development of Oxford Terrace in the early to mid 1860s.
(List description updated at resurvey 2012).
Ordnance Survey, Large Scale Town Plan (1893-4). J Gifford, C McWilliam, D M Walker, The Buildings of Scotland: Edinburgh (1988) p399. A J Youngson, The Making of Classical Edinburgh (1988) pp271-2. Richard Roger, The Transformation of Edinburgh: Land, Property and Trust in the Nineteenth Century (2004) p248. www.scottisharchitects.org.uk (accessed 20.01.10).
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