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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 2111 6917.


A J Balfour Paul, 1899. 2-storey, U-plan, Scots Renaissance style almshouses around central courtyard with elaborate over-door carving to central entrance, turrets in re-entrant angles, advanced finialled gabled entrances to wings, pedimented dormers, ridge stacks, and arched pavilions with leaded ogee roofs. Painted render with red sandstone dressings. Band course to entrance gables, eaves course. Raised window margins; dormers to 1st floor of wings with finialled triangular and segmental pediments. Timber-boarded front doors to side wings in stop-chamfered, roll-moulded architraves with prominent keystones and deep cornices. Regular fenestration.

COURTYARD ELEVATIONS: Slightly advanced 3-bay centre. Half-glazed, 2-leaf timber panelled doors to centre with leaded lights and flanking ionic pilasters supporting deep cornice; large segmental-pedimented tablet above with flanking scrolls, bearing inscription (see Notes). Tall windows breaking eaves with shaped finialled gables to bays flanking door. Slightly recessed flanking bays with timber boarded front doors in roll-moulded, key-blocked architraves with triangular pediments. Round turret to left re-entrant angle with weather vane; semi-octagonal turret to right; timber boarded front doors with circular lights and roll moulded architraves; lintel to left inscribed PAX INTRANTIBUS; lintel to right inscribed SALUS EXEUNTIBUS. Long crowstepped gabled wings advanced to each side, each with two advanced coped gables containing 2 doors at ground and paired windows at 1st floor. Regular fenestration to recessed sections; dormers at 1st floor.

N (REAR) ELEVATION: regular fenestration. 4-bay crowstepped central block; 2-leaf half-glazed timber panelled door with finialled pediment to centre; 2 timber boarded doors to outer bays. Slightly lower 2-bay flanking sections with central pedimented windows (probably former doors) at ground. Advanced 2-bay crowstepped gables to outer left and right.

E AND W (REAR) ELEVATIONS: irregularly fenestrated wings with scullery outshots and timber boarded back doors. Sections to N with crowstepped gabled outshots. Slightly lower sections to S with central swept-roof outshots flanked by pedimented dormers and large 2-window shaped slate-hung dormers. Lean-to, single-bay, outshots to outer S bays against garden wall.

6-, 8-, and 12-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows. Ashlar coped skews and skewputts. Rendered stacks with sandstone cornicing and tall red clay cans. Graded grey slate with terracotta ridge tiles. Cast-iron rainwater goods with decorative hoppers. Decorative cast-iron lamps by some front doors.

INTERIOR: access not possible 2003.

BALUSTRADE AND PAVILIONS: raised balustraded pavement around front courtyard with steps to central lawn opposite entrance doors and terminating in 2 pavilions. Square-plan pavilions with single arches to each elevation and pilastered piers to corners; string course at springing point; roll-moulded entablature; dropped keystones; leaded ogee roofs with finial.

GARDEN HOUSE: square-plan, rendered brick garden building to NW of site, with finialled pavilion roof and leaded casements.

BOUNDARY WALL AND GATEPIERS: squared, snecked sandstone rubble boundary wall around whole site with ashlar coping. Raised and recessed section to main entrance; rusticated red sandstone ashlar gatepiers with corniced caps. Timber side gates to garden with flanking ball finials and decorative bracket towards main building.

BIRDBATH: or fountain in centre of courtyard. Tiered double basin on baluster base; carved central pillar supporting upper basin which has projecting runnels for water to fall from; badly corroded stone statue of female figure at top to centre.


A very attractive group of almshouses occupying a prominent position on Spylaw Bank Road. They were built at the bequest of Sir William Fraser (1816-98), former Deputy Keeper of the Records of Scotland. He left #25000 to found the homes, which were to house poor persons of good character over the age of 55, with preference given to authors and artists. They are now administered by the Merchant Company. The tablet over the main door is inscribed BLESSED BE GOD FOR ALL HIS GIFTS ~ SIR WILLIAM FRASER K.C.B LL.D DEPARTING THIS LIFE ANNO DOMINI MDCCCXCVIII DEDICATED A GREAT PORTION OF HIS ESTATE TO THE ERECTION OF THIS HOUSE AND THE COMFORT OF ITS INDWELLERS.


ACADEMY ARCHITECTURE 1899, pp97 & 103. BUILDING NEWS, August 4 1899. Gifford, McWilliam and Walker, BUILDINGS OF SCOTLAND: EDINBURGH, p521.

© 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).