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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 29/11/1990.

Group Items: N/A, Group Cat: N/A, Map Ref: NT 2235 7338.


Parker and Unwin, 1906-7; A H Motram, altered 1956. Late flourishing Arts and Crafts white-harled suburban villa, built on slope. Roughly L-plan with asymmetrical elevations: 3-storey principal elevation to S (garden) and 2-storey and attic entrance elevation to N (street), including jamb at E. Bracketted overhanging eaves; flat-roofed dormers, both timber and harled.

N ELEVATION: narrow rectangular windows disposed in pairs and threes in expanses of blind white wall; boarded 2-leaf main door to No 15 with cast-iron Art Nouveau handle and hinges, set in recessed, segmental-arched opening; pairs of small square windows below eaves; forestair with block coping at E dates from 1957.

S ELEVATION: canted bay (a curved bow on interior) rising through 3-storeys comprising grid of mullioned and transomed windows above lighting hall; various horizontal groupings of windows elsewhere, 6 breaking eaves at left (W); verandah (to left of canted bay) recessed in three-centred arch, with screen wall in front pierced by pair segmental-arched openings; door and glazing behind screen wall altered 1957; door on far right (at E angle) and ground floor window to right of canted bay also introduced at that date.

Detached garage block with piended roof at E, accessed through pair of planked gates with long strap hinges.

Small paned casement windows with top hoppers. Grey slate piended roofs, swept at eaves; ridge stacks lugged at angles beneath thin moulded copes; cylindrical terracotta cans; cast-iron rainwater goods.

BOUNDARY WALLS AND GATES: tall white-harled boundary wall incorporating pairs of gate piers; wall recessed and lowered to No 15; geometric entrance arch to No 13 at left; distinctive wrought-ironwork gates.


Built for WA Smith, 1906-7, and subdivided (1956) by AH Mottram (a former assistant in the Parker and Unwin Office) into 3 separate houses. Balnagowan is a rare example of Parker and Unwin's work in Scotland. Although better known for their work in the development of the Garden City philosophy, Unwin and Parker also received commissions for small country houses. The pair always referred to houses as 'homes' and the union between house and owner was at the core of Unwin and Parker's design philosophy. In their book The Art of Building a Home (1901) they described their work as "creating a true setting for true lives, stamped with the personalities, individualities, characters and influence of those lives". Thus it is likely that Balnagowan is as much a product of Smith's needs and desires as of Unwin and Parker's artistry. In keeping with the prevailing Arts and Crafts tradition, the architects favoured simple, clean lines and abandoned any overt decoration in their design for Balnagowan. Similarly, the use of white harling was faithful to the Arts and Crafts philosophy, which preached loyalty to the locality.


City Archives, Dean of Guild records, 10 February 1956; J Gifford, C McWilliam and D Walker, EDINBURGH (Buildings of Scotland series), (1984), p 633; F Jackson SIR RAYMOND UNWIN: ARCHITECT, PLANNER AND VISIONARY (1985) pp30-39.

© 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).