38 AND 40 HIGH STREET AND 21 EAST TERRACE, BLACK CASTLE (Ref:40386)
This building is in the Edinburgh, City Of Council and the
It is a category A building and was listed on 22/02/1971.
Group Items: N/A,
Group Cat: N/A,
Map Ref: NT 1308 7829.
Dated 1626 at E dormer; later alterations. 2-storey and attic, 3-bay dwelling house. Painted harl; broad painted margins.N (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: late 18th century central moulded architrave doorpiece; single windows in end bays; 4 1st floor windows; 3 pedimented dormers with scroll cresting; 2 attic windows.E ELEVATION: single window in right bay at ground, 1st floor and attic.S ELEVATION: door in right bay at ground; modern forestair to door at 1st floor; outshot to W; irregular fenestration.W ELEVATION: door in left bay; windows above.Timber sash and case windows; modern attic windows. Slate roof; crowstepped skews; tall stacks at gableheads.
The dormer pediments are all inscribed: the east one with the date, a love knot and hearts; the centre one with WLMS; the west one with WL and a love knot. The initial WL and MS refer to William Lowrie and his wife Marion Speddie. William's sister-in-law, Janet Lowrie, was condemned to death as a witch and was probably burnt at Ferry Muir, which was where many witches were executed in the 17th century. The house has been much altered: in the 1950s it was used as a Mission Hall (see photograph in NMRS ref. G/WL/179); in the 1970s it was owned by a design consultancy; and in the early 1980s it was converted into 3 residential units. It is probable that the front of the house was once arcaded and it is rumoured that there is a secret stairway and tunnel leading to the shore which would have been used by smugglers. However, no sign of this stairway exists today.
1st edition O S Map 1856; RCAHMS TENTH REPORT, COUNTIES OF MID LOTHIAN AND WEST LOTHIAN (1929) p234 Item 374; C McWilliam BUILDINGS OF SCOTLAND. LOTHIAN (1980) p434; W F Hendrie DISCOVERING WEST LOTHIAN (1986), p130; Queensferry Association QUEENSFERRY. A GUIDED WALK (1986) p.18; C McKean EDINBURGH. AN ILLUSTRATED GUIDE (1992), p166; The Third Statistical Account of Scotland Vol. XXI (1992) p223.
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