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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 22/02/1971.

Group Items: N/A, Group Cat: N/A, Map Ref: NT 1289 7839.


Dated 1641; restored by Basil Spence 1953. 3-storey, basement and attic, L-plan dwelling house with polygonal turnpike tower. Rubble; raised ashlar dressings.


E (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: 3-storey, 4-bay; turnpike tower at 2nd bay from left; moulded door architrave on north face; 'Spes Mea Christus SW AP 1641' over doorway; single windows at 1st and 2nd floors on east face. Regular fenestration in 1st, 3rd and 4th bays at ground, 1st and 2nd floors.

N ELEVATION OF NORTH WING: single window at ground floor in right bay; 2 windows at 3rd floor in left bay.

W ELEVATION: 3-storey, basement and attic, 4-bay; regular fenestration; basement windows square in proportion; attic lights in 2nd and 3rd bay; door adjacent to right bay.


N ELEVATION: 3-storey, 3-bay; central door; plain surround; regular fenestration.

E ELEVATION: blind gable end.

S ELEVATION: east range; rubble; ashlar surrounds to windows; 2-storey, basement and attic, 3-bay; basement windows in each bay; single windows in outer bays at upper floors; central attic window. Gable end to west; entrance doors in right bay; modern forestair to 1st floor door; small opening with timber hatch to left at roof line.

12-pane sash and case windows; 3-pane sash and case windows at basement; modern attic lights; original door to turnpike tower. Slate roof; straight skews; ashlar stacks at north gablehead, east gablehead and centre of north wing.

INTERIOR: modern.


The inscription above the main door refers to the marriage of Samuel Wilson and Anna Potoun and the translation reads: Christ is my hope. Samuel Wilson was a merchant who imported timber from the Baltics and wines from Bordeaux. When Plewlands House was built for Wilson and his new wife it lay beyond the Burgh boundaries; local tradition says this was to avoid burgh taxation. At the time of the 1st Edition O S Map, in 1856, the house still lay beyond the Municipal Boundary but was within the Parliamentary Boundary. The restoration by Basil Spence was the result of concern by the Department of Health on the future of the building. In a letter of 1 March 1952 from The Department of Health to The National Trust of Scotland the department relayed their fears that Plewlands House was threatened by property extension by the Distilleries Agency Ltd and West Lothian County Council's future road proposals for the area. The Department therefore asked for the opinion of the National Trust on the preservation of Plewlands House. The fate of Plewlands House quickly captured national attention. Lord Crawford referred to the house in his address on 'Preservation of Works of Art' to the Institute of Public Administration in August 1952 and, following a site visit, Lord Home, Minister of State, voiced his desire to see the house preserved. On 1st January 1953 Plewlands House was handed over to The National Trust of Scotland by the Misses Ferguson and, with financial aid from The Pilgrim Trust, Basil Spence was employed to restore the house. On 19th May 1953 an application was made to the Local Authority for the "conversion of Plewlands House, South Queensferry, into seven houses consisting of 2-1 apartment, 1-2 apartment and 4-3 apartment houses".


1st Edition O S Map, (1856); C McWilliam BUILDINGS OF SCOTLAND. LOTHIAN (1980), p434; W F Hendrie DISCOVERING WEST LOTHIAN (1986), p130; Queensferry Association QUEENSFERRY. A GUIDED WALK (1986), p.30; C McKean EDINBURGH. AN ILLUSTRATED GUIDE (1992), p167; THE THIRD STATISTICAL ACCOUNT OF SCOTLAND VOL.XXI (1992), p.223. National Trust for Scotland Archive.

© 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).