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Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.


Status: Designated


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  • Category: A
  • Date Added: 14/12/1970


  • Local Authority: Edinburgh
  • Planning Authority: Edinburgh
  • Burgh: Edinburgh

National Grid Reference

  • NGRNT 24115 71811
  • Coordinates324115, 671811


James Gowans, dated 1859. 2-storey irregular-plan American stick-style villa, later alterations in same style. Cyclopean rubble and quartz from different quarries, raised bull-faced bands, vertical panels and dressings of grey sandstone, dividing rubble into grid of strips. Overhanging eaves; timber brackets on bull-faced corbels to gebles and dormerheads; exposed rafters; bull-faced banded mullions; battered base to garden elevations; banded stacks with gabled canopies.

SE (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: 4-bay; broad advanced gabled entrance bay to left of centre flanked by narrower recessed gabled bays, doorway off-centre flanked by narrow single window to right and tripartite to left with polished ashlar mullions under common polished ashlar lintel and hoodmould, tiled vestibule and penelled door; stepped quadripartite window at 1st floor above under corbelled gableline; 2 carved tablets with entwined letters MS to left, date 1859 to right in raised section of gablehead above. Bay to right of centre with projecting ground floor addition with lean-to roof and cast-iron brattishing clasping corner formed with further recessed bay to outer right; 3 narrow windows at ground floor that at centre with gabled dormerhead, stepped tripartite window to 1st floor. Bay to outer left with canted window to half-piend roof at ground floor, single window at 1st floor with shaped triangular head and gablet hoodmould. Bay to outer right with bipartite window at ground floor, small single window at 1st floor to right, single window to left breaking eaves in gabled dormerhead.

SW (NAPIER ROAD) ELEVATION: 2-bay; advanced gabled bay to left with tripartite window at ground floor, shaped triangular head to central window; quadripartite window under gable at 1st floor with canted central lights as part of diamond canted wallplane on single carved corbel rising through gable to projecting gablehead. Bay to right with tripartite window at ground floor with carved corbels carrying stone slate canopy; transomed tripartite window at 1st floor breaking eaves in gabled dormerhead. NW (SPYLAW ROAD) ELEVATION: 4-bay, 2 advanced bays to left with single window at ground floor toleft, bipartite window at ground floor to right and central shouldered wallhead stack corbelled above ground floor; gabled return elevation with single gabled window at 1st floor. Bays to right with stepped tripartite window with individual stone slate canopies at ground floor to left, single round-arched window at 1st floor breaking eaves in gabled dormerhead. Advanced broad bay to right with 2-storey canted window flanked by single windows, carved corbels carrying stone slate hood to ground floor windows, gable over central bipartite window at 1st floor.

NE (REAR) ELEVATION: 2-bay with single storey wash house (later addition) of rendered concrete (echoing masonry pattern of main house) with mansard roof to right; adanced gabled bay to right with single gabled window at 1st floor, on return single window at ground floor, single window at 1st floor breaking eaves in gabled dormerhead; gabled bay to left with 2 small blocked up windows at 1st floor.

Timber sash and case windows, some with plate glass glazing, some 4-pane sashes, original windows to NW elevation with 8-pane sashes of perfect squares; Scottish slate roof, lead flashings; 1 cross-sectioned stack and 1 drum stack to SW, transverse ridge stack to NE, wallhead stack (see above); moulded gutterheads and brackets; single storey detached garage and shed to NE.

INTERIOR: tiled hall; roll-moulded door cases; doors and window shutters and surrounds of deeply moulded square panels; stone stair with turned timber balustrade and pendants; skylight above with characteristic cornice brackets; ground floor dining room with elaborate bracketted cornice and marble fireplace with carved timber surround of pilasters with fluted tapering heads and roundels with carved heads; 1st floor drawing room coved ceiling with bands of octagonal mouldings, octagonal cornice with twisted band, characteristic corbelled detail over bay window. BOUNDARY WALL AND GATEPIERS: tall wall of cyclopean rubble with flat bull-faced coping to rear and NW, low rubble wall to SW, square rubble gatepiers with grid of polished ashlar bands and battered base, corbelled stepped coping; cast-iron gates and railings.

Statement of Special Interest

Lammerburn was designed using a standardised 2ft module expressed in a grid on the exterior. The modular system enabled Gowans to standardise details and fittings. In doing this he believed to revive medieval masonry traditions. As his own house, Rockville (dem. 1966), on the other side of Napier Road, Lammerburn was built using stones from a large number of Scottish quarries, some claim that every working quarry in Scotland was represented.



THE BUILDER, 17 March 1860; D McAra, SIR JAMES GOWANS ROMANTIC RATIONALIST, (Edinburgh, 1975), pp26-7; Nicholas Taylor Modular Rockery in AR Feb 1967, pp147-151; Gifford et al., EDINBURGH (1984), p502.

About Designations

Listed Buildings

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest and these are selected according to criteria published in the, Annex 2, pp74-76.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

Enquiries relating to works to listed buildings should be made to the local authority in the first instance. Listed building consent is required for works which a local authority considers will affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest and local authorities also decide if listed building consent is required.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The local authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. For information about curtilage see

Legislation introduced on 1 October 2015 allows us to state that: an object or structure fixed to the listed building; any object or structure within the curtilage of the listed building; and, any part or feature of the listed building that is not of architectural or historic interest may be excluded from a listing. If part of your building is not listed under the new legislation, the part will be excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect current legislation.

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Printed: 24/05/2016 18:38