David Rhind, 1849-55. Extensive Neo-Jacobethan college building in private grounds with separate Art Hall by George Washington Browne 1908-09 to W; gate lodge to N at Queensferry Road. Some interior decoration by Sir Basil Spence, . Later alterations to interior forming assembly hall by Simpson and Brown Architects 2007. College grounds surrounded by coped boundary wall.
COLLEGE: roughly 16-bay, 2-storey and attic I-plan (front courtyard now enclosed) Neo-Jacobethan college with prominent turreted towers. Sandstone ashlar. Banded base course and corniced balustraded eaves course to single storey screen advanced at ground floor; former main entrance to centre with large shaped gable, flanked by canted bays with ogee capped octagonal bartizans to sides and further curvilinear gables. Moulded band course at 1st floor to flanking and recessed bays; corniced eaves course with parapet above. 4-stage towers to corners of flanking bays, with crenellated 3rd stage and octagonal 4th stage with ogee dome. Large 3 stage stair towers to left and right; shaped parapet at 2nd stage with corbelled corner bartizans; arcaded 3rd stage with louvers and ogee roof. Prominent shaped gable at 1st floor flanked by tall ogee capped towers. Moulded architraved windows, some hoodmoulded, transomed and mullioned. W (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: 2 storeys, roughly 7 bays with prominent tower to centre and rectangular 4 stage towers to outer bays. Main entrance to centre of tower with hoodmoulded transomed fanlight above. Similar design to E elevation. S ELEVATION: advanced end and central bays, with shaped gables flanked by 4-stage crenellated towers to outer bays. Advanced broad central bay with shaped gable and corbelled bartizans. Large transomed and mullioned arcaded window to centre bay at 1st floor with hoodmould and decorative roundel above.
Predominantly plate glass in timber sash and case windows. Flat roofs with corniced ashlar wallhead stacks integrated with parapet; some modern clay cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods.
INTERIOR: entrance hall, stair towers and classrooms predominantly plain with some timber panelling and coffered ceilings. Hall at ground and lower ground floors formed from original courtyard, behind screen and porters lodge, by Simpson and Brown Architects 2007. Library (originally chapel) at 1st floor to rear with seven bay roof of angel hammerbeams, coloured in red and black by Sir Basil Spence (1946-8). Timber gallery front by Rhind with painted shields and further timber panelling. Armorial stained glass by Chilton and Kemp, Gothic marble tablets flanking the S window. War Memorial forming entrance to Library from 1st floor corridor with Gothic panelling designed by C.E. Tweedie and sons and stained glass by Chilton and Kemp.
ART ROOM: single storey 3-bay rectangular-plan art room (former library) with prominent 2-stage towers to corners and canted bays flanking entrance. Sandstone ashlar. Corniced eaves course with shaped parapet above (plain to canted bays). Prominent curvilinear shaped gables to E and W. Octagonal plan towers to each corner with blind fenestration at 2nd stage, corniced eaves course and ogee caps. Main entrance set between advanced canted bays with transomed shouldered arched fanlight above. Paired bipartite windows in shouldered arched surrounds. INTERIOR: plain interior with small porch and large hall beyond.
N GATE LODGE: single storey gatelodge flanked by main entrance gates. Sandstone ashlar. Corniced eaves course (stepped above windows) with plain parapet. Octagonal ogee capped 2-stage corner towers flanking prominent shaped gables to N and S.
BOUNDARY WALLS: sandstone ashlar with moulded and shaped copes. Octagonal capped gate piers.
Statement of Special Interest
A-group with Dean Park House (see separate listing). Outstanding example of a 19th century college designed by David Rhind in Neo-Jacobethan style. The building demonstrates a powerful composition with a varied use of towers and bartizans creating a profile full of movement and interest. The original form of the building with porters' lodges flanking the entrance to a cloistered courtyard is similar to an Oxford college, and the Jacobethan style links the building further to this type of architecture. The layout of the building on a prominent terrace and set back from the road with entrance lodges is similar to Fettes College (see separate listing), which also employs a composition of turrets and towers, although in the Scottish Baronial style. The overt references made to Scottish architecture by Bryce's composition at Fettes contrast with the architectural tradition of Oxford Colleges which Rhind alludes to in his composition at Daniel Stewart's College. The way the building dominates the surrounding streetscape with a composition punctuated by turrets and towers provides a significant contribution to the streetscape of one of the major routes into Edinburgh City centre.
The school was built with a bequest from Daniel Stewart who died in 1814. On the death of his niece in 1845 the trustees of the estate had some £80,000, choosing David Rhind. Rhind produced three designs for the school all of which were on the same plan but in different styles. The Jacobethan design was chosen, but Rhind's designs also included an Italianate and a Westminster palace Gothic submission.
Rhind was a highly influential and successful architect and was an especially prominent designer of commercial buildings, including work as the architect to the Commercial Bank of Scotland. It was his work on their head office at 14 George Street in Edinburgh (see separate listing) which is thought to have won him the commission for Daniel Stewart's College. Rhind's bank architecture was opulent, and he developed the palazzo style for many of the provincial branches. In his limited domestic work he often used Scots Baronial, as at Carlowrie Castle, kirkliston 1855 (see separate listing) which he more fully developed for the Sheriff Courthouses at Dumfries, Kirkudbright and Selkirk in the late 1860s. Rhind's use of the Jacobethan for Daniel Stewart's college illustrates his confidence with a number of styles and his skill in producing the appropriate massing and presence for a building, something which he is likely to have learnt from his commercial work.
List description revised as part of resurvey (2009).
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