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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 26795 72010
  • Coordinates326795, 672010


Sir James Gowans, 1859-60. 2-storey with attic and basement, symmetrical 4-bay rectangular-plan pair of idiosyncratic houses. Polished sandstone ashlar, polychromatic banded masonry, stugged rubble sides. Base course; dividing band course; bracketed cornice; banded quoins and central banded pilaster; architraved windows, with aprons at ground; semicircular pediments and carved keystones to ground and attic windows; bracketed cills and cast-iron window guards to 1st floor windows.

W (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: slightly recessed single storey entrance porches with glazed sides to N and S; glazed conservatory above N porch. Semicircular pediments to architraved doorways with round- arched fanlights. Venetian windows to inner bays at ground; round- arched single windows to outer bays at ground; single windows to 1st floor; round-arched dormers to attic; regularly fenestrated basement with decorative iron guards.

4-pane timber sash and case windows to ground and 1st floors; Venetian windows flanked by 2-pane lights; 4-pane sash and case; 6-pane sash and case to attic. Grey slate mansard roof with 1 mutual and 2 pairs of wallhead stacks, crowstepped, banded and with bracketed cornices; decorative iron brattishing roof, in front of basement fenestration, and along coping of wall to street.

INTERIORS: not seen 1996.

BOUNDARY WALLS: coped boundary wall to street; later railings; coped mutual boundary wall and gatepier to Nos 21 and 27.

Statement of Special Interest

Dr Benjamin Bell of Hunthill, an eminent Edinburgh surgeon and farmer, speculated on the potential for development in the lands of Newington. In 1806, aware of the demand for countrified dwellings near the city, he advertised his intention to sell 58 plots of land within his 8.5 acres. On his death in the same year his son George Bell, also a surgeon, inherited the land and, in 1825, commissioned James Gillespie Graham to design a plan for new streets within the grounds of Newington House, bounded by the back garden walls of Minto Street, Salisbury Road, East Mayfield and Dalkeith Road. Feus were offered for sale and Blacket Place began to take shape, the houses possibly being built speculatively by one builder or building company. Security was an important feature of the development, with Gothic gates, the octagonal piers of which survive, locked at night and single storey lodges at the entrances from Minto Street and Dalkeith Road. This pair of Gowans houses forms a highly unusual interlude in the generally restrained classical character of the Blacket Estate.



Appears on Lancefield's 1861 Survey Map and on 1867 PO Directory Map.

D McAra SIR JAMES GOWANS: ROMANTIC RATIONALIST (1975), pp26, 29; Gifford, McWilliam and Walker EDINBURGH (1988), p643; The Blacket Association and Edinburgh Corporation Town Planning Department BLACKET CONSERVATION: AN ADVENTURE TRAIL (NMRS); C McKean EDINBURGH: AN ILLUSTRATED ARCHITECTURAL GUIDE (1992), p150.

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.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at