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- Category: A
- Date Added: 14/12/1970
- Local Authority: Edinburgh
- Planning Authority: Edinburgh
- Burgh: Edinburgh
National Grid Reference
- NGRNT 24181 73568
- Coordinates324181, 673568
Robert Brown and John Lessels 1827-67. Extensive classical terrace comprising unified façade of 2- and 3-storey attic and basement townhouses with main-door and common stair flats behind; later attic additions, including an additional attic storey to Nos. 37-45. 5-bay corner blocks slightly advanced to N and S. Basement area to street including some vaulted cellars and retaining walls. Sandstone ashlar, droved ashlar to basement, channelled ashlar at ground floor. Entrance platts oversailing basement. Banded base course. Banded cill course at 1st and 2nd floor. String course between windows at 1st floor to corner blocks. Corniced eaves course. Stepped and balustraded parapet to corner blocks. Balustraded parapet to later additions to centre section. Timber 6-panel doors with plain doorpieces to centre and rectangular fanlight over. Round-arched doorways to corner blocks with narrow sidelights and plain fanlights. Round-arched recessed windows at ground floor to corner blocks. Moulded architraved surrounds at 1st floor windows. Architraved and corniced 1st floor windows to corner blocks (pedimented and bracketed surround to centre at 1st floor of corner blocks). Moulded architraved surrounds to windows of additional attic storey. Cast-iron balconies on scrolled brackets at 1st floor windows. Later rectangular lead roofed dormers to Nos. 33 and 35.
REAR ELEVATION: Roughly 2- and 3-storey with some advanced bays. Coursed squared rubble with ashlar lintels cills and rybats. Roughly regular fenestration with some tripartite windows.
Predominantly 6 over 9-pane and 12-pane in timber sash and case windows with some plate glass in timber sash and case. Double pitch M-section roof; grey slates. Corniced ashlar wallhead and ridge stacks with modern clay cans. Cast-iron railings on sandstone coping stone edging basement recess to street. Cast-iron rainwater goods.
INTERIOR: interiors typified by plain classical detailing. Some cornicing, with mainly floreate designs. Fire surrounds with broken pediments. Some oval internal rooms with detailed plasterwork door surrounds and cornicing.
Statement of Special Interest
Manor Place is a well-proportioned and detailed classical terrace, forming an important component of the Walker Estate and the Western New Town. The townhouses are a largely well-preserved example of the urban planning of Robert Brown for the former Walker estate. The initial phase of building was begun in 1822 and then completed by John Lessels in a second phase from 1864 onwards. Manor Place is a variation of the Brown design for Walker Street (and is additionally a good example of the transition between Georgian and early Victorian urban design). As a result of the slow feuing in the area the original design was also carried out very slowly and the later, northern parts of the street were built using the Brown design adapted by John Lessels leading to a gradual transition away from the Brown design the further N the street goes. The northernmost part of Manor Place (see separate listing) was not completed until 1892 and demonstrates a different approach to the design of the classical terrace from Brown's with pedimented tripartite 1st floor windows being most characteristic.
Robert Brown was an experienced architect, and by the time he was involved with the deigns for the Walker Estate he had already designed several other urban schemes, including between 1810 and 1830 laying out streets in Portobello on land belonging to the Marques of Abercorn. His other notable works include Newington and St. Leonard's church (now The Queen's Hall) and the rearrangement of the interiors for Yester House on behalf of the Marques of Tweeddale. Robert Brown worked on a number of smaller projects in the New Town but the cohesive planning of the Walker estate is amongst one of the best examples of his work. He was especially competent in the design of corner pavilions and parades of shops, as can be seen in his work at North West Circus Place (see separate listing).
John Lessels (1809 - 1883) was engaged in a number of urban design schemes throughout his career, and took over responsibility for the Walker Estate relatively early in his career. He often worked to designs originally by Robert Brown adapting them to suit changing taste as he went. He later went on to work for the City Improvement Trust in Edinburgh, and gained a wide experience of residential design with further designs in both the old and new towns of Edinburgh as well as some large commissions such as significant alterations to George Watson's Hospital.
(List description revised 2009 as part of re-survey.)
Ordnance Survey, Large Scale Town Plan, (1849-53); John Wood, Plan of the City of Edinburgh, including all the latest and intended improvements (1823); J Gifford, C McWilliam, D M Walker, The Buildings of Scotland: Edinburgh (1988) p. 375; Youngson, The Making of Classical Edinburgh, (1988) p. 216; West End Community Trust, Edinburgh's West End, A Short History, 1984.
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