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- Category: A
- Date Added: 27/10/1965
- Local Authority: Edinburgh
- Planning Authority: Edinburgh
- Burgh: Edinburgh
National Grid Reference
- NGRNT 24421 74532
- Coordinates324421, 674532
James Milne, 1824 with some later alterations at attic. Extensive symmetrical crescented terrace of 2-storey, basement and attic 3-bay townhouses, with 3-storey and basement centre block with giant order fluted Greek Doric columns inantis arranged 2-4-2. All in plain Greek classical style. Sandstone ashlar. Entrance platts oversailing basement area recess to street. Banded base course; continuous colonnade of fluted Greek Doric columns at ground floor with plain frieze and moulded cornice with continuous cast-iron balconies above; corniced eaves course with balustraded parapet above. Inset doorways with timber 4-panel doors and rectangular fanlights (various geometric glazing patterns). Tall moulded architraved and corniced 1st floor windows. Some later tile hung rectangular piend roofed dormers to attic; large tile hung box dormer to No.33.
NOS. 15-23 (3-STOREY CENTRE BLOCK): 3-storey and basement centrepiece with giant fluted Greek Doric columns arranged 2-4-2 in antis, with plain entablature and moulded cornice, flanked by advanced pilastered single bays; pilasters dividing central 4 bays at 2nd floor. Corniced eaves course. Inset cast-iron balustrade to 1st floor windows; cast-iron balconies to 1st floor windows at centre.
N (REAR) ELEVATION: coursed squared sandstone rubble with tooled ashlar rybats, lintels and cills. Ground falling away to E revealing ashlar basement/ground floor to left (Nos 50-58 Dean Street), painted timber fascia to right (No 50 Dean Street); string course between basement and ground floor, moulded cornice to right (Nos 50 and 52 Dean Street). Some cast iron balconies at 1st floor. Roughly regular fenestration.
Predominantly 12-pane glazing pattern in timber sash and case windows, predominantly 4- over 12-lying pane glazing at 1st floor. Double-pitched roof; grey slates. Corniced ashlar ridge stacks with some clay cans. Cast-iron railings edging basement area recess to street, incorporating some decorative lamp standards with large bowl shades.
INTERIOR: (selection of interiors seen 2010) decorative classical scheme, characterised by intricate plasterwork and large drawing rooms. Stone stairs with well-detailed cast iron balustrade and timber handrail, topped by large oval cupolas with decorative plasterwork beneath. Large ground and 1st floor drawing rooms to front with decorative cornicing, some ceiling roses and large marble fireplaces. Cornicing continues throughout, less elaborate to upper floors and basement. Working window shutters. Some later conversion to flats.
Statement of Special Interest
3-35 St Bernard's Crescent is a prominent and finely detailed terrace forming part of an outstanding example of early 19th century urban planning with a classical design scheme by prominent architect James Milne. The 3-storey centrepiece is particularly prominent and was thought to be the grandest on any private building in Edinburgh when it was completed. The overall design is well proportioned, with simple classical detailing, including the use of Greek sources for the colonnade which forms a continuous theme on both sides of the terrace. The terrace was designed as a key part of the development of the land of Sir Henry Raeburn. The design uses a crescented northern side and slightly inclined corner blocks to create a lozenge shaped urban crescent with a small garden ground provided to the centre. There is an emphasis on the horizontal in the designs with the use of the colonnade and a long horizontal glazing pattern, particularly evident in some of the 1st floor windows. The terrace is an integral part of Edinburgh's New Town, which is an outstanding example of classical urban planning that was influential throughout Britain and Europe.
The design of a double crescent was suggested by Sir David Wilkie in order to preserve a portion of the avenue of elms that had led to Deanhaugh House. The crescent was quickly acknowledged as one of the grandest in Edinburgh, especially for the centrepiece of the northern side of the New Town. Although the design for the whole area was not completed by Milne, later additions have interpreted his original design scheme and do not dilute the clarity of the plain Greek classical facades.
Henry Raeburn was born in Stockbridge and acquired the house and grounds of Deanhaugh through marriage, before adding adjacent land at St Bernard's. He occupied St Bernard's House until his death in 1823 when it was demolished to accommodate the growing residential development of the estate, making space for the eastern side of Carlton Street. James Milne is likely to have been involved in designs for a number of the streets, including Ann Street (see separate listing) and the development is characterised by his use of simple classical detailing and Greek sources for his designs.
James Milne was an architect and mason working in Edinburgh between 1809 and 1834 (when he moved to Newcastle). His other works in Edinburgh also include Lynedoch Place and Saxe-Coburg Place (see separate listings). Milne was also the author of The Elements of Architecture only the 1st volume of which was published in Edinburgh in 1812.
(List description updated at re-survey 2012).
Ordnance Survey, Large Scale Town Plan (1849 - 53). Ordnance Survey, Large Scale Town Plan (1893-4). J Gifford, C McWilliam, D M Walker, The Buildings of Scotland: Edinburgh (1988) p406. A J Youngson, The Making of Classical Edinburgh (1988) pp271-2. H Colvin, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840 (1995) p658. Richard Roger, The Transformation of Edinburgh: Land, Property and Trust in the Nineteenth Century (2004) p248.
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