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- Category: A
- Group Category Details: B
- see notes
- Date Added: 22/02/1971
- Local Authority: Edinburgh
- Planning Authority: Edinburgh
- Burgh: Edinburgh
National Grid Reference
- NGRNT 12951 78356
- Coordinates312951, 678356
17th century main block; steeple of 1720; belfry and spire 1807; clock 1887. 2-storey main block; square and snecked rubble at rear; harled at front; ashlar dressings. 4-stage steeple with spire; sandstone ashlar at ground; harled upper stages; ashlar dressings; string course at 1st, 2nd and 3rd stages; projecting cornice at eaves.
N ELEVATION: modern shop door and window to right of steeple; bipartite above; dormer window with arched pediment at attic.
E ELEVATION: adjoining Rosebery Memorial Hall.
S ELEVATION: 2 1st floor windows.
Small pane sash and case windows. Slate roof; crowstepped W skew; ashlar stack at W gablehead; tall central stack at rear.
STEEPLE: 4-faces; Queensferry Arms on 1st stage; war memorial below; small windows square in proportion to 2nd and 3rd stages on W, N and E faces; arched window at 4th stage on all faces; blocked on S. Projecting Jubilee Clock on 4 faces of octagonal steeple. Pend through tower W to E; stairs to High Street; well dated 1817.
INTERIOR: greatly altered.
Statement of Special Interest
B-Group with Rosbery Memorial Hall. When it was first erected in the 17th century the Tolbooth was a prison. In 1770 the 1st floor was altered and fitted up as a courtroom and council chamber. In 1720 Henry Cuningham, MP for the Stirling Burghs, financed the building of the present steeple and a clock. This clock was replaced in 1888 by the current Jubilee Clock, a design that was not universally liked. MacGibbon and Ross believed the steeple to be 'greatly disfigured by the uncouth jubilee clock'. The steeple houses a bell inscribed: EX DONO HENRJCJ CVNJNGHAME DE BOQUHAN 1723. In 1750 another bell was also hung in the steeple. It was taken from Bailie John Syme's house to be hung at the Tolbooth and subsequently it was given to the Episcopal Church, where it remains. This bell bears the inscription: THE SEAMEN OF QVEENSFERRIE DID GIFT THIS BELL TO THE TOWNE ANNO 1694 ADRIAEN DOP FECIT. In the 1890s the Earl of Rosebery financed the building of a Memorial Hall adjoining the Tolbooth.
Area resurveyed in 2000. Descheduled in 2003. Listed building record updated 2014, formerly listed as, 'West Terrace, Tolbooth'.
MacGibbon and Ross THE CASTELLATED AND DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE OF SCOTLAND VOL.II (1842) p112; RCAHMS TENTH REPORT, COUNTIES OF MIDLOTHAN AND WEST LOTHIAN (1929), p234 (item 375); C McWillaim BUILDINGS OF SCOTLAND. LOTHIAN (1980) p433; C McKean EDINGURGH. AN ILLUSTRATED GUIDE (1992), p167; RCAHMS TOLBOOTHS AND TOWNHOUSES. CIVIC ARCHITECTURE IN SCOTLAND TO 1833 (1996), pp184-185 (item 78).
We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest and these are selected according to criteria published in the www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/shep-dec2011.pdf, Annex 2, pp74-76.
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