Dated 1582, tower house, with 17th and 18th century additions forming mansion house, of 2 and 3 storeys, extended into courtyard, set in its own ground on a low haugh next to Water of Leith. Painted cement harl (over masonry rubble); painted polished sandstone ashlar surrounds. Crowstepped gables. Round stair-tower to SE corner of original house. Roll-moulded openings. Piend-roofed tower to NW elevation.
NW ELEVATION: crowstepped-gabled ended ranges flanking symmetrical 3 bay centre section. Original tower house to right with small ground floor window and single windows at 1st and 2nd floors to far right. 17th/18th century section to left, door to left of centre with 2 windows to right, 3 windows above.
NE ELEVATION: 8 bays, tower advanced to left of centre; 4-bay section to right; windows at ground and 1st floor at outer bays; window to ground penultimate bay to right; window to 1st penultimate bay to left; single windows to upper floors of tower; panelled timber door with single window at 1st floor above to return; single window at 1st floor of re-entrant bay; windows to both floors of bays at left; bay to outer left angled.
SE ELEVATION: L-shaped; blank gable-end and turret to left, with 3 small pierced windows; panelled timber entrance door with tripartite fanlight and window to 1st floor above to bay to right; recessed bay to right at ground with single window to 1st floor above; single windows to 1st floor of innermost bays of re-entrant angle; small windows to ground below; short return with small window to ground; glazed timber door to ground of re-entrant angle with single windows to 1st floor above; timber door with single window above to angled bay at tip of L.
SW ELEVATION: window at 1st and 2nd floor to centre.
Predominantly 12-pane timber sash and case windows, 18- and 24-pane windows to larger openings. Grey slated double-pitch roof; harled coped gablehead stacks with moulded cylindrical cans; crowstepped gables; painted cast iron rainwater goods.
INTERIOR (seen 2011): vaulted basement and turnpike stair to 16th century tower; 17th/18th century extension to E contains processional dogleg stair, painted timber panel room (to SE); principal rooms at 1st floor as piano nobile; self-contained flat to basement (ground floor) with original room layout intact.
BOUNDARY WALLS: high coped sandstone rubble boundary walls with polished squared and snecked sandstone ashlar gatepiers.
Statement of Special Interest
An important early surviving example of a burgess house including significant early fabric, and rare in the context of a densely built up urban and industrial area within the City of Edinburgh.
The 16th century tower house, which forms a quarter of the existing foot print, is intact and retains its Renaissance character with few windows, a turnpike stair and vaulted basement floor. Significant earlier carved stones, related to the likelihood of an earlier house standing on the site, are incorporated into the tower house. The tower is the earliest part of the building and was built for Mungo Russell, who was a prosperous merchant burgess in Edinburgh. Carved above the tower doorway were AL MY HOIP IS IN YE LORD, the date 1582 and the initials MR and KF, referring to Mungo Russell and his wife Katherine Fisher. There are remnants of a 16th extension to the W now forming a wall and small outbuildings.
During the 17th century the W and E wings were added, forming a Z-plan house. In 1715, the house was bought by the widowed Agnes Campbell, who took the title Lady Roseburn. In keeping with contemporary tastes, Lady Roseburn added a S wing, to achieve a more classical composition and remodelled the interior of the house. The 17th and predominantly 18th century extensions respect the proportions of the tower house but also represent the contemporary taste for classical designs and are largely in their original form, including a noteworthy panelled room.
List description updated following resurvey in 2001 and in 2011-12.
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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