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South Bridge / Cowgate : Edinburgh

Historical and Analytical Assessment of the fire-damaged buildings
by David Connolly with Morag Cross William Kay Rob Maxtone Graham Illustrated by Kenneth MacFadyen Edited by John A, Lawson

for The City of Edinburgh Archaeology Service December 2002 May 2003

Addyman Associates Ltd
Archaeology and Historic Building Services

Capro Building Castlebrae Business Centre 40 Peffer Place Edinburgh EH16 4BB Tel/Fax :: 0131-661-0123

Company No. : SC178907 / VAT Reg. : 694178785

South Bridge / Cowgate Fire : Edinburgh

Contents
Part 1 – The Site Record 1. Introduction 2. The Site 3. Methodology 3.1. Recording 3.2. Photography Part 2 – The Archaeological Record 4. Building Analysis 4.1. The Site Plan 4.2. Cartographic Research 4.2.1. Ground Plans 4.2.2. Early Plans 4.2.3. The 18th century Mapmakers 4.2.4. South Bridge Scheme and Improvements (1780’s and the 19th century) 4.2.5. The Ordnance Survey

5. The Buildings – general discussion 5.1 Buildings 1 – 3 5.2 Buildings 4 – 6 & 12 5.3 Buildings 11 5.4 Buildings 13 6. Elevations 6.1 Elevation 1 6.2 Elevation 2 6.3 Elevation 3 6.4 Elevation 4 6.5 Elevation 5 6.6 Elevation 6 6.7 Elevation 7 6.8 Elevation 8 6.9 Elevation 9 6.10 Elevation 10 6.11 Elevation 11 6.12 Elevation 12 6.13 Elevation 13 7. Excavations 7.1 Introduction 7.2 Investigation 7.3 Summary

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Part 3 – The Historical Record 8 Introduction 8.1 Origins (15th – 16th centuries) 8.11 Introduction 8.12 Methodology 8.13 Land Development and Layout 8.14 Adam’s Square 8.2 The Adam’s Influence 8.21 Introduction 8.22 John Strachey and William Adam, 1729. 8.23 James Hamilton of Olivestob and William Adam. 8.24 John Adam and the Cowgate 8.3 Decline, Improvements and Development (19th – 20th centuries) 8.31 Streets 8.32 Adam Square and South Bridge 8.33 Hastie’s Close 8.34 Buildings 1, 2, 3 & 10 8.35 Building 3, The Bridge and Earlier Views of the Site 8.36 Buildings 4 &5/ 8.37 Building 6 8.38 Building 7 8.39 Building 8 8.3.10 Building 9 9 Conclusions 10. Acknowledgements 11. Bibliography

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Figures :
Fig. 1. Fig. 2. Fig. 3. Fig. 4. Fig. 5. Fig. 6. Location Plan Photo : View of Fire Site from Blair Street Photo : Methods of Photographic Collection Photo : Initial demolition detail of Site Photo : Courtyard of Building 12 Site Plan – showing extant walls and wall lines, levels, elevation/building locations and excavation.

Fig. 7. Composite View of Fire Site – View 1 Fig. 8. Composite View of Fire Site – View 2 Fig. 9. Composite View of Fire Site – View 3 Fig. 10. Fig. 11. Fig. 12. Fig. 13. Fig. 14. Fig. 15. Fig. 16. Fig. 17. Fig. 18. Phased Plan – Level 0 Phased Plan – Level 1 Phased Plan – Level 2 Phased Plan – Level 3 Phased Plan – Level 4 Phased Plan – Level 5 Phased Plan – Level 6 Phased Plan – Level 7 Phased Plan – Level 8

Fig. 19. Location of 16th/17th century wall lines (rectified and overlaid on present ground plan) Fig. 20. Location of mid 18th century structures (recti ied and overlaid on present f ground plan) Fig. 21. Location of late 18th century structures involving the South Bridge (rectified and overlaid on present ground plan) Fig. 22. Location of 19th century structures (rectified and overlaid on present ground plan) Fig. 23. Historical Map : Moryson 1566 Fig. 24. Historical Map : Rothiemay 1647 Fig. 25. Historical Map : Edgar, 1742 Fig. 26. Historical Map : Ainslie 1780 (prior to South Bridge) Fig. 27. Historical Map : Clarke 1834 Fig. 28. Historical Map : Post Office 1840 Fig. 29. Historical Map : 2nd Edition 1867 OS Map of Area Fig. 30. Elevation 1 Fig. 31. Elevation 2 Fig. 32. Elevation 3 Fig. 33. Elevation 4 Fig. 34. Elevation 5 Fig. 35. Elevation 6 Fig. 36. Elevation 7 Fig. 37. Elevation 8 Fig. 38. Elevation 9 Fig. 39. Elevation 10 Fig. 40. Elevation 11 Fig. 41. Photo : View showing complex phases of alteration – Building 13 Fig. 42. Photo : Roll moulding of c. 16th C date inserted into 1790’s construction. Fig. 43. Elevation 12 Fig. 44. Elevation 13

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Fig. 45. Composite plan showing layout of tenement plots described in text Fig. 46. Rothiemay Map of area.

Fig. 47. Historical Map : Moryson 1566 Fig. 48. Historical Map : Edgar, 1742 Fig. 49. View of Adam Squar in the 1850’s. e Fig. 50. Laying of foundation stone for New College, 1789 : with removal of Flodden Wall(?), Adam Square and half completed South Bridge Structures. Fig. 51. Robert Kay’s Proposal for Mirrored Elevation flanking the Cowgate Bridge. Fig. 52. Photo : 1870 view showing corner of Adam Square, prior to demolition. Fig. 53. Photo : 1870 view from Hasties Close of area around Building 11 Fig. 54. View of J & R Allan – 1901 Fig. 55. 1823 Elevation detail from Thomas Hamilton’s designs for buildings 4 & 5 Fig. 56. Sample selection of 19th century Petitions for development. (DoG archives) – See Appendix 10.3

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South Bridge / Cowgate Fire : Edinburgh

South Bridge / Cowgate :: Edinburgh
Outline Historical and Analytical Assessment of the fire-damaged buildings.

Part 1 – The Site Record
1. Introduction
The element of the Cowgate project began with the contracting of Addyman Associates Ltd by John Lawson the City of Edinburgh Council Archaeology Service (CECAS) under his Project Management. The brief was to continue the onsite investigation, historical research and to act as a point of contact between the various heritage bodies and the onsite contractors (Dalton Demolition, Will Rudd Davidson Engineers and the City of Edinburgh Concil represented by Robin A damson). u An archaeological presence was maintained on a regular basis, allowing the recovery of photographic / analytical data to be recovered, where possible, during the process of demolition and ‘making safe’ of the site. Meetings were held twice weekly with the above bodies to make informed decisions as to the practical retention of as much as the building fabric and the coordination of archaeological recording with the down-taking of dangerous elements within the fire damaged buildings. Contiguous with the field works, historians were assigned separate time periods from the 15th – 20th centuries and a major review of available resources was undertaken. This review, although not comprehensive, provided information that informed both the areas of significance that were assigned a high priority of onsite recording and presented a wealth of detail on the inhabitants, development and written material that pertained to the site. The result of the historical survey has shown the potential for continued work in this area and has highlighted the vast resource of cartographic, photographic, documentary and pictorial data that is available. Due to the confines of this project, the information within this report, although by no means cursory, cannot be seen as exhaustive. The aim to record and understand the sequence of development of this site has been a great success, but as with so many ventures, the possibilities for further research and analysis of this unique window into the development of Edinburgh are endless. Addyman Associates would like to dedicate this Report to the Firefighters who prevented a greater disaster and the owners and occupants of those buildings lost in the Fire, to whom this was a disaster. We sincerely hope that a new period of this sites long and fascinating history will rise quickly from the ruins.

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South Bridge / Cowgate Fire : Edinburgh

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South Bridge / Cowgate Fire : Edinburgh

Crammond Island

North Sea

Edinburgh
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10 Km

1 Km
Princ
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Waverly Station
North e Bridg
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Lauriston Place

Figure 1 : Site Location

Addyman Associates Ltd for CECAS

Queens Drive

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South Bridge / Cowgate Fire : Edinburgh

2. The Site (Figures 1 & 6)
The site is bounded by South Bridge to the E, Cowgate to the N, Wilkie House Theatre (formerly Cowgate Free Church) and the southern part of Guthrie Street to the W, and the properties fronting onto Chambers St. to the S. For the purposes of ease of description the principal structures that fall within the site area have been numbered individually, 1 – 13. The buildings fronting onto Chambers St (8 : Traffic Warden centre, 9 : Adam House, and 10 : Biblios Cafe) were little damaged by the fire but are included for the purposes of understanding the evolution of this part of the townscape. Likewise Wilkie House, which escaped substantial fire damage, is included for the same reasons. Each floor level within the site was assigned a number – Level 0 being the street level on the Cowgate – due to the nature of the terracing, the ground plan shows levels 0-2 as the site steps up twice to the south. The actual limits of demolition however contains only one terrace step, as the process of demolition and ‘making-safe’ was not required on any of the buildings that fronted onto Chambers Street, (Buildings 8-10), Wilkie House (Building 7) was also saved from demolition and Building 6 was reduced to 1st floor level for safety reasons. The main site that is described within this report consists of Buildings 1-5 & 11-13) (Figure 2)

3. Methodology
The nature of recording a site that was under a Section 13 order presented a challenge for normal archaeological techniques; with the pressing requirements to both opening the South Bridge to traffic and removing the danger of further collapses, there was no time to spend time recording elevations in the field using traditional techniques. (Figure 3) It was quickly decided to digitally record all accessible elevations and ground plans, with a view to analysing the data after the main works had been completed. Mason Land Survey had carried out a Laser Scan survey (Figures 30 & 31) of the major South Bridge and Cowgate elevations, which would allow reconstruction, if required, of the façades. This survey was incorporated into the interpretative report, though the façades were still in a raw data format, with details of the elevations obtained from photography; both digital and large format prints produced by the RCAHMS. The task for Addyman Associates was to investigate the internal site elevations as they became exposed, though often this meant that elevations were only partially visible at any one time and in many cases were so badly collapsed that no recording was possible at all. (Figure 4) Although most elevations were covered during the downtaking process, only 13 elevations have been presented within this report, as most informative on the site’s constructional history. It must be stressed that the information for a near complete reconstruction of the site would be obtainable from the existing photo-survey, but to produce such a report would, it is felt, add little to the present interpretation of the site.

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South Bridge / Cowgate Fire : Edinburgh

Figure 2: View of site from Blair Street after initial collapse and demolitions

Figure 3: Example showing how we managed to record the demolition site

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South Bridge / Cowgate Fire : Edinburgh

The following sections outline the procedures and methodology that was used to record the site; this was a technique of recording buildings that were in a dangerous state and provided limited access to the actual fabric. (Figure 5) The achievement is the amount of data that was recovered, where the alternative was the loss of most of the detailed constructional information within the heart of a World Heritage Site. The stored information and photographs would allow further study of these buildings if this were required.

3.1 Recording
To record a site using traditional methods was never an option for this complex of structures. It was decided to achieve as detailed a record of the elevations taking into consideration the fluid Health & Safety issues due to the collapsing buildings, measure and note important features that may be of use in the assigning of phase periods. It was never expected that the archaeological investigation of the site would be able to provide a full record of the area, but by cross referencing sources with historians and the detailed examination of cartographic sources, it was possible to achieve an understanding of the process of development from the origins of the site to the day of the fire. Each structure was assigned a building number a system that all contractors involved on the site adopte . Within these there were the 8 Levels and both d rooms and elevations were assigned a unique number throughout the entire site. Using this standardised system, it allowed the location of features (also assigned a context number) such as a window, door or blocking, to be located within the site as a whole. Normally, each constructional detail and feature would receive a number, but the sheer volume that this would produce in this case precluded this level of analysis. However, due to the detailed photographic coverage, united with the accurate elevations and ground plans, it would be possible to recreate most of the site and produce a comprehensive feature analysis. (Figures 7 – 9) A number of major elevations were recovered – and are described in detail later. A plan has been prepared to show the location of these, and the specific drawing number of the elevation will also be referred to within the report. Many of these drawing cover multiple buildings and levels, but do provide an overview for the understanding of the vertical developments that have been carried out on this site. The process of recording has taken place after the actual structures have been demolished, but with the high quality of photography, the number of photographs (some 1500) and the ability to create scaled photo-elevations that measurements can be taken, this is not seen as a problem in the comprehension of the long and complex structural history of the site.

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Figure 4: Early demolition works of Building 3 ( Leisureland) prior to the collapse of the north gable

Figure 5: View of Building 12's rediscovered courtyard mostly obscured by demolition rubble

3.2 Photography
Photographic recording was seen as the only viable source of data collection that was available to the archaeologists; however, the possibility of recovering sufficient measurements from the site was seen as impractical and dangerous.

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A Photogrammetric Survey package was available that would make the task of digitally capturing the site a practical option. The use of Photomodeler has been shown on several occasions (Ossian’s Hall, Dunkeld (Report NTS 2002); Dryhope Tower, Borders (Report Simpson & Brown 2002); Canna Church, Canna (Report Kirkdale Archaeology 2000); Gylen Castle, Kerrera (Report Historic Scotand 2002) etc to allow the rapid and accurate acquisition of elevation data. The process involves taking photographs of an elevation from at least 3 separate angles, though normally 8-12 photographs are taken to maximise the coverage, after which a single diagonal measurement is obtained. The photos are displayed on screen and the operator marks each photo with the mouse, tracing and tagging features of interest. PhotoModeler then combines the photos and locates the marked features in three dimensions. The marks become accurately measured points, lines or polygons in a single, unified 3D space. The result is a 3D model that can be transferred to any graphics or CAD program. A 3D model is a set of connected 3D points, which represent an object. Three dimensional points have coordinate values for each of the Cartesian axes (X,Y, and Z). The points in a 3D model can be connected by lines or by triangular patches, called surfaces. These connections help the user to visualize the three dimensions when the model is projected onto a flat surface such as a computer monitor or a printed page. No measurement technology can be perfect and all measurement involves performing approximations. PhotoModeler is no different and has been compared to other techniques of simple measurement such as using a tape measure for linear dimensions and a theodolite for 3D measurements. We have found that the accuracy of a Measurement Project is dependent on a number of factors: • • • • the quality of the calibration of the camera and digitiser used, the resolution of the camera and digitiser used, the geometry of the camera positions, and the precision with which the user marks object features as they appear in images.

For a project done with the high resolution Digital Camera (in this case a 6 MegaPixal Fuji S602) and with reasonable user care, PhotoModeler has been shown to have a relative accuracy in linear dimensions of around one part in two thousand (1:2000) for man made objects (with 95% probability). With higher resolution medium format metric cameras accuracies as high as 1:10,000 have been demonstrated Using the sub-pixel target marker greatly improves the last factor shown above (precision of marking). Given that the other factors are taken care of (good geometry, good camera calibration, etc) one can achieve 1:25,000 or higher accuracy in a project that is all or substantially all done with sub-pixel circular target marking.

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A relative accuracy of 1:2,000 means that for an object with a 10m largest dimension, PhotoModeler can produce 3D coordinates with 5mm accuracy at 95% (two standard deviations) probability. It has already been shown that this project has an overall accuracy of +/- 10mm over 10m, which in terms of the rapid acquisition of points and photographs is an acceptable level of accuracy. (Eos Systems Inc. - http://www.photomodeler.com)

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South Bridge / Cowgate Fire : Edinburgh

Area of detailed Survey
Building 6
02

Building 3
Trench 2

13

12

Building 7

Building 5

Building 4
08 09 10 01

05 06

Building 12
07 06

Building 2
11

Building 13
11 05

11

Building 1
04

Building 11

03

Building 8

Building 9 Building 10

0

5

25 m

Figure 6 : Site Plan as surveyed with Location of Building Elevations within Report and Building Numbers.

Elevation Location & Number
06

Building 10 Building 5

Structure Unrecorded Structure Recorded

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South Bridge / Cowgate Fire : Edinburgh

Part 2 – The Archaeological Record
4. Building Analysis
The buildings that were subjected to demolition and thus archaeological recording were fewer than those initially affected by the fire. This was a significant part of the brief, that as many structures as possible should be retained, and WRD Engineers were responsible for the assessment of structural integrity. The expertise they showed was most evident in the belief that stabilisation of the Cowgate Façade was not an option, as the façade was in immediate danger of catastrophic collapse; an event that took place only a few days later. By the end of the field project, the buildings that fronted Chambers Street had been retained, as damage was slight and it was generally accepted that the integrity of these structures could be maintained using ties and shoring where appropriate. The Buildings that were demolished and subject to archaeological investigation were as follows; Buildings 1 – 6 and 11-13. A total of nine distinct structures. (Building 6 – Wilkie House, was preserved a Level 0, and recordings was confined to the upper stories.
Building 11 Adam House

Building 13

Building 3

Level 4 Level 3 Level 2 Level 1 Level 0

Building 4
East

Building 5

The Cowgate
Figure 7 : Composite view of post fire site from Blair Street

West

The main method of interpretation was the use of digital photography to rapidly collect large numbers of photographs of the site prior to (and in some cases, minutes before) the demolition. It was often the case that due to internal collapse or methods of demolition, that an elevation would only be partly exposed, and during clearance of rubble, portions of the fabric would be lost before further photographic survey could continue. The most

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South Bridge / Cowgate Fire : Edinburgh

frustrating problem was the inability, due to safety concerns, to take measurements, or look more closely at certain elements. Due in the main to expert help from Daltons Demolition, though, it was possible to utilise their crane operated baskets to look over the site during the demolition.

Building 6 Building 5 Building 4

Building 3

Building 2

Building 1

Building 11 Building 13

West

Hasties Close

East

Figure 8 : Composite view of post fire site from Adam House

The photographic method for the recording of the site has already been described in detail in section 3, however it is important to reiterate that the recoding of this site was anything but conventional, with the actual analysis of elevations taking place weeks after their demolition. It became clear from early examination, that the main fabric of the site fell into the 3 broad categories of – – – ‘Late 18th Century’ ‘Early to Mid 19th Century’ ‘Mid to Late 20th Century’ alterations

Although the number of photographs taken does provide blanket coverage of the Fire Site it was decided to reduce the number of fully recorded elevations to 13 that would best represent the various building phases. (Figure 6). The need to reduce the vast number of elements that would be recorded - it was also concluded that only major features would be numbered; Doors, Windows, Walls, Blocking, Stairs etc. and there has been no attempt to increase the detail past this level, though if this was required in the future, it would be possible.

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South Bridge / Cowgate Fire : Edinburgh

Hasties Close Building 5 room 5/108 Building 13room 13/11

Building 12room 12/107

Cowgate

Building 11room 11/141

Building 11Stairwell 11/123 Building 4 room 4/105 Building 12 room 12/106 Building 4 room 4/103

Figure 9 : Composite vertical view of post fire devestation

4.1 Site Plan

(Figures 10 – 18)

At the time of the project, there were no detailed ground plans available for the site: a monumental task in itself. The engineers WRD Ltd took on the task of producing a series of initial plans and cross sections for each Level, based on the information taken from building warrants, this however was shown to be missing a great deal of detail. It was the best that could be produced under the circumstances, and provided a base for all further work; these plans were annotated and altered when required. Often areas were inaccessible beneath demolition debris and a brief window of opportunity to view the fabric would allow only the most cursory of examination; by having these plans to start with allowed the collation of information that would have been problematical in there absence. Once the site had been cleared to ground levels, it became possible to accurately map the site. A Total Station (Sokishia Set 3B) was used to collect the data, which was processed and laid out in relation to OS dat m an d Grid. u The OS Bench Mark used was found at the Head of the Cowgate as the closest one to the site was in fact part of the elevation that collapsed on the night of the 16th December 2002. The closed traverse showed an accuracy of +/- 20mm in X,Y and +/- 5mm in Z height. On compilation of final plan, it was possible both to tighten the accuracy of the WRD plan and scrutinise the historical plans; matching features, structures etc. This has been useful in creating a model of development for the past 5 centuries. The plan is the first time that each of the structures has been

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South Bridge / Cowgate Fire : Edinburgh

accurately surveyed since the compensation plans of the 1860’s compiled prior to the demolition of several structures on the site.

4.2 Cartographic Research 4.21 Ground Plans (Figures 10 – 18)
The ground and floor plans of this site show the phased development of the site and as such are self-explanatory. Although there are 8 phases of construction It is clear that the main elements of the site fall into 5 broad periods of activity pre 1750s :: 1780s – 90s :: 1823 -1867 :: 1929 :: 1980s Very little of pre 18th century fabric is visible above ground, with South Bridge scheme removing the east half of the site and the City Improvements phase removing the west. The 1929 J & R Allan period of alterations is confined to internal modifications in the main, without any ground level construction during this time. It is clear however that the layout of the site bears out the notion that the access routes, Closes and Vennels were the deciding factor for each phase of construction, with the land ownership also playing an important part in constraining the development. Looking carefully at the ground level plans, it is easy to see the regular pattern of burgage plots that lie neatly against the first terrace step, along the line of the vennel that linked Commercial Court to Hasties Close. The compilation of these ground plans was problematical in itself, as when actual site observations were checked against the plans compiled from City Archive records, the number of missing elements such as doors, windows was high. In addition, there was no record relating to the relationship of the buildings, such as butt jointing, which was crucial during the early phase of the demolition procedure. Neither was there any record of the complex series of blockings and more importantly flue systems; that allowed a fire to spread through an intricate arrangement of voids. It is also important to view the spaces between the buildings, as it is valuable to understand spatial movement both internally and externally to the structures, to put into context the number of uses and occupancy that this site has undergone. It is interesting to compare the organic maze of passages, stairs and courtyards that make up the western half of the site, with the geometrically precise imposition of the South Bridge Scheme. Each reflect the mindset and social history of the periods. When the present day ground plan was rectified to the early plans and elevations it became possible to trace the lines of the very earliest structures on the site (see Figures 19-22) and understand the gradual development that remained constrained by space and access, allowing the ghost of the 15th century plan to remain. The one exception of course is the bold stripe across the Cowgate of the South Bridge, but this to has been incorporated into the warren of closes and vennels that are integral to the character of the Cowgate.

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8 phases have been identified and each feature is placed into the relevant period: Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4 Phase 5 Phase 6 Phase 7 Phase 8 Pre 1750 1750-1785 (Adam Square) 1785-1790 (South Bridge Scheme) 1820’s (Tenements and Rebuilding) 1860’s (City Improvements and Chambers Street) 1890’s (J&R Allan acquisition) 1929-30 (Major Refurbishment to South Bridge Structures: By Architect J. Motram) 1950’s – Present (Recent Structural changes)

All plans and elevations will show the colour-coded legend relating to these phases. (See Figures 10-18)

Key To Phase Colours Pre Adam Square pre1760 1 Adam Square 1760s 2 South Bridge Building 1780s 3 Tenement Building 1820s 4 Tenement Building 1860s 5 J & R Allen 1890s 6 J & R Allen 1929 rebuild 7 Modern - late 20th century 8

39

0 metres

10

Room 6/030

73

Hasties Close

Level 0
74 65 Room 13/014

Room 13/010
Room 13/011

Room 13/013 71 49 52 70 Room 12/012 53 51 54
69

42 Room 50 5/172 Room 5/173

41 40 43 44 45 46 67 Room 5/008 Room 5/007 Room 5/009

38 37 72 36 35 34 33 32 31
Room 4/

Building 13
Room 64 12/018

48

75

55 56

59 60

61 57 62

76

Room 63 12/182

Room 12/016

Room 12/015 Room 12/181 58

Building 12
22 23 Room 12/019 21
Room 2/020

Room 3/002

Room 2/022 17 19 18 16
Room 2/021

11

Room 3/176 Trench 2 10
9

Building 2
20
Room 27 Room 26

14

Room 25

South Bridge

Figure 10 : Level 0 plan (Phased) with feature numbers

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8

15

Building 3
7
Room 24

Room 5/171

68

006

Arcad e

Building 5
47

Cowgat e

30

Room 12/017

29 28 27

Room

Room 4/005

4/006

26 25 Room4/003

Building 4
13 5 4 3 Room 3/001 2 1 6
Room 23

24

12

66

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South Bridge / Cowgate Fire : Edinburgh

197

195

95 Room 6/053

94

Key To Phase Colours Pre Adam Square pre1760 1 Adam Square 1760s 2 South Bridge Building 1780s 3 Tenement Building 1820s 4 Tenement Building 1860s 5 J & R Allen 1890s 6 J & R Allen 1929 rebuild 7 Modern - late 20th century 8

0 metres

10

196 Room 6/054 114 96

193

194

93 92

Building 6
Room 6/051

Level 1
126 Room 9/068 125 173 171 Door 165 161 Room 10/069 Room 11/065 167 170 164 169 Room 168 11/066 132 172

118

97 113 117 116 Room 5/175 99 115 Room 13/031 Room 13/055 112 111 120 119 Room 5/174 100 110 Room 5/050 121 108 122 109 107 127 106 483 128 Room 12/058 105 Room 4/177 104 129 83 ? 131 481 136 80 82 Room 4/048 84 Room 5/049 101

Hasties Close

Room 6/052 98

91

90 89 88 87 86

Room 13/056

Building 9

Building 13
124 133 484 485 134 Room 12/057 Room 12/032 130

Room 10/070

? 135

Building 12 Building 11
155 Room 10/071 Room 10/072 160 159 Room 1/064 Room 2/060 Room 154 1/063 Room 2/059 151 152 166 Room 11/067

162

137 79 Room 2/062
145

158

Building 10
157

Building 1
156 153

Building 2

Room 2/061

150

149

South Bridge

Figure 11 : Level 1 plan (Phased) with feature numbers

Key To Phase Colours 1 Pre Adam Square pre1760 Adam Square 1760s 2 South Bridge Building 1780s 3 Tenement Building 1820s 4 Tenement Building 1860s 5 J & R Allen 1890s 6 J & R Allen 1929 rebuild 7 Modern - late 20th century 8

0 metres

10

Level 2
Room 9/082
348 480 212 250 478 249 164

Hasties Close
Room 13/098
211 208 207 206 205

209

Building 13
479 210

Room 9/081 Room 10/080

Building 9
477

Room 10/078 Room 10/079 Room 10/077 Room 10/076 Room 11/083
246

213 471 475 474 473 472 470 476 216 Room 4/178 215 Room 12/089

Open 245 area 11/084

Building 12
467 Open area 234 218 Room 3/179 219 178

Building 11 244
248 247 240 239 237 243

242

Room 2/088
241 233

Room 10/075

Room 10/074

Room 10/073

Room 1/085
235

Room 1/086 Room 2/087
236

Building 10

Building 1

232

Building 2

231 230 225

South Bridge

229

Figure 12 : Level 2 plan (Phased) with feature numbers

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123
146 147 148 Open area
214

Building 5
102

Cowgate

482 103 85

Building 4

81

78 144 Room 3/029 143 Room 3/028 77

Building 3
142 141 140

139 138

192

Room 6/100

Room 6/099
191

Building 6
198 199

190

Room 5/097 200 Room 5/094
204 Room 5/096 201

189 188 187

203Room 5/095 202 Building 5

186 185

Cowgate

468 469 184

Room 4/093
183

Room 4/092

182 181

Building 4
217

180

179

Room 3/091
220 227

Room 3/090

177 176

Link Bridge

Building 3

175

Room 3/033

174

228

226 224

223 222

221

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South Bridge / Cowgate Fire : Edinburgh

Key To Phase Colours Pre Adam Square pre1760 1 Adam Square 1760s 2 South Bridge Building 1780s 3 Tenement Building 1820s 4 Tenement Building 1860s 5 J & R Allen 1890s 6 J & R Allen 1929 rebuild 7 Modern - late 20th century 8

272

0 metres

10

Room 6/110

Room 6/109 274

Building 6

271 270

Level 3
Room 9/112

Hasties Close
Room 13/111 287 286 275

273 269

268

267 276 Room 5/108 266 277 278 466 464 465 463 462 284 Room 4/180

Room 9/115

Building 9

347

346

288

Building 13
285

Building 5
264

265 263

Cowgate

289 290 Room 10/113 164

345

Room 12/107

279

Building 12
Room 4/103

262 261

291 Room 10/117 Room 10/118 Room 11/122 Open 292 area 11/123 Room 12/106

Room 4/105 280 283 Open area 461 4/104 282

260 259

Building 11 293 297
294 300 295 299 302 301 Room 1/124 303 305 304 Room 1/125 298 296 306

Building 4
257 256

258

255 254

Room 10/119 Room 10/120

253 Room 2/102 Room 3/101 252

Link Bridge

Building 10

Building 1

Building 2

Building 3

251

South Bridge

Figure 13 : Level 3 plan (Phased) with feature numbers

312

311 310

Key To Phase Colours Pre Adam Square pre1760 1 Adam Square 1760s 2 South Bridge Building 1780s 3 Tenement Building 1820s 4 Tenement Building 1860s 5 J & R Allen 1890s 6 J & R Allen 1929 rebuild 7 Modern - late 20th century 8

309 Room 6/142 308

0 metres

10

Room 6/143

Hasties Close

Building 6

307

Level 4
Cowgate

Building 9

Room 10/139

Room 10/136 Room 10/138 Room 10/135 Room 10/134 Room 10/137 338 342 341 339 Room 3/180 460 355 354 317 316 315 314 328 327 Room 11/141

Building 11
334

337

353 352

351 350

459

457

456

Room 10/133

Room 10/132

333 332 Room 10/130 331 330 Room 1/126 329

336

335

Room 3/129 349

458

Room 1/127 Room 3/128

Room 10/131 340

Building 10

Building 1
325 324 323 322 321

Building 3
320 319

313 318

326

South Bridge

Figure 14 : Level 4 plan (Phased) with feature numbers

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Key To Phase Colours Pre Adam Square pre1760 1 Adam Square 1760s 2 South Bridge Building 1780s 3 Tenement Building 1820s 4 Tenement Building 1860s 5 J & R Allen 1890s 6 J & R Allen 1929 rebuild 7 Modern - late 20th century 8

0 metres

10

Level 5

Hasties Close

Room 10/154

Cowgate

Room 10/153

Room 10/152 Room 10/151 453 390 391 392 394 396 397 398 399 455 Room 3/145 357 356 358 401 359 361 360

393 Room 10/150 389 388 386 Room 10/149 384 387 385 Room 1/147 383 382 381 380 379 378 377 Room 1/148

Room 3/146 395

454

400

Room 3/144

362 363

Building 1
371 370 369

Building 3
368 367 366

364 365

376 375 374 373 372

South Bridge

Figure 15 : Level 5 plan (Phased) with feature numbers

Key To Phase Colours Pre Adam Square pre1760 1 Adam Square 1760s 2 South Bridge Building 1780s 3 Tenement Building 1820s 4 Tenement Building 1860s 5 J & R Allen 1890s 6 J & R Allen 1929 rebuild 7 Modern - late 20th century 8

0 metres

10

Level 6

Hasties Close

Room 10/165

Cowgate

Room 10/164

Room 10/163

Room 10/162

432 428 429 430 431
Room 1/159

434 435

436 437

452 438

439

440

441

Room 3/157

451

Room 3/156

433

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Room 10/161
Room 10/160

427 426 425 424 420 421
Room 1/158 423 422

402
Room 3/155

Building 10

Building 1
415 414 413 412 411 410 409 408 407

Building 3

419

418

417

416

406

405

404

403

South Bridge

Figure 16 : Level 6 plan (Phased) with feature numbers

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South Bridge / Cowgate Fire : Edinburgh

Key To Phase Colours Pre Adam Square pre1760 1 Adam Square 1760s 2 South Bridge Building 1780s 3 Tenement Building 1820s 4 Tenement Building 1860s 5 J & R Allen 1890s 6 J & R Allen 1929 rebuild 7 Modern - late 20th century 8

0 metres

10

Level 7

Hasties Close

Room 10/166

Cowgate

448 449 Room 10/167 445 446 Room 1/168 447

444

443 Room 1/169

Building 10

Building 1
442

South Bridge

Key To Phase Colours Pre Adam Square pre1760 1 Adam Square 1760s 2 South Bridge Building 1780s 3 Tenement Building 1820s 4 Tenement Building 1860s 5 J & R Allen 1890s 6 J & R Allen 1929 rebuild 7 Modern - late 20th century 8

0 metres

10

Level 8

Hasties Close

Cowgat e

450

Room 1/170

Building 1

South Bridge

Figure 18 : Level 8 plan (Phased) with feature numbers

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Figure 19 : Based on Rothiemay’s (1647) and Morysons(1598) Maps of Edinburgh : Probable layout of structures on present site from 16th century date.

Figure 20 : Plan showing possible 1700's structures overlay

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South Bridge / Cowgate Fire : Edinburgh

Figure 21 : Plans showing 1790's overlay

Figure 22 : Plans showing period 1823 overlay

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4.22 Early Plans

(Figures 23 & 24)

The Cowgate was first mentioned by name in 14291, though it is quite possible that this new fashionable suburb had been in existence from at least the late 13th century. By 1529 the Cowgate is described as ‘where the nobility and the chief men of the city reside, in which are palaces of the officers of state, and where nothing is mean or tasteless, but all is magnificent’2. The earliest cartographic representations of the Cowgate and indeed Edinburgh are the engraved views of Moryson (1566) and Gordon of Rothiemay (1647). The plan by the English spy Moryson, chose the vantage point of Salisbury Crags, albeit schematised, it shows an otherwise accurate portrayal of mid 16th century Edinburgh. It is clear that by this date, some 100 years after the creation of the Cowgate as a residential suburb the development is well advanced in the area, a fact attested by the previous documentary evidence that provides the evidence of lands being sold off/subdivided and redeveloped (see section ****). The Flodden Wall, originally constructed in the period 1513-1514, is a prominent feature of this and other maps, which allows a certain degree of confidence when matching structures with present features. It is clear that the Mansions of the rich sit up-slope of the Cowgate, with Gardens to the south and residential property built down slope to meet with the Cowgate thourghfare. Rothiemay’ well known image of Edinburgh (Figure 24) once again shows the site, 50 years later, showing that the area of the site is now an island of gardens surrounded by ever encroaching tenement expansion. It is possible to match the Closes from this map, and Hasties Close (a name that was only given to this alley around 250 years ago3) The lands to the east and west of the site are now almost completely built up, with housing, leaving an island of untouched gardens that run back from the still extant Mansions.

RCAHMS, 1951, xli ibid. 3 The Place names of Edinburgh 456465465
1 2

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Figure 23 : View of Edinburgh by English Spy, Moryson in 1566, showing approximate location of the site

Site
Chambers Street

Figure 24 : Rothimay’s map of Edinburgh with the site and present roads shown.

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4.23 The 18th century Mapmakers (Figures 25 & 26)
The first true street maps of Edinburgh are to be found in the 18th century; mapmakers such as Edgar and Ainslie, surveyed the City (with admittedly margins of error that are measured by the meter), showing every Close and Street and allowing the Views of Rothiemay (1647), Moryson (1566) and the Camera Obscura engraving by Sandby (1746) to be fixed within the present layout of the Old Town. What is most evident is the expansion of building work, over the previous 100 years, which coincides with the decline in fortunes of the Cowgate from fashionable suburb to slum. It is interesting to note the errors in scale when attempting to survey from the Cowgate to the south, through the narrow confines of the Closes. It therefore has been possible to reconstruct the street patterns for this period. Matching structures from map to map and with the aid of documentary evidence of tenement layout (see section 4.1 for details) placing the exact position of walls and features is possible to an accuracy of +/- 500mm. This is due also to the nature of the original burgage plots, which have, perhaps surprisingly, remained intact to the present in the original frontage size of approx 5 m.

Cham bers Street

Figure 25 : Edgar, 1742, prior to Adam Square

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b er Ch a m

et s Stre

Figure 26 : Ainslie 1780 (Surveyed prior to South Bridge).

4.24 South Bridge Scheme and Improvements (1780’s and the 19th century) (Figures 27 & 28)
The important cartographic evidence relating to the area from this period, are the plans drawn up for the South Bridge Scheme and the affected properties, ground plans of tenements from 1823 and the compensation plans created for the 1860’s improvements.4 These are detailed in a way that was not possible for the city as a whole. Accuracy was all-important, as each inch was a financial issue. Drawing of tenement floor plans, and the designs of Thomas Hamilton (see Figure 22) allow us an unparalleled degree of accuracy in locating wall lines and features within the site.

4

DC6353 - 18th century with annotation of 1872, stating that the plan was produced at meeting of Works Committee of Improvement Trust, 1872 signed by David Cousin. Shows Tron Church to Adam Square, antedates South Bridge. Edinburgh Central Library holds Boog Watson’s compilation of this map, superimposed on 1852 1st edn OS map

2 plans of Adam Square and Cowgate, DC6319 copy c1930’s of survey before South Bridge built - feuing strips/lots superimposed. Plan showing east side of Bridge from Cowgate to College St pencilled in.

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South Bridge / Cowgate Fire : Edinburgh

Figure 27 : Clarke, 1834, prior to Chambers Street construction

Figure 28 : Post Office 1840 Map of area, used to locate residents within the site.

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4.25 Ordnance Survey (Mid 19th century – Present) (Figures 29)
The onset of Ordnance Survey mapping of the area, in the mid 19th century, and subsequent editions, has been useful to a certain extent. However, as most of the major building works in the area took place prior to the Ordnance Survey it is of little use in the understanding of the development of the site. However, tied with the Post Office maps, which are of limited use as accurate plans, it has been possible to assign buildings to specific persons or uses, which would allow the tracing of properties further back in time.

Figure 29 : 2nd Edition 1867 OS Map of Area

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5. The Buildings – general discussion
As most of this has been covered in the previous section, in far greater detail this section is included as a synopsis of the retrievable history as seen from a purely site recorded project. (Figure 6 for locations)

5.1 Buildings 1 – 3
These buildings can be seen as the most significant structure on the fire site as they form the southern extent of the South Bridge Scheme of Robert Kay. Sadly, with the collapse of the North Pedimented Gable Elevation, the last major surviving element of the original building was lost. This section of the South Bridge Scheme was begun in the late 18th century, as the final vision of a unified scheme that stretched from the Tron and Hunter Square, along the South Bridge and ending with Adam Square. Although the original design by Robert Adam was rejected as too expensive, Robert Kay continued the vision at least to create – one connected design, every separate House makes only a part of the whole – The buildings were symmetrically composed as palace fronts with simple pedimented endpieces and centrepieces, with regular fenestration and arcaded ground floors. This was the first major building project in Edinburgh where the concept of a unified design was put into practice. However, this design was soon compromised by the needs of commercial properties and this (along with the North Bridge) allowed South Bridge to become one of the most fashionable commercial thoroughfares in Victorian and Edwardian Edinburgh. One has only to look at the roll of petitioners in the 19th century to see the difference between the rise of the great department store; J & R Allan, and the number of pawnbrokers and gin shops in the Cowgate to understand the contrast.

J & R Allan’s architect in the 1920s was J. Motram and under him the most fundamental changes to the structures was undertaken; one of the most radical changes until the present day. The greatest surprise was the Façade (Levels 3-5) on the South Bridge being entirely of timber panel construction that had been cleverly disguised as a Greek revival stone facing. It soon became apparent that the entire internal structure of Buildings 2, 3, (along with Building 11 and parts of Building 4) had been removed and a steel girder frame inserted at this time (probably through the South Bridge Façade). The grand Art Deco Interior now only resides in the original plans (RCAHMS) and photographs, though the original 1790s interiors had been lost, albeit 70 years ago.

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5.2 Buildings 4 – 6 & 12
During the time of City Improvements in the early and mid 19th century, a concerted effort was made to develop the Cowgate in a way that would both raise the quality of life, and provide housing for the poor. The grand Cowgate Façade, with the elegant arcade to visually join the elegant South Bridge to the poverty stricken Cowgate; behind this façade were tenements. These structures were built around 1823/4 by the as yet unknown architect Thomas Hamilton for John Spittal, though they are still bedded directly onto the medieval buildings they replace. Use and reuse of these structures has led to level changes, blockings and openings, reorganisation of flues and additional stories added. This has led to a warren of concealed cavities that had a direct effect on the spread of the 2002 fire. This was best represented in Building 12, where, in the west elevation it was possible to view a raising of the roof to allow the attic to be converted into habitable space, a number of blocked fireplaces and the insertion of joists directly into flue cavities (Figure 33) Much of the original layout of the tenements survives the 20th century remodelling, with the courtyard elevations (Figures 35, 36 & 37) retaining the cast iron balconies that once looked out over an external court, with multiple door entries for the various tenants. The south of the properties is still bounded by a vennel that although subsequently covered and disconnected from the Commercial Court to the east had formed a lateral link from Commercial Cort to Hasties Close. This ha d been incorporated into the more recent use u of the structure as a hallway, with Building 11 bounding it to the south. The character of the buildings was very much intact, with multiple entrances, communicating closes and passages as well as the internal stairwells leading to various floors. The original buildings had been constructed to form a mixed residential / commercial property. It was evident that this mix of use had continued into the 21st century, though most of the property was used by The Gilded Balloon; who even utilised the central courtyard as a theatre space with the stage set against the west wall and bar above. Building 6, on the west side of Hasties Close is built once again in the 1820s, but more than any other structure on this site, reflected the exact dimensions of the original burgage plots. The frontage on to the Cowgate is narrow (c. 5m) and it stretches back to the south. Presently the lower floor is used as the bar for Faith Nightclub, though it is clear that the original 3 story structure was increased in size in the early 20th century using glazed bricks, to increase the storage space of the clearly commercial property. It has been mostly used as a warehouse until recently.

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5.3 Buildings 11
The building occupying the extreme south of the site that was subject to demolition was well built in character. It was clearly adjoined to the existing South Bridge structures (Building 1). It is interesting to note the total lack of windows on the south elevation, which must point to the Chambers Street properties being already in existence, placing it in the post 1860,s period. The original use of the structure is difficult to infer, as the entire internal space was removed during the 1929 refurbishment of the J & R Allan Stores. It is clear that the original wooden floors correspond to the levels of the structures to the south, but beyond this it is a presumption that it was some form of storage property. There are no signs of fireplaces in any elevation, which also point to a non-residential use. It is interesting that the lower courses of the structure that the tooling seems to conform to mid - late 18th century stonework, this suggests part of this wall is a survival of a structure that would have been contemporary with the Adam Square phase of the site – c. 1760s

5.4 Buildings 13
This structure is both the most interesting and most difficult to interpret structure on the site. The distinctive dogleg plan of the south wall can be traced back at least to the 17th century (using Rothiemay’s Map – 1647: Figures 24). The problem arises in the large amount of remodelling that has taken place on this structure; it is clear from the architectural fragments that form the substantial part of the Hasties Close elevation (see Appendix 1.7) that the main fabric dates to after 1800. The windows on the south elevation are also clearly inserted during the mid 18th century; based on brick typology. Though they themselves had undergone alteration in both the mid 19th century and early/mid 20th century. The arched opening in the wall (now blocked), with stairs leading to a now blocked door, represents an alternative entrance into the building from Hasties Close, in addition to those internal to the site itself. (see Figs 34 & 40) The south elevation though does contain the earliest fabric on this site – and although difficult to date without resorting to analysis of the mortar would not be later than the 1700s.

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6. Elevations

6.1 Elevation 1 – External East Facing South Bridge Elevation (Figure 30)
The main South Bridge Elevation was recorded digitally by Masons Land Survey, using a Laser Scanner (Figure 12) and extends from level 3-7of this frontage. Buildings 1, 2 & 3, prior to demolition this elevation was thought to represent the Robert Kay Scheme, it quickly became apparent that this frontage was in the whole an early 20th century rebuild. Only Building 1 retained elements that could be assigned to the 1780/90s phase of construction. The ground level shop fronts (Level 3) had removed all traces of the original frontage. The architect for J & R Allan, a Mr J. Motram, had fronted this level with polished black marble, and replaced the interior completely with a steel girder frame in the 1920s. This renovation had also involved the removal of the stone frontage and replacing it with a cunning subterfuge of wooded panels, created to resemble stonework. Only during the demolition process was the existence of this technical detail observed. The original roofline was also raised to allow a further floor to be added (Level 6) which required the removal of the original roof structure and the incorporation of the north gable into the main wall fabric. The rectangular raised angular moulded windows can only be glimpsed on Level 5 of Building 1, with Level 4 windows matching those in Buildings 2 & 3 in an art deco style. The Level 6 arched windows, although similar to those on the same level as Buildings 2 & 3, are half the width. Building 1 also extends a further story (Level 7) beyond the buildings on either side, to give the impression that this structure was built with two equal flanking wings. Building 10 to the south, is part of the creation of Chambers Street in the mid/late 19th century City Improvements, it is attached to what was originally the terminus of this side of the southwest side of th South Bridge Scheme and occupies the area that would once have held Adam Square. It is interesting to note that the original scheme would only stood 3 stories (and an attic space) above the Bridge Level, though the sub levels extended down a further 3 stories to the Cowgate. The geometrical symmetry of the original design is quite evident and based on a simple cube, with an internal measurement of c. 36ft, borne out by the distance between the original floor levels of c. 12ft. Buildings 1 – 3 each retain an internal width and depth measurement of 36ft and Robert Kay’s design basically involved the stacking of 2 cubes, one above the South Bridge and one below, capped with a roof structure with Pavillioned & Pedimented Gables at each end. This 1929 South Bridge frontage was sadly both the most altered and most interesting reinterpretation of the Unified Scheme, creating a self contained unification that, although not conceived in the original design, retained its spirit.

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Elevation 1

Elevation Location
South Level 8 North

442

Level 7 Level 6

416

415

414

413

412

411

410

409

408

407

406

405

404

403

376 378 377

375

374

373

372

371

370

369

368

367

366

365

Level 5

326

325

324

323

322

321

320

319

318

Level 4

496

495

494

493

492

491

490

489

488

487

486

Level 3

Building No. 10

Building No. 1
0

Building No. 2
5 metres

Building No. 3

Figure 30 : Elevation 1. South Bridge frontage

6.2 Elevation 2 – External North Facing Cowgate Elevation (Figure 31)
The main Cowgate elevation contains 4 main phases of construction / development and contains elevations belonging to Buildings 3,4,5 & 6. There was no requirement to record Wilkie House (Building 7), as damage was slight and there was no threat of demolition to the fabric. This elevation was also recorded by Masons Land Survey using Laser Scanners. The east section of this elevation contains the much altered remains of R. Kay’s Pedimented Pavillion Gables (Figure 36). This was one of 4 (3 are still remaining) that flanked the Arch over the Cowgate and mirrored each other across the divide. The original fabric was easy to identify, as was the outline of the gable pediment, which dates to the final phase of South Bridge construction in the 1790s. The upper level (Level 6) was extended in the 1920’s as part of J. Motrams redevelopment of the J & R Allan Store, turning the attic space into useable floor space. A small half circle aperture, with a square window light and ironwork balcony, penetrates this level. The cornice work had been removed flush with the main wall previously, with only the two angles at the east and west corners retained.

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Elevation 2

East Level 6
402

Elevation Location
West

Level 5
364 363 362 361 359 358 360 307 313 314 315 316 317 308 309

Level 4

251

252

253

254

255

258

259

260

261

262

263

265

266

267

268

270

271

272

Level 3

South Bridge

175

176

177

178

179

180

181

182

183

184

185

186

187

188

189

190

191

192

Level 2 Level 1 Level 0

497

077

078

079

080

081

082

083

084

085

086

087

088

089

090

091

092

093

001

002

003

004

012

024

025

026

027

028

029

030

031

032

033

034

035

036

038

039 073

Building No. 3

Building No. 4
0 metres 5

Building No. 5

Building No. 6

Figure 31 : Elevation 2. Cowgate frontage

Levels 4 & 5 contain 10 large rectangular windows with, though a small rectangular window seems to have inserted between the two extreme east windows on Level 5, and the second from the west, also on Level 5, had been blocked with a blind stone facing. None of the windows have any form of surround moulding, though the Level 5 windows have angular sills, while those on Level 4 sit directly on a broad plain cornice band. The windows on Level 3 of Building 3 (the street level of the South Bridge) are arched with a false balcony and stone rails. The eastern window is no longer present, leaving only 4 windows. This 5th missing window had been removed during the 1920’s renovations, though a door remains in its place. The area around this aperture is skinned in black marble, as with the rest of the art deco exterior on the South Bridge ground level. The Cowgate levels 0 – 2 are an exact match of the upper levels 3 – 5, with arched openings on the street level and rectangular windows on the further upper two levels. The western window on Level 0 has been built to provide an entrance to Commercial Close. The west wall of this close formed the west wall of the South Bridge Scheme and follows the line of an original medieval plot boundary. The wall also supports the abutment wall structure for the tenements located to the west.

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The most obvious alteration on this section of elevation is the construction in 1929 of the Link Bridge, built to join the North and South J & R Allan stores at Level 2. The Bridge is unusual in that it is constructed as a box girder form with a facing of stone that should mirror the original construction. Although designed to match the original, the Link Bridge has a much shallower arch than the South Bridge Arch, and in addition removes the symmetry of the original gable. Beneath the Link Bridge the original arched ground level window still remains. Thomas Hamilton designed the remaining listed Façade that extends to the west along the Cowgate in 1823, being one of his ‘unknown’ designs during his early career. Later he went on to be a leading Greek revival architect, including the Old High School Building on Calton Hill. The Façade was designed to extend the buildings into the Cowgate and originally had ground level of arched windows and doors into shopping areas with 3 stories of residential and storage above. Buildings 4 & 5 are part of the early City Improvements scheme, and are designed to continue the simple elegance and arcaded appearance of the South Bridge Structures. Hamilton has cleverly drawn the eye down Blair Street with the illusion that the 1790s Buildings extend into the Cowgate, in the hope of joining the ‘upper’ and ‘lower’ cities of Edinburgh. The fabric is of sandstone ashlar blocks, with slate roofs. The extent of these buildings is bounded by Hasties Close to the West. In the 1980s, the City of Edinburgh Council returned the pavement to the original location by reopening the windows and doors on the ground floor (Level 0) and creating an Arcade. Building 6 is bounded to the west by Wilkie House and was originally a 3 story building when built in the 1800s and overlies Hasties Close. The early 20th century sees the building extended a further story (Level 4) with much of the reconstruction completed with glazed white bricks, the frontage is still of plain sandstone, with rectangular windows with no mouldings. The Ground Floor (Level 0) has been converted into a Public House in the 20th century and the original entrance to the Warehouse blocked on the frontage to the Cowgate.

6.3 Elevation 3 –North Facing Elevation of Buildings 1 &11 (Figure 32)
This elevation begins in the east with the internal elevation of the Final Gable end of the South Bridge Scheme. This would have been the match of the elevation still extant the overlooks Hunter Square to the North, in this case the view would have been over Adam Square. There are two basic periods of activity that visible in this elevation, the original 1790s phase and the remodelling of the interior by Motram in the late 1920s. Blocked openings within the elevation (Levels 1 – 5 [382, 328, 304, 387, 388, 330, 332, 301, 300, 237, 239, 160 & 162}) show the arrangement of windows are an exact match with those seen on the Gable elevation of the Cowgate (Elevation 2), the main difference is the need to step up a terrace due to the slope to the south. There is also the evidence for fireplaces on each floor, all now blocked with brick. The raising of the roof level in the 1920s is evident on Level 6 with brick being used to create another useable level; the original gable is visible

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as the stonework beneath the brick. All the original joist holes are present, and show the 12’ high floor levels used as part of the design. During the redevelopment of the Site in the late 1920s, the buildings to the south were already present and were part of J & R Allan. To aid movement through the store, J. Motram penetrated the elevation with large openings on Levels 1-5 joining the store buildings. It seems that the floor levels were mostly removed during this phase and the entire interior was gutted, with a steel girder frame built throughout this structure and Building 11. Surviving details were the Art Deco side panels within the doorways, which could be closed at the end of trading to secure the store.
East West Level 8

Level 7

Level 6

Level 5

Level 4

Level 3

Level 2

Level 1

Building 1
0

Building 11
5 metres

Figure 32 : South internal elevation of Buildings 1 and 11

To the west is the south wall of Building 11, which has been abutted to the 1790s structure and is stone built. Unusually, this structure has no windows, and would suggest that the Chambers Street buildings are already extant by its constraint. Two vertical quioned channels are inset into the construction from Level 4 – 2, the function must be drainage, and they are located at the extreme east and west of the elevation.

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Elevation 3

Original 1790's gable

Level 8

East
501

Room 1/170
446

Elevation Location

West
1929 additions
Room 1/168

Level 7

Room 1/169

502 Door 445

Level 6

422 423

Door 420 421

424 425

Room 1/158
427 426

387

Level 5
383

382

Door 384 385

Room 1/147`

386 388 389

Quoined channel

328

Level 4

Door 329 340

327

Room 1/126
330 331

332 333

Door 341 342

Room 11/141

Quoined channel

Room 12/107
Door 290 164

Level 3
Quoined channel

305

304

Door 303

Room 1/124
301

302 300

299

Room 11/083

Level 2
South Bridge

Door 236

Room 1/086
237 239

240 blocking

Room 11/083

Door 249

Level 1

Door 158 159

Room 1/064
160 162

164 brick 161

Room 11/065

Door 165

Building 1
0

Building 11
5 metres

Figure 32 : South internal elevation of Buildings 1 and 11

Three further 1920s openings [290, 249 & 165] are located in the west of the elevation at Levels 1-3, they are directly comparable with those to the east, being of brick/steel construction and stacked on above the other. A further door was located on Level 4 at the top left, with the remains of stairways burnt into the wall. Original floor joists were present, though once again the structure has been gutted and an internal steel girder frame inserted.

6.4 Elevation 4 –East Facing Elevation through Buildings 11,12 & 4
(Figure 33) This north-south cross section through the site is a good indication on the later development of the site, showing the Improvements Scheme and the complex sequence of passages, Closes & Courtyards that now characterise the area. The southern section of the site contains Building 11 and a remnant of a small close (part of Commercial Close) that joins to Hasties Close. This building seems to be of one build, with angled openings/windows on Levels 2 & 3 [250

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&289] and a doorway at Level 1. The build is of rough coursed sandstone with cut quoins. This building is recognisable as the United Secessionist Church of the early 19th century, the doorway on Elevation 3 on Level 4 would be the entrance from Adam Square, and the door [173] on Level 1 to Hasties Close would be a secondary entrance. Directly abutting this building to the north is a wall tipped with iron railings and penetrated with a doorway, opening onto Hasties Close. This is the terminus of the Commercial Close mentioned above. To the north of this narrow close is a tenement – Building 12. This building matches directly the tenement photographed in the 1870s (Figure 53). The main construction must date to the 1820s as the form and build of the fabric is typical of that period. The building comprises of 3 main stories (Levels 0 – 2) and a attic space (Level 3). Raised at a later date to accommodate further living space. A door has also been created in the top left of the new attic space to connect with Building 13 to the west. A significant portion of the elevation is part of the earlier fabric of Building 13, mainly to the south. There is a later opening on the lower Level 0, where a brick skin has been used to strengthen the early sandstone fabric. Fireplaces appear on levels 1-3 with recessed cupboards along the south elevation. It is possible that another blocked door is present on Level 2, central to the wall, which may have been another connection with Building 13. What was once the courtyard area (Room 015) has been bridged to connect to Building 4. Level 0 & 1 were still open forming part of the Gilded Balloon Stage Area, with the performance area below and a balcony bar on Level 1. Levels 2-3 were breezeblock and brick construction and looked out to the west onto a light well. (See Elevation 7) – only Level 2 contains 2 windows [214 & 213]. The support for this structure was of steel girder, and may be a continuation of the 1920’s alterations. Building 4 was sadly part of the catastrophic early collapse of the Cowgate frontage it was only during demolition work that fragments of the elevation were recovered at a lower level. However it is clear that this building was of a similar nature to Building 12, as it shared the same courtyard to the south and was part of the Thomas Hamilton building. With large rooms and high ceilings. It seems that there were fireplaces and cupboards on every floor, with later openings being cut through to building 5 as the change of use in the 20th century required transverse movement. It is likely that the large opening on Level 3 removed a fireplace, altering the dynamics of the original flue system. The main fabric is of one build and consists of rubblework with dressed sandstone copes and quoins. The roofline is as constructed, with a large chimneystack that would service the large number of flues in both Buildings 4 & 5 on this elevation.

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South

North

Level 3

Level 2

Level 1

Level 0

Building 11

Building 12

Building 04

Elevation 4
0

5 metres

Elevation Location

Figure 33 : West internal elevations of Buildings 11,12 and 04

South
Earlier roofline Later roofline

North

Level 4
Room 11/141

289

Room 12/107
347

346 503

464

Room 12/0107

465 462 463

Room 04/180
524 214 213 523

278

264

Room 04/103

Level 3

466 348 477 474 478 476 475

Room 11/083
250

Room 12/089

473

Room 04/093

Level 2

472

Room 04/178 Room 04/177 Room 12/058
482 483

Room 11/065

Room 11/066
173 172

485 133 484

Room 04/048
102

Level 1

Room 12/057 Room 12/015

Room 12/018

504

Room 12/017

Room 04/005

67

47

Room 04/006

Level 0

Building 11

Building 12

Building 04

0

5 metres

It is clear that Buildings 4, 5, 12 and elements of Building 13 are all part of the Thomas Hamilton design, with later alterations in the 1860s, 1920s and late 20th century.

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6.5 Elevation 5 –East Facing Elevation through Buildings 13 & 5 (Figure34)
This stepped elevation starts in the south with Building 13, the extreme south elevation is stepped back to the east and contains part of the oldest standing fabric. As with most of the early properties, this stands 3 stories plus attic space. The lowest Level, Level 0, has been remodelled (pre 1750s) by terracing into the slope (Room 014), the rough rubblework of the wall acting as a revetting wall. The rest of the smaller elevation is of rubblework; the upper section of the wall has been built up to hide the roofline. The lower floor of Building 13 is at a basement level, with the ground to the west (Hasties Close) rising steadily to the south. The Level 0 along the length forms the east side of Hasties Close, and was penetrated with 3 doors, now blocked and with a large arched opening [072] to the north, which had been added in the 20th century to provide access to the rear of the arcaded Cowgate elevation when it was returned to use as a footpath in the 1980s; it must be remembered that the 1823 tenements of Thomas Hamilton extended the frontage out into the Cowgate. The fabric of this wall does contain elements of an earlier structure as can be seen in the lowest courses of masonry seen from Hasties Close, but this has been much reduced prior to construction of the 19th century Building 5. Building 5 itself is constructed of random rubblework with originally 3 floors (including the ground floor used for commercial properties). The building has been extended in the late 19th century by alteration of the roof line to accommodate an attic level (Level 3). The standard tenement layout is clear, with fireplaces and inset cupboards. Reuse of the space in the 20th century has led to the blocking of the fireplaces and the modifications to room access.

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6.6 Elevation 6 –North Facing Elevation (Figure 35)
Building 12 was constructed of rubble work fabric, with rough dressed quoins surrounding doors and windows. The main fabric of Buildings 12 can be securely dated to 1823/4. Level 0 has 4 surviving doors [052, 054, 055 & 056] which would lead into the ground level of the property. Door [052] clearly leads to a stairwell that would provide access to upper stories, as would another door that should have been located where the bar opening [058] had been inserted. The windows on Level 1 still retain the cast iron balconies that refer to original construction of these properties around a central courtyard. The elevation to the west shows the structure has utilised existing fabric within building 13, as there is a clear break in build at Levels 2 and 3. It is possible that the upper stories of this Building have been bonded to the east elevation of Building 13 though it is unclear as to the exact reasoning behind this constructional detail. Building 13’s north elevation is exposed to reveal the raising of floor levels, with an additional attic space. Level 2 is brick built against the east side, though the west elevation is of rubblework. The structure over Hasties Close is clearly later, and joins Building 6 to Building 5, with connecting rooms. Building 6, although only recorded at Level 1/2 does show an interesting constructional detail. Central to the elevation is a line of quoins which clearly denote an extant building which has been widened to the west in the 19th century. The position of blocked fireplaces and cupboards in the present Room 054 shows the floor levels have been raised by c. 400mm during the 20th century remodelling. The earlier build must date to a period prior to the erection of Free Church (Building 7) in 1859 and was widened in the early 19th century and heightened by 2 additional glazed brick stories in the late 19th centuries.

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Elevation 6
East West

Elevation Location

Level 3
Edge of recorded area

Level 2
Edge of recorded area

Level 1

Level 0

Building 12
0

Building 13 Hasties Close
5 metres

Building 06

Figure 35 : South external elevation of Buildings 12 courtyard

East

West

Rebuild joint

285

286

Room 13/111

Room 04/180

507

Level 3
Edge of recorded area

Room 04/178
Edge of recorded area

210

209

Room 13/098

508

Post medieval quoins 509 512

Level 2

Roof line

131 128 129

Room 13/058
127 123

121 122

Room 13/055

115

Room 06/054
114 510 511

Level 1

058

057

Room 12/015
056

055

054

Room 12/012

Room 13/013
052

Hasties Close

Room 06/030

Level 0

Building 12

Building 13 Hasties Close
0

Building 06

5 metres

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6.7 Elevation 7 – East Facing Elevation of ‘courtyard’; Building 12 (Figure 36)
Elevation - levels 0 – 3. The main fabric of the elevation consists of masonry [492] for levels 0 & 1 with a further level of brick [490] and an slate roofed [488] attic space with 3 dormers [287, 486 & 487. A door [071] penetrates the Level 0 wall, which would have originally connected through to Room 055 though this is now blocked [051]. This door would have been blocked at a point in the late 20th century when the stage [494] was inserted, removing the lower 0.70m of the door. The original floor level [495] would have been of flagstone, as it was originally an external surface. Directly above this door lies another aperture, which, although 2.00 meters in height, would likely be a window with balcony as with similar windows seen in Elevation 4. Built directly onto the wall head (perhaps reduced) of [492] is a brick wall [490], which is confirmed as being constructed of bricks typical to the early 20th century. The two windows [205] & [206] are contiguous with this construction. A drainpipe runs down the north corner of this elevation, taking water run off from the roof and sub roof level. The sub roof on level 2 [491] runs from this elevation to meet Elevation 2 to the west. Constructed of wood and glass, it would have allowed light into the area beneath, it seems that at some point after the construction of the brick level 2 this skylight was formed, during a period when the previously open courtyard was covered. This elevation forms the west side of an internal courtyard between Building 12 to the south and Building 4 to the North. The widow on the first floor would have originally possessed a balcony similar to those still extant on the south elevation (Elevation 4). The structure dates mainly to the 1820’s period of tenement construction, with an early 20th century brick level built directly onto the wall head of the stonework fabric. It is interesting that the elevation to either side extends to a height of the full 4 stories while the stonework here [492] extents only 2 stories. It may be that some reduction has taken place prior to the brick wall being built. The later 20th century sees the courtyard covered, and a mezzanine bar over the stage is created, beneath the rooflight. The remain of the floor can be seen as a scar and two joist holes [493], this floor was reached by a stair in the north west corner of the elevation from Level 0 to Level 1. More evidence for the later theatre can be seen in the painted backdrop and raised stage level [494], which has now been removed.

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South

North

Level 3

Elevation Location

Elevation 07
Level 2 South
Window 486 Window 487

North

Window 287 287

Slate roof 488

Level 3

Level 1

Window 205 Brick 490

Window 206

Level 2

Level 0
Rooflight 491 Drainpipe 489 Window 111 Blocking 112 Stone 492

Level 1

Building 12
0

2 metres
Floor scar 493

Door 71

Level 0
Blocking 51 Stage level Stage 494

Floor 495

Building 12
0

2 metres

Figure 36 : West elevation of Building 12 courtyard

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6.8 Elevation 8 – South Facing – Building 12, 13 (and south wall of Building 5)
(Figure 37) The south facing elevation of the courtyard within Building 12 is of one main build. The structures 4, 5 and 12 are all attributable to the 1823 phase of construction. Building 3 (the 1790s South Bridge Structure is situated to the east and the line of Hasties Close bounds the west side. Within the courtyard there is a line of windows for Buildings 4 & 5, though the windows [049, 048, 110, 109, 059, 060, 061 and 062] had been blocked during the late 20th century. The stage for the Gilded Balloon to the west of the courtyard and a stair to the mezzanine Bar also cuts across the windows 108 & 048]. Commercial Court [Opening to Room 003] cuts to the north joining the Cowgate at Level 0, with Building 4 Levels 1,2 & 3 above. Most of Building 4 has been extensively redeveloped in the 20th century, both during the 1929 phase of J & R Allan refitting and in the later 20th century during use as space for artistic venues. The main construction material is brick and steel girder. A rubble work chimney stack survived from the original phase of construction. To the west, the exterior of Building 5 remained fairly intact as per the original 1823 construction, though the western windows have been obscured by the raising of the Building 13 to the south, at Levels 2 & 3. This elevation relates to the external south wall of the early 19th century construction of tenements within the Cowgate, around a courtyard (Building 12). It is clear though from lower wall materials and fabric make up, that the structures that occupied this area were of similar size and layout.

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West

East

Level 3

Level 2

Level 1

Level 0

Building 13
0

Building 12
5 metres

Elevation 8
Elevation Location

Figure 37 : North external elevation of Building 12 courtyard West East

brick partition

275

276

277

Room 04/180
279 open area

Room 04/105
280

Level 3
Open area

Room 13/111

207

208

204

203 Roof line

breeze block partition

Room 04/178 Room 13/098
iron girder 215 open area

Room 04/092
525

Level 2

513

110 108

109

107

106

Room 13/055

Room 12/058

105

Level 1

iron girder

Room 12/015 Room 13/013
070

Room 12/012
049

069 048

Open to room 04/003
059 060 061 062

Level 0

Building 13
0

Building 12
5 metres

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6.9 Elevation 9 External West Facing - Buildings 1,2 & 3 (Figure 38)
This elevation shows the west exterior of the South Bridge Buildings (Buildings 1,2 & 3. The northernmost (Building 3) once again shows the alteration in the Robert Kay Gable, where the original roofline was raised (Level 6). The main elements visible within this Building belong to 3 distinct phases:
The rough rubblework of the original South Bridge Structure (an elevation that would not be seen from the Bridge itself) dating to the 1790s. The 1823 Thomas Hamilton Tenement gable and chimney flue. (It is probable that the raising of the roof was concurrent with this phase, as the window [441] quite clearly respects the chimney but not the window [356] within the original build, which was partially obscured by the flues). The 1929 redevelopment of the J & R Allan store, the large opening on Level 2 [217] representing one of the many large apertures created through the original fabric for movement around the store.

Building 2 had the entire rear elevation rebuilt in brick during the 1929 phase of redevelopment the large arched windows282, 354 &400] were to allow light onto a large stairwell. The blocking is mid 20th century and also constructed of brick, it represents the utilisation of part of the stairwell as a lift shaft, with the wheel house at Level 7 and the shaft running down the centre of Building 2. This required the blocking of windows [454, 458, 451]. The remainder of the elevation of Building 2 was also of brick with multiple windows to bring light into the J & R Allan Store. Building 1 elevation contained elements of both the original South Bridge fabric, seen as the rough rectangular random coursed sandstone and the brickwork related to the 1929 phase of J & R Allan. The blocked windows [432, 394,448 & 335] relate to a stairwell, with exit on Level 8 at roof level. A steel gantry was provided as a fire escape. The large openings, [22,136, 294, 334, 390] would originally have been windows in 1790, but were enlarged as doors in the 19th century to provide access into Building 11.

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North

Elevation 9

South

Level 8
Elevation Location

Level 8

?

Level 7

Level 6

Level 5 Level 4

Level 3 Level 2 Level 1

Level 0

Building 4

Building 12

0 metres

5

Building 11

Figure 38 : East exterior of buildings 1,2 and 3

North

South

450

Level 8 Level 7

Level 8

?

447

448

449

431

Level 6

441

440 429 439 437 438 436 435 434 432 393 428

Level 5 Level 4

356

357 391 401 457 456 350 351 352 399 400 398 397 396 394 335 337 336 306 297 298 294 334 390

Level 3
257

355

354

Level 2 Level 1

217

218

234

296

248

136

155

Level 0
022

Building 4

Building 12

0 metres

5

Building 11

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6.10 Elevation 10 – West facing – Buildings 1,2 & 3 (Figure 39)
A substantial elevation still remaining intact to South Bridge Street Level. The Allan Link Bridge spans the Cowgate to the north, and dates to the 1929 phase of alterations, the fabric of the bridge is however a clever façade where the actual construction is of box girders faced with a stone cladding. This bridge however does alter significantly the original lines of the South Bridge, the false arch being lower and obscuring the original soaring arch behind. The fabric of the elevation to the south of the bridge is of rubble build and can be confidently dated to a period c. 1789 – 90 as the print showing the laying of the foundation stone for the New College (1789) (Figure 42) does not show this section of the South Bridge Scheme. This elevation also shows the first terrace step showing the significant level changes required to build upslope to the south, with a c2.8m height difference between north and south. Building 3 - Level 0 in Rooms 001 & 176, Building 2 Rooms 021 & 022 and Building 1 - Level 1 Room 064 all contain doorways [6, 7, 8, 15, 20, 153] that lead beneath the South Bridge, it is however noticeable that the Bridge structure begins c. 1m behind the wall and there is a significant gap between the two, this reinforces the method of construction of the South Bridge Scheme, where the Bridge and Buildings are built separately and are not truly integrated into each other. There are several fragments of earlier 16th/17th century architectural stonework built into the main fabric (see Appendix 1.7)(Figure 42), which represents the surviving remnants of the buildings that occupied the site prior to 1780. Building 2 contains the largest concentration of this reused stonework, and demonstrates the modular aspect of this extraordinary construction. Examination of the ground plan and elevation quite clearly shows the entire construction is based on stacking 2 cubes along the length of the Bridge, Buildings 1 – 3 are but 3 separate elements in the whole Scheme. Rooms 021, 061, 087, 028, contain fireplaces, showing these spaces were not just used as storage, a surviving coal chute [222] in Building 3 Room 090 is original and infers that Level 2 would contain the coal supply for the building as a whole. It is possible that feature [230] in Building 2 Room 087 is another blocked example, with another on Level 2 in Building 1. Other openings within this elevation are mainly cupboard spaces.

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Elevation 10

South
Level 8

North
Level 7
Elevation Location

Level 6 Level 5 Level 4

Level 3
South Bridge ground level

Level 2 Level 1 Level 0

Cowgate

Building 3
0
metres

Building 2
5

Building 1

Building 10

Figure 39 : East section of site along south bridge frontage

North
Room 1/170
442

South
Level 8 Level 7 Level 6 Level 5 Level 4

Room 1/169 Room 1/158
407 408 409 410 411 412 413 414

Room 3/155
403 404 405 406

Room 3/144
365 366 367 368 369 370 371 372

Room 1/147
373 374 375 376

Room 3/128
318 319 320 321 322 323 324

Room 1/126
325

326

486

Room 3/101
487

488

489

490

Room 2/012
491

492

Room 1/124
493 494

495

Level 3
South Bridge ground level

Room 3/033
225 174 498 499 500 175 221 228 226 227 230 231

Room 3/090
223

222

224

Room 2/087
229

Room 1/086

Level 2 Level 1 Level 0

Room 3/028
Alan Link Bridge 138 139

Room 3/029
140 141 142

148

Room 2/061
147 149

Room 2/060
150 153

Room 1/064

Room 3/001
006 007 008

Room 3/176

Room 2/021 Room 2/022
015 014 020

Room 2/020 Room 2/062

Cowgate

Building 3
0
metres

Building 2
5

Building 1

Building 10

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6.11 Elevation 11 – North Facing – Building 1 & 11 (Figure 40)
Figure 40 represents a composite elevation of the internal elevation of Building 1 (south wall) the external elevation of building 11 (north wall) and the lower part of building 12. The structures from this point to the south represent the 1st major terrace level on this site pre 1750. This line is significant in that it represents the historic interface between structures & garden. The garden areas were gradually developed during the 18th century, the last significant untouched area becoming part of Adam Square. The main elements of Building 1 are constructed during the period 1790-92 during the final phase of South Bridge development, however the main visible structural elements date from the J & R Allan Store in the 1920s. The floors from Level 1 – Level 8 are supported from the internal steel girder frame. The partitions that were visible were constructed mainly of either brick or breezeblock, representing work carried out in the late 20th century. A significant part of the 1790s structure survives on Levels 2 & 3 with rubble built wall fabric and doors that may originally have been recessed cupboards [232]. Continuing to the west is the elevation of Building 11 that faces over the small passage leading from Commercial Close to Hasties Close. Built in the late 19th century the elevation has been remodelled during the Motram 1929 phase of works. The elevation stands 4 stories high, beginning at Level 1, the earliest section is at the lower right where there a section of wall fabric seems to contain masonry that bears tooling marks of possible late 18th century date. The rest of the elevation is constructed of sandstone rubblework with sandstone quoins. The ground floor has 3 doors and two windows to the interior. Originally there would have been 5 windows on Levels 2 and 3, however the 1929 renovation removed 4 windows to the west, with the insertion of open voids with steel girder surrounds [12/105 & 12/089]. This space runs through the site south to north, interconnecting buildings 10, 11, 12 and 4/5. Running down the centre of the elevation runs a fire escape, which extends to a door on the 4th Level that has been inserted into the main wall fabric. It is possible that the upper level is of a later date (possible mid 19th century in date) constructed to raise the north elevation. It is significant that the Photographer Archibald Burns notes this structure as being part of the United Secessionist church of the 1820’s (though his photographs date to the later half of the 19th century). Included on this elevation is the lower level 0 of the terrace cut. This forms a basement level for building 12. with windows to the vennel and coal chutes.

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Elevation 11
East West

Level 6

Elevation Location

Level 5

Level 4

Level 3

232

Level 2

Level 1

Level 0

Building 2
0

Building 12
5 metres

Building 13

Figure 40 : South internal elevation of Buildings 2,12 and 13 East West

Room 3/155

Room 3/157

Level 6

Room 3/144

Room 3/149

Exterior of Building 11

Level 5

Room 3/128

Room 3/129
338 339 516 293 292 291 288 517

Level 4

Room 2/102 South Bridge Room 2/087
232

Room 12/107 Room 13/111

Level 3

Room 2/088

Room 12/089
212

Room 13/098

Level 2
118

Room 2/060

Room 2/059

Room 12/057

134

Room 13/057

120

Room 13/056

Room 13/031

Level 1

Room 2/022

Room 2/019

Room 12/182
Demolition rubble ramp

076

Room 12/018

075

Room 13/014

Room 13/010

Level 0

063

064

065

074 Brick skin

Building 2
0

Building 12
5 metres

Building 13

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Figure 41: View of Building 13 illustrating the complex phases of alteration

Figure 42: Roll moulding of c. 16th C date inserted into 1790's construction

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6.12 Elevation 12 – North Facing – Building 4 & 5 (Figure 43)
Central to Building 5 is a stairwell that although constructed during the 1823, Thomas Hamilton period, bears a marked resemblance to previous post medieval building lines in that area. It is apparent that although the structure is of early 19th century date, the possibility exists that much of the fabric has elements that are earlier. The arched opening [046] could well represent a public passage through to an open court (now building 12). The walls are of rubble build with doors and cupboards on each level. This would represent an internal wall, as no windows are discernable. The Level 1 openings are over built with relieving arches similar to those seen in the rest of the 1823 tenement elevations (see elevation 8). The elevation within Building 4 to the east also contains the same elements seen in the Building 5 elevation, and dates to the same period of construction.

6.13 Elevation 13 – East Facing – Building 6 (Figure 44)
This elevation, as with Elevation 6 (Figure 17) was only recordable at Level 1 with another fragment to the south at Level 2. As with Elevation 6, the noticeable features were the doors, windows and fireplaces, which no longer respect the present floor level. An earlier floor line was clearly visible with blocked doors [194] & [196] which must have led into a structure that predated the Church (Building 7) to the west. It became clear that the blocked window [195] was integral to a turnpike stair, flanked on either side by the doors [194] & [196]. A series of quoins that run down the extreme south of the elevation shows once again that this structure has a significant survival of earlier fabric within what was presumed to be a 19th century building. The main fabric was of rubble build, though levels 3 and 4 were of glazed brick, when the building was extended in the mid 19th century. It is quite possible that the early building was of post medieval date, and had survived partially within the Improvements phase of the 150s/60s. This would indicate that early fabric still survives at Level 0 within the Wilkie House bar area.

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Elevation 12
East West

Elevation Location

Level 3

Level 2

Level 1

Level 0

Building 4
0 metres 5

Building 5

Figure 43 : South section through middle of Buildings 4 and 5

East

West

Room 4/103

Room 5/108

Level 3

202

201

200

Room 4/093

Room 5/094

Level 2

100 104 103 101

099 515

514

Level 1

Room 4/048

Room 5/050

Room 4/003

046

044 040

Room 4/005

Room 5/007 Room 5/008

Level 0

Room 5/009

Building 4
0 metres 5

Building 5

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Elevation 13
South North

Elevation Location

Level 2

Level 1

0

5 metres

Level 0

Building 6

South

Flat roof

North

Room 6/143
Stairwell

Room 6/142

Level 4

Room 6/110
Post Med early quoins

Room 6/109

Level 3

Room 6/100
522 195 Blocked window 193 197
blocking

Room 6/099
194

Level 2

196

Earlier floor line

Room 6/054
Plaster for later stairwell

521 Blocking Early fabric

Room 6/053

518 095

094 519

Level 1

520 Post Med turnpike

Room 6/030

0

5 metres

Level 0

Faith Nightclub Building 6

Figure 44 : West internal elevation of Building 6

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7. Excavations 7.1 Introduction
During the process of creating foundations for a bridge support structure there was a requirement to monitor the excavation. This was carried out on the 6th of March 2003 under the supervision of K. Macfadyen. The groundwork’s consisted of a trench approx 4 metres long (North-South), 1.5 metres wide and 0.80- 0.9 m deep, within room 3/001. The trench was dug to allow a substantial concrete and scaffold support to be built to support the Allen link bridge across the Cowgate.

7.2 Investigation
The trench was located within room 3/001 on level 0, formerly part of the Living Room pub, with the foundation footprint of the support determining the trench outline and depth. Following the fire and demolition the ground level deposits were a thin skim of muddy debris overlying a concrete floor spread. This concrete was broken through and lifted by a JCB fitted with a 1.2m-toothed bucket, the deposits within the trench were initially cleared with shovels and occasionally with the JCB bucket where it was deemed appropriate, and then cleaned by hand for recording by photograph and a drawn record at a scale of 1:20. This trench also allowed an evaluation of the below ground archaeology, which will be a factor in any reconstruction on the site. Trench 1 Figure 6 for location Across the whole trench lay a 5cm thick concrete floor, which directly overlay demolition/construction deposit (001). This (001) deposit was a mix of cream coloured gritty crushed lime mortar mixed through with fragments of sandstone rubble, some of which were chips from worked/tooled stones, also mixed through were a few broken low fired red bricks. Recovered from (001) was a small amount of glass, pottery of 18th/19th century date and bone/shell as well as 2 coins (Both Turners of Charles I / II {small find 001}), this continued over the whole trench in the northern half to a depth of 0.5m and within the southern half to a depth of 0.8-0.9m. The trench was bisected by a wall (002) running east west through the centre of the trench, this was 35 cm wide at the exposed top and appears to be a continuation of a wall stub within room 3/001 running east west from the south bridge. The above ground parts of this wall may have been demolished after the fire or it may have been demolished earlier to form a larger open area within the pub. Whenever it was demolished it survives to just below the ground floor surface. This walling steps out 10 cm to the north (003) from 50cm below current ground surface. While on its south face the elevation of the walling is vertical although the lower section corresponding to the step out to the north on the other face was unpointed as if it had been built up against

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something. The rest of the walling exposed was pointed flush with a hard cream/ white lime mortar. Within the north half of the trench at a level with the top of (003) the make up changes to a more dirty rubble/mortar deposit 012 with some charcoal mixed through this continues down for 40 cm on to a “floor” 004 consisting of a horizontal dark clay surface, the interface between (012) and (004) is very clear. While removing the last of (012) spoil from within the trench the JCB clipped this surface and revealed the underlying makeup of it (005), a mix of lumps of yellow brown sticky clay mixed with dark brown clay and occasional flecks of charcoal, the surface 004 does not appear to be cut by the wall (002). To the extreme north of the trench a deposit of charcoal (006) was part exposed by the JCB which form part of surface (004) within the north of the trench. This was excavated through quickly with a shovel, and it proved to be a deposit of 5-10cm thickness of compressed layers of charcoal and ash (sample kept No. 002) below this was a compacted deposit of reddish burnt looking stony clay (018) which was not excavated. Within the south half of the trench layer (001) extends for the whole depth of the trench (90 cm) with some charcoal deposits (007) exposed at the foot of the wall (002). An outcrop of undisturbed banded natural clay and bedrock (011) was exposed at the extreme south of the trench. The only feature of archaeological interest noted within this half of the trench is a lump of masonry (009) of unknown purpose. This is composed of unworked red sandstone blocks bonded with a fairly loose cream lime mortar (sample kept No.001). A lump of soil (008) to the masonry’s immediate north may relate to this feature. Cut into (001) were a number of modern service pipes, many obviously serving beer taps within the bars

7.3 Summary
Within this evaluation trench it was hoped to get an idea of the survival and depth of any archaeological deposits within the Cowgate site, which will be an issue for the reconstruction of the site. In this trench at the northeast corner of the site the deposits primarily appear to be related almost entirely to the construction of the south bridge at least for a depth of 0.8m, with modern services shallowly inserted into these deposits. To the extreme south at about 0.8m down was an outcrop of undisturbed natural 011. The only feature thought to pre date the building of the south bridge was a lump of masonry 009 exposed in the base of the trench but not excavated, which was about 0.8-0.9m down. The depth of the foundations determined the depth of this evaluation and within the excavated trench the pre south bridge archaeology is apparent from the surface, with earlier layers well preserved.

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Part 3 – The Historical Record
8 Introduction
Beyond the stone and mortar, the bricks and slate that formed the shell of the structures destroyed and damaged during the Cowgate Fire it is important to remember the importance of those that actually populated this space. Three historians were contracted to further research the main periods of activity on this site. Rob Maxtone-Graham deals with the original land-owners and tenants of the 15th and 16th centuries who looked to the Cowgate as a fashionable suburb of overcrowded Edinburgh. William Kay then analyses the influence of the Adams brothers on the townscape, with their concept of the South Bridge scheme and impact on both the developing New Town and the ghettoisation of the, by now, slum inhabitants of the Cowgate. Morag Cross finishes with the 19th and early 20th centuries with the Edinburgh City Council sweeping away the medieval slums with improvements in buildings and sewage, as can be seen in the Thomas Hamilton tenements that stood until today, this period also witnessed the transformation of the South Bridge with the construction of a vast department store with the changes in the structures that that entailed. Only by understanding the people who shaped this site, is it possible to make sense of the surviving remains, and give clues to the possibilities that still lie beneath the ground. This sad event is but another chapter in the history of the Cowgate, a history that spans at least 600 years of occupancy and use.

8.1 Origins (15th – 16th centuries)
(from -- Development of mediaeval land-holdings in Edinburgh’s Cowgate by Rob Maxtone Graham, extracted by the author)

8.11 Introduction
A study was undertaken to identify the owners of the tenements affected by the fire at the earliest period from which reliable records survive, and to gain information on the layouts and divisions within each tenement, and within the block as a whole. The Protocol books of John Foular, covering the period 1500-1534, provided the vast majority of over 300 Sasine references which were used to map the whole of the south side of the Cowgate, from the Pleasance to Candlemaker Row, before concentrating on the block between Robertson’s Close and College Wynd. The research threw up far more than the initial remit, and has provided invaluable information on the life and times:- genealogy, legal processes, social history, biographies of many key players, the wealth of the area, financial dealings, mortgages, marriages, Reformation martyrs, philandering clerics and much more. The history of the area in the pre-reformation period was inextricably linked to the Church, and especially with the Kirk of Field, whilst the southern

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end of the later ‘Mr Adam’s new building’ possibly stood on the site of Darnley’s murder in 1567.

8.12 Methodology
(Figures 45 & 46) Sasine extracts printed in Protocol books generally take the form :‘A’ inherits (or buys) rights to a tenement, or a land within one, from ‘B’. The land transferred is usually geographically defined as having the Cowgate (in this case) to the north, ‘C’ to the west, ‘D’ to the south and ‘E’ to the east, producing a piece of a jigsaw-puzzle. Extrapolating the analogy further, the corner pieces were arranged first, followed by the street frontage, then the backlands, until all pieces were accounted for and placed. The internal corners were then identified, enabling contiguous tenements to be mapped from Robertson’s Close to College Wynd, then working towards the centre. The southern boundary of most tenements was the vennel or passage leading from the Place of the Friars Preachers to the Kirk of Field, or it’s cemetery. This ran along much the same lines as Infirmary St and the south side of Chambers St. Some sixty volumes of other sources were consulted to produce brief biographies and genealogies of many of the owners.

8.13 Land Development and Layout (Figure 45 & 46)
Tenements 1 & 2. George Dykson. (1508) The first tenement is bounded by the vennels leading to the Friars Preachers to the east (Robertson’s Close) and south (Inf St), Cowgate to north and another of his own lands to the west. The second land has William Murray to the west. No divisions were noted, other than the mention of two Dikson lands. Considering its situation on a wynd, it is most likely that development had already taken place up the whole length of the street; the lack of divisions appearing in the sasines may well just mean that all the buildings were still owned by Dikson. This situation may well have continued in future centuries, as for a long time the close was called Dickson’s. The second land probably stretched as far as the east side of Sth Niddry St. The combination was possibly as wide as three lands (c.15m). Tenement 3. William Murray of Tulchadam, Master Thomas Dikson. In 1510 Murray pays off his wadset (mortgage) to Henry Creichton and sells the tenement to Dikson, brother of George, above. Judging from Thomas’ other dealings, he doubtless bought the debt to gain the property. (Appendix 1.2). The tenement is described as “All and haill the land, tenement, forland and bak land, with the yard, orcheart and pertinentis of the samyn….”, lying between George Dikson on the east, the Bishop of Dunkeld to west, and the lands of Bristo (the other side of the vennel) to south, so another full-length tenement. No divisions were noted, but the above description shows significant development in the northern half of the tenement, and arable/amenity ground to the south. It is probable that the stone-lined pit unearthed in 10 Sth Niddry St in the 1990s was the Cowbill-stane or vat for steeping malt attached to the properties in this tenement, or possibly Dunkeld

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next door. Tracking the title-deeds forward from this period could probably tell us about subsequent divisions and development.

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Figure47 : View of Edinburgh by English Spy, Moryson in 1566, showing approximate location of the site

Future site of Adam Square

Figure 48 : Edgar's map of 1742, showing the previously undeveloped garden backlands that were to form Adam Square.

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Tenement 4. Bishop of Dunkeld. This tenement only receives mentions in charters involving neighbours to east and west, so very little is known about it. As there were four, possibly five, Dunkeld Bishops in the period 1500-34 (Appendix 1.2), the transfers of the land to the next incumbents will doubtless have been recorded, but no source has been found amongst surviving archives. It probably lies under South Bridge, but the western part may be within the fire site. Tenement 5. Thomas Cameron, Thomas Johnstoune, Sir John Dikson. In 1498, Thomas mortifies his tenement to the Chapel of St Catherine’s altar in St Giles, and dies by 1503. His successor in 1531, another Thomas Cameron, mortifies the tenement to Sir John Dikson in various stages. In 1520, William Johnstoune inherits a part of it from his father Thomas, alias ‘Calsamaker’ (pavement or road maker); Raperlaw’s Wynd is to the west, Cameron’s land to north and east, and a passage or land to the south. It would not appear to reach as far south as the vennel. In 1531, the wester half of the tenement is mentioned separately, together with a yard and garden. The Bishop of Dunkeld lands to the east, Raperlaw’s land or transe to west and the way to Kirk of Field to south; in this case this is thought to be the passage from Raperlaw’s wynd to the Kirk mentioned below and above. The final transfer to Dykson assigns any remaining fermes and profits to Sir John, whom failing to William Dykson, whom failing to Master Richard Boithuell, younger, and gives them powers to ‘ditrenzie’ the tenants, if necessary. (See biogs) This tenement lies west of South Bridge, and was at least two lands wide. Tenement 6. William Raperlaw and others. His land first mentioned in 1471, Raperlaw died between 1498 and 1502, but no mention is made of his successor in the 26 references found for the tenement until 1561, when it is held by Sir John Castellaw. From the number of sasines involving lands within it owned by other people, it would appear that he had feued most of it before his death. He had also mortgaged portions of it, and granted ground-annuals to various folk, including the mortgage lender. Numerous references also place Raperlaw between Thomas Cameron and Francis Inchecok on the west, with a transe or wynd running up the middle to join a passage running eastwards, then turning south to the Kirk of Field. There are also references to a well within the tenement being used for brewing purposes as late as the 18th century. West of the wynd, lands are owned by several folk; Symon Law, William Batholomew, David Craig, Agnes Walklot, Patrick Howburne and Alan Park. East of the close, we find Elizabeth Bishop, John Cornewall and Raperlaw’s own lands. In 1511, a Raperlaw wadset is redeemed by the transfer of a land to the western neighbour, Francis Inchecok. This would appear to have lain east

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T=Tenement

T8 T7

T6 T5 T4

Raperlaw / Commercial Court Hasties Close

Figure 45 : Based on Rothiemay’s (1647) and Morysons(1598) Maps of Edinburgh : Detail in red shows location of Tenements referred to in section 8.1

T8 T7

T6 T5 T4

Site

Figure 46 : Rothimay’s map of Edinburgh overlaid with tenement boundaries in red..

of the close, before becoming part of Inchecok’s tenement. This land may well be the odd protrusion skirted on the east by a close, shown in both Edgar and Ainslie (close 26), although Ainslie quotes close 25 as Raperlaw’s. This is

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doubtful, as Raperlaw’s wynd is known to have reached the Kirk of Field and close 25 is a dead-end. This tenement would appear to be three lands wide at the street frontage, but retains little land to the south, apart from the wynd, which lies at the heart of the fire-site. Tenement 7. Francis Inchecok. Described in 1505 as ‘two adjacent tenements’, extending as far as the cemetery of the Kirk of Field to the south, Raperlaw to east, and several neighbours to the west. Francis would appear to have kept most of the built lands himself, as no divisions are noted, whilst there are references to ‘forelands and yard’ owned by him until 1530-32 when he wadsets it to William Liberton. The southern lands in the garden area would appear to have been individually sold off well before 1520, when Sir John Dingwall buys up these parcels and consolidates them to form a garden. (Appendix 1.2) These include contiguous lands, owned by Margaret Dewar to the north and Elizabeth Nymmyll to the south, surrounded by Inchecok lands to north, south and west, which may have been within the developed site, but they cannot be placed accurately. These tenements lie in the western end of the fire-site and, in addition to the land gained from Raperlaw’s tenement in 1511, would appear to have gained garden ground from it previously. Tenements 8, 9, 10. Various Owners. These heavily developed tenements are those just west of the demolished section of the fire site, but were obviously seriously affected by the fire; they lie between College Wynd and Hastie’s Close. The Sasine information supports later cartographic evidence showing closes entering this area from the north and west, so the block has been analysed as a whole. It is approximately three lands wide, and may well have been previously owned by the Liberton family, as they hold ground-annuals for many lands within the block. Richard Scot, alias ‘Stabillar’, owned the N-W corner site in 1509, bordered by Patrick Richartson to the east (who sells to James Johnstone in 1512) and David Vocat and the Grammar School to the south. John Cowart owns a land within Scot’s tenement in 1522, as did the Abbot of Jedburgh and William Stallis. James Robison, Adam Lutfute and Agnes Walklot would appear to hold lands within Richardson’s tenement, which is described as holding lands ‘built and waste’ in 1509. Next to the south was the Grammar School and its house & grounds, the fore-runner of the High School built in 1587 in High School Wynd. The headmaster in 1509 was Master David Vocat, and in January 1511-12, five bursaries were awarded by the treasury, enabling Walter Stewart, Sandy Kennedy, baillie Vere’s son, Simon Graham and Lord Lyle to attend the school at a cost of £5 10s each for half-a-year’s board and fees, plus significant sums for their clothing. The building had become unusable by 1555, and the school was housed in Cardinal Beaton’s house from 1553-1570.

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Thomas Welche is south of the school, possibly with further Richardson land to the east. Simon Gorgy owns a land in the S-W corner of this tenement. South of Welche lay John Bullok, whose tenement lay in the backlands, as the Hamilton tenement (below) extended on the street (College Wynd) frontage as far as Gorgy. A member of the Quhite (White) family may have had land in the tenement. Sir Patrick Hamilton of Kincavill owned the next extensive tenement, it having belonged previously to Sir William Lamb. Containing cellars and outside stairs, it had a back-yard with a dyke separating it from Inchecok’s lands to the east. The Vache (Veitch) family held the next tenement, which had a ‘T’ shape with a small frontage to College Wynd, but extensive backlands, each ‘evin als braid’, one quoted as containing a ‘forhous and bak hous’. Andrew Auld owns the lands in the N-W corner, and John Dee those in the S-W corner, which possibly contained his ‘tavern’, in which some charters are signed. This Dee tenement was divided into north and south parcels by 1516, the southern one being 8 ells long and 6 ells broad, with a back yard to the east. Finishing off the block, we find the S-W corner site changing hands many times, including ownership by the Craft of Tailors, Howisons, Wilson, Raa (Rae), Sir Alexander Coupar. This land is described as beside the gate to the Kirk of Field at the head of the wynd. See Appendix 1.2 for information on occupants. By 1635, all ten tenements have passed out of the ownership of the families concerned, but the pattern of ownership remains similar, with tenements in the middle of the block still having single overall owners of some distinction, and corner/wynd sites with many divisions.

8.14 Adam’s Square (Figures 47 & 48)
Master Matthew Ker, Sir John Dingwall. The roots of what became ‘Adam’s Square’ lie in the early 16th century, when most of the southern parts of tenements 5 to 10 are bought up and consolidated into a single unit, which remained largely undeveloped until the arrival of South Bridge and Chambers St. Dingwall’s land is described in 1530 as ‘the yard or land of the Virgin Mary, founded by Master John Dingwall’. Master Matthew Ker began the process of buying up wastelands for a mansion, buildings and garden for the Provost and Chaplains of the Kirk of Field, of which he was Provost, in 1511 (which may well have been the site for the prebendary’s house blown up in the 1567 Darnley murder). He purchases lands just east of the point where the present Infirmary St dog-legged north at the corner of the old college. Rothiemay, Edgar and Ainslie all show buldings in this corner. These lands had Raperlaw, Master Thomas Dykson and Sir George Walklot to the north, as well as an E-W passage leading to Raperlaw’s Wynd. One land has the Bishop of Dunkeld to the east, the other Archibald Kincaid.

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In 1518, he buys the remainder of the Vache tenement above, mortifying it to the Kirk once more, via chaplain Sir Robert Lille. By 1525, Master Richard Bothwell is Provost. In 1520, Dingwall further increases the Kirk’s holding, by buying the Nymmyll and Dewar lands mentioned in Inchecok’s tenements, then sells them on to another chaplain, Sir Alexander Coupar, but retains the life-rent. He obtains the rest of the Inchecok backlands later the same year, and again passes them to Couper, who by this time had also obtained the Howison corner site from the Craft of Tailors. This may well be the site of the Provost’s mansion mentioned above, but built further west than originally planned. The archived drawing of Darnley’s murder scene clearly shows the Provost’s house beside the gate to the kirk, with the remains of the Prebendary’s house to its east and several more buildings to the north, going downhill. The drawing also shows the ‘theives raw’ dog-legging to the north at this point, enabling the possible pinpointing of the Prebendary’s house as on much the same site as the later Adam building, and the Provost’s house on the corner of College Wynd. The priests’ chambers shown on the drawing to the north of the murder scene could well have been the Nymmyll/Dewar lands in Inchecok's tenement. The holding now stretched from College Wynd to the back of Robertson’s Close, showing that the square was a relatively undeveloped single unit long before the Adams came along. Dingwall’s extensive philandering, occupations, scandals, benefices and wheeling-dealing will be dealt with under biographies. An extraordinary character amongst many other well documented inhabitants. This entire Kirk holding was presumably transferred to the University when it was founded in 1583, the Kirk lands having been bought by the council from Penicuik of that ilk in 1563.

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8.2 The Adam’s Influence
A Documentary Account of the South Cowgate Property of William and John Adam.

By William R. M. Kay

8.21 Introduction
(Figure 49) Although William Adam, architect (1689-1748) had commercial property interests in Edinburgh from at least 1715, for some years afterwards his familial and professional centre was based in Fife in his native Linktown of Abbotshall, adjoining the south bounds of Kirkcaldy. Having been ‘bred a Mason’, it was this designation that was usually applied to his professional standing for some years after he first appears in the records in 1710. As early as 1719 however, Adam is first distinguished as ‘architect in Kirkcaldie’. This metamorphosis was not an instantaneous or even straight chronological progression, and in most early correspondence Adam is referred to variously as ‘measson in Abbotshall’, or ‘mason in Abbotsgrange’. In 1723 he is referred to as ‘Architect and mason in Linktown’, and in the same year, to all intents and purposes (with one or two later notable exceptions), Adam had dropped any personal association with the builder’s yard, winning universal recognition as ‘architect’. By this date Adam was already spending a considerable part of his time in Edinburgh, as the meteoric rise in his workload and professional status required attendance on a number of patrons and building operations on the south side of the Forth. Many of his aristocratic patrons retained town residences in Edinburgh in addition to their country estates, and it was no doubt partly as an expedient for attending these patrons efficiently that Adam required a base in the capital. In 1723 Adam might also have felt the political imperative for attaining the status of resident following petitioning on his behalf by patrons to have him appointed architect under the ‘Town’s Bill’ for raising an Ale Tax in Edinburgh for public works.5 Although this bid failed, Adam’s move to the capital was inevitable. Before the start of the building season of 1723 much of Adam’s surviving correspondence addressed to his patron Sir John Cerk of Penicuik, is composed in the ‘Links of Kirkcaldy’, but from the spring of that year it is clear that Adam maintained some kind of occasional base in the capital as is made clear in in a letter of 6 May 1723 in which he mentions a drawing board ‘Left...at My Quarter att Canongate Head, one Deacon Hart a wright’.6 A similar kind of arrangement seems to have existed at the premises of John Ramsay, merchant in Edinburgh, and brother of Mr Andrew Ramsay of Abbotshall. In 1725 Adam is still styled ‘Architect at Kirkcaldy”.7 Yet about the same time, many of Adam’s surviving autograph letters are addressed simply

NAS GD18/4722: Willaim Adam to Sir John Clerk, Craigiehall, 28 March 1723. GD18/4724: William Adam to Sir John Clerk, Floors, 6 May 1723. 7NAS RD2/119/2: Protest Hugh Bennet, mason in Samuelstown agt. William Adam, 2 September 1725. Original bond dated 25 January 1725.
5 6NAS

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from ‘Edinburgh’ implying that he had some kind of settled address there

Figure 49 : Adam Square frontage, 1850s, during the occupancy of the Watt Institute& School of Art (now Heriot Watt University)

Figure 50 : Laying of the foundations for the New College, 1789. Note Adam Square and the half completed South Bridge Scheme. The building in the foreground contains traces of the Flodden Wall.

known to his correspondents. Certainly by late 1726 he is formally recorded as ‘architect in Edinburgh’.8

8

NAS RD13/82/309: ‘Contract of Feu ‘twixt Mr Alexr Gibsone of Durie and Wm. Adam and Jerome Robertson’.

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Thus, (according to his grandson) in 1725 William Adam had aquired ‘a house situated close to the southern end of the South Bridge on the Westside’. This intelligence is somewhat intriguing as research in the usual archival sources has revealed no surviving evidence for the actual purchase of property there by him there at this date; although it is entirely possible that if the date 1725 is given credence, that his residence might have been in the form of a lease for which the absence of a formal record is not unusual. An extraordinary trail of coincidence and synchronicity now unfolds. In 1723 a William Adam aquired for £120 Scots per annum, a three year tack or lease from John Callendar of Craigforth of ‘Ane dwelling house and Celler thereto belonging Lying on the south side of the street opposite to Nidderys Wind in Edinr.’9 At this date the property was occupied by one Jean Ogilvy, merchant, but it actually belonged to Callender’s wife Elizabeth Thomson. From examination of the original warrant, however, it is clear that the lessee is not our architect, but the deposed church minister of Humbie, now turned printer.10 In 1726 William Adam, architect acquired the house and twenty-nine acres estate of North Merchiston just south of the city, from John Lowis; but there is no surviving correspondence to or from that place at this period to suggest that this became Adam’s Edinburgh base. In 1728 Adam became a burgess of Edinburgh, which implies residency; but it is not until 1729 that firm documentary evidence specifically places William Adam, architect, as at a specific address in the city itself. The earliest known specimen of correspondence addressed to him there is dated 26 June 1729, directed to his house ‘opposite the foot of Nidderys Wynd’ on the south side of the Cowgate.11 This tallies nicely with the first legal document concerning Adam’s ownership of property there.

8.22 John Strachey and William Adam, 1729.
At London, on 8 November 1729, John Strachey Esquire of St Margaret’s Westminster signed a Disposition of his ‘great Back Tenement’ and pertinents on the south side of the Cowgate in favour of William Adam [Appendix

B22/20/83: Original Warrant ‘Tack ,John Callender to Mr William Adam & John Cunninghame’, 26 March & 4 April 1723. Registered in the Minute Book of the Burgh Register of Deeds B22/10/9, 7 July 1727. 10 Fasti Ecclesianae Scotiae, I, 376, lists William Adams (1676-1730), Minister of Humbie; M.A. Edinburgh, 16 Sept 1695; schoolmaster of Prestonpans, ordained 16 April 1701; demitted 4 Nov 1714 after an acrimonious relationship with church authorities. Commenced business as printer in Edinburgh. Committed to Tolbooth in 1717 with Walter Ruddiman for printing a pamphlet entitled Now or Never; liberated after two days. Died 13 Dec 1730 aged 54. Married 1704 Janet dughter of William Thomson, writer, Edinburgh. Adam’s partner in the Cowgate property transaction was John Cunningham, copper smith, no doubt manufacturer of printing plates. Adam’s son William printed the early works of the poet Allan Ramsay. 11 NRAS 2177.872, TD 85/139 (Hamilton MSS): Hugh Hamilton to William Adam.

9NAS

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1.31].12 By the terms of this Disposition Strachey bound himself ‘to relieve and skaithless keep the said Mr William Adam and his foresaids and the lands and others above disponed from all Cesses, taxations publick burdens ground annual and others whatsomever due out of the said Tenement of Land and others preceeding the term of Whitsunday last past which is hereby declared to have been their entry thereto’. It would seem quite clear then, that William Adam gained formal possession of this property on 15 May 1729, one of the traditional quarter-days in the Scottish fiscal calendar.13 The hypothesis that Adam might previously have been renting rooms at this address is somewhat compromised by the revelation in Strachey’s disposition that the property was then occupied by Collonel Alexander McKenzie, Lady Gleneagles & Christian Wylie.14 From later evidence it is clear that the building was commodious, so perhaps Adam had some existing arrangement to occupy Strachey’s own apartment there, as both men were already acquainted through business, and in recent times the need for Strachey’s professional presence in Edinburgh appears to have ceased. Before examining the detail of the Strachey /Adam Disposition, we might pause briefly to set their relationship in context. Strachey was a senior office-bearer of the Company of Undertakers for Raising Thames Water in York Buildings, more commonly known as the York Buildings Company. Following the 1715 Jacobite Uprising, this London-based company diversified into speculating in the purchase of fofeited estates in Scotland from 1719. On 15 August 1722 John Strachey received a commission as the company’s attorney for the purchase of these estates and To facilitate his was dispatched to Scotland to negotiate settlements.15 business, on 21 January 1723 he purchased property on the south side of the Cowgate from the heirs of John Wright, merchant.16 One of the principal forfeited estates aquired by the company was that formerly belonging to the Earl of Winton. This included the coal and salt works of Tranent and Cockenzie which at first the Company attempted to run for
12 NAS B22/20/107/2: (Warrant) Disposition, John Strachey to William Adam, 8 November 1729. Registered Edinburgh, 20 June 1754. 13In the Strachey/Adam Disposition the date of entry is plainly stated; however, from subsequent documents relating to further property acquisitions in the Cowgate by Adam in 1738, it is apparent that sale of a property (and therefore ownership) may be concluded many months in advance of actual formalisation of new ownership appearing by a Disposition and/or Sasine; thus, some caution must be exercised as to precising dating of transfer. Such discrepancies are particularly notable in the property transactions made by John Adam for the site of his new buildings in the early 1760s - see main text pp13-14 , and notes 35 & 36. 14Ibid. It is not known whether these sitting tenants remained for any time after Adam’s acquisition of the property. 15 NAS RD2/116/2: Commission York Buildings Company to John Strachey, registered 5 September 1722. 16NAS B22/2/22, 6 December 1723: Disposition, The Heirs of Alexander Wright to John Strachey, 26 January 1723, in which Strachey is referred to as ‘armiger’ ( i.e. on who e is entitled to a coat of arms; an esquire). This Disposition is also cited in NAS B22/20/107/2: (Warrant) Disposition, John Strachey to William Adam, 8 November 1729. Registered Edinburgh, 20 June 1754.

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itself. From 1716-1719 the saltworks were managed by a William Adam, previously confused with the architect.17 This saltgrieve was removed from the estate by the York Buildings Company and appointed by John Strachey as factor on the forfeited estate of East Reston.18 Coincidently, prior to 1727 Archibald Robertson, brother-in-law of William Adam, the architect, had been appointed the York Building Company’s manager of the coal and salt works on the Winton Estate which probably prepared the way for Adam’s subsequent presence. In the spring of 1727 William Adam architect, embarked on a trip to London where he remained until well into the autumn. While there, he entered into Articles of Agreement with the York Buildings Company on 9 August for a lease of the entire coal and salt works of Tranent and Cockenzie, to which formal entry is declared as Michaelmas (11 November) 1727.19 Two years later, alterations to the terms of the Agreement were drawn up in a Contract granted by the Company’s Governor, Colonel Samuel Horsey, and dated at Beltonford 22 December 1729, where it was witnessed by (amongst others), one Henry Strachey, factor for the York Buildings Company in Scotland, and certainly a near relation of John Strachey who had disponed his property in the Cowgate to Adam just over six weeks earlier. Adam was to have a prominent and lifelong association with the York Buildings Company, and whether he became acquainted with John Strachey through the Company or vice versa, both are inextricably linked with Adam’s entrepreneurial interests as well as his quest for a permanent base in the heart of Edinburgh. John Strachey’s Disposition of 1729 in favour of Adam contains a considerable amount of detail concerning the nature of the property as purchased by Strachey in 1723 from Alexander and Agnes Wright, son and relict respectively of the deceased John Wright, merchant. In turn, John Wright had acquired the subjects by a Disposition of 10 September 1709 granted by the Incorporation of Wrights and Masons of St Mary’s Chapel, who were proprietors of other adjacent property in the Cowgate.20 The extent of the subjects aquired by Adam in 1729 are summarised as ‘All and haill that great Back Tenement of land, back and fore under and above, with the haill vaults, cellars, office houses, garrets, parts, pendicles & pertinents thereof with the walls and gavells of the same, with the yeards, stable and well therein lying on the south side of the Cowgate of Edinburgh’. The boundaries of this site were as follows:
A.Whatley ‘A Saltwork and the Community: The case of Winton, 1716-1719’, Transactions of the East Lothian Antiquarian and Field Studies Society, 18, 1984, pp. 45-59. 18NAS RD 2/117/2: Tack, Strachey & Adam, 22 March 1723. 19NAS RD13/73: Contract betwixt the York Buildings Company and Mr William Adams, 1729. Registered RD3/188, 12 July 1733. 20Cited in NAS B22/20/107/2: (Warrant)Disposition, John Strachey to William Adam, 8 November 1729. Registered Edinburgh, 20 June 1754. The Disposition by the Incorporation of Mary’s Chapel in favour of John Wright, merchant, was registered in the Burgh Court Books on J anuary 1710. 21
17C

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On the west by the‘Tenements of land sometime belonging to John Wright Slaiter Burgess of Edinburgh and now to Alexr Wright his grand & heir,21 and the closs or Vennall commonly called Raploch’s Closs’; on the south by ‘The Common wynd or passage leading from the College of Edinburgh to the high school thereof and Lady Yester’s Church’; on the east by ‘the Tenement of Land Closs and yeard belonging to the heirs of the deceast Thomas Hamilton of Olivestob sometime one of the Baillies of Edinburgh’; and on the north by the ‘Tenement of land & Closs belonging to the said Incorporation [of St Mary’s Chapel] now or sometime possest by William Harper Vintner Burgess of Edinburgh & his subtenants & Mrs Johnstone Indweller there’. The garden itself was bounded by stone dykes on the east south and west, with an entry on the south side. Additionally, Adam acquired the ‘trees & bushes growing therein, The Sun=dyall, [and] Rolling or Smoothing Stones built and lying in the same’. At the northern end of this plot lay the ‘great Back Tenement’ which became Adam’s Edinburgh residence. This had no frontage to the Cowgate, but lay to the rear of buildings owned by the Incorporation of Mary’s Chapel and was entered ‘from the forestreet of the Cowgate by the Common passage through the Tenement of Land belonging to the said Incorporation as the said Closs or passage presently lyes’. This entry into the court of the tenement lay directly opposite the foot of Marlin’s Wynd which led south down to the Cowgate from the High Street by a dog-leg behind the Tron Church. Curiously, although Adam’s address is sometimes given as ‘opposite the foot of Marlin’s Wynd’,22 much more frequently the location is given as ‘opposite the foot of Niddry’s Wynd’ or even occasionally opposite ‘Kinloch Close foot’ although the latter two lay somewhat further east than the entrance to Adam’s property as it stood in 1729. Perhaps the explanation is simply that the passage from Niddry’s Wynd was the more passable and commonly used. The Disposition of 1729 reveals that Adam’s house was bounded on the west by Raploch’s Close and the tenement of Alexander Wright, and was joined to the rear of the Incorporation’s tenements by mutual gables ‘on both east and west sides of the Closs’, thus making its footprint definable with some certainty on Edgar’s map of 1742, with interpolation of further legal documents relating to Adam’s acquisitions, and Ainslie’s map of c.1781 which confirms the positions of Raploch’s Close and the entry to Wright’s tenement through Wrights Close - both closes left unnamed by Edgar.23 The exact line of the mutual gables is not shown in Edgar, but later surveys relating to the proposed South Bridge of 1785 indicate that these gables were situated at the point where the north jambs of the rear buildings decrease in breadth. [Figure 31];

21From

this it is inplied that John Wright, slater, it is the father of John Wright merchant, and that as heir to both Alexander Wright is the grandson and son respectively. 22 His address is given thus by a Mr Rolland writing from Dunfermline on 26 October 1741: ‘To Mr William Adam Esquire Architect att his house south syde of the Cowgate opposite to Marlins wynd Edinburgh’. NRAS 1454, Blair Adam MSS, TD 77/142/1494. 23The shared responsibilities in relation to these mutual gables are ‘at length mentioned in the Disposition ’ of 1709 granted by the Incorporation to John Wright.

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Within the close and forecourt of Adam’s tenement lay a well for which he was liable for half the expense of ‘Cleansing thereof & furnishing Chains & buckets thereto’ and for ‘paveing, mending & Cleansing the said Closs’. Special provision had to be made for access to the westmost ‘vault or Cellar under the said great Tenement through a back house belonging to the said Incorporation by the door on the Southside of the well within the Closs, The said entry not to be above three foot in breadth, and the hight only of the first jesting and no further west than the door to the said Cellar or vault’. The stable and offices also acquired in the Disposition might be identifiable on Edgar’s map of 1742 as the two smaller buildings at the south end of the garden at its south west and south east corners. Buildings of very similar aspect are depicted in the Gordon of Rothiemay view of 1647, and might conceivably be survivors from that time. The other larger building represented near the south east corner of the garden, is probably the new tenement built by John Wright, merchant sometime after 1709, and entered from the south at the end of Raploch’s Close. This tenement alone was expressly not disponed to Adam, but remained in the ownership of Wright’s son Alexander. As part of the transaction it was agreed that Adam would not be allowed to build walls or other structures ‘within eight foot of the walls of the said other Tenements belonging to the said Alexr Wright lying on the west of the Tenement hereby disponed so the lights of the said tenements not hereby disponed may always be damnified or prejudjed’. Correspondingly, Strachey, no doubt horrified at native practice, had already provided for the installation of iron ‘stanchers’ in the first storey windows of Wright’s tenements overlooking the yard and garden so that Wright ‘his forsaids and their Tenents are thereby debarred and secluded from throwing out anything from their windows into the said yeard under the pain of being lyable in dammages as the Law directs’.24 This was the extent of Adam’s Cowgate property until a second phase of aquisitions in the late 1730s. It is unclear whether the footprint of the back tenement buildings as shown in Edgar’s plan of 1742 reflect any alterations by Adam. Some correspondence between him and the Incorporation of Mary’s Chapel in 1733 and 1735 points to minor works in levelling the close and inconveniencies caused by troublesome neighbours.25 The solution to the latter was that Adam proposed he should rent both the little tenements In 1745 Sir Robert involved, and place tenants of his own choosing.26 Henderson of Fordell occupied one apartment in Adam’s tenement, consisting of a dining room, drawing room, five bedrooms (each with an ajoining closet), kitchen, pantry, two cellars and two attic rooms.27

this with accusations of similar behaviour by the Adam household from the very building disponed by Strachey. See note 26. 25NLS Acc. 7344/1: William Adam to Joseph Wardrop, 24 January 1733; Minutes of the Incorporation of Mary’s Chapel, 22 & 24 december 1733. 26NLS Acc. 7344/1: William Adam to Joseph Wardrop, 9 December 1735. 27 Colvin, Howard A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects (London, 1978) 58.

24Compare

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8.23 James Hamilton of Olivestob and William Adam.
By 1738 an opportunity arose for Adam to expand his property eastwards by taking in the majority of the neighbouring burgage plot. In a Disposition in favour of William Adam dated 13 April 1738 Mr James Hamilton of Olivestob, Advocate, and his wife Mrs Margaret Chiesly granted receipt of £110 Sterling paid to them by Adam as the ‘agreed worth and value’ of the yard or garden lying southward of Hamilton’s ‘Tenement of Land on the south side of the Cowgate of Edinr.’28 [Appendices 1.32 & 1.33] The boundaries of the plot disponed to Adam are described with great clarity and precision, and are worth quoting extensively. The area is defined on the south ‘by the Lane or passage leading from the College of Edinburgh to the Church Commonly cal’d Lady Yester’s Church’; on the east ‘by a wall Running from the south east corner of the said Garden to the south west corner of the Malthouses lately belonging to Joseph Cave Ingraver in Edinburgh Now to the said William Adam which wall described divides betwixt the Garden belonging formerly to the forsd Joseph Cave on the east side Now to Mr Charles St Clair Advocate and the Garden now disponed and also the said east boundary is Continued Northward from the south west corner of a little Jamb or Gallery belonging to me the forsaid Mr James Hamilton now standing on the North East side of the said Garden And from the South East corner of the said Gallery along by the South end of the same And from thence along the West wall of the said Gallery to the North West corner thereof where the East boundary ends at an area commonly cald the Closs which Closs enters from the Cowgate by an arched Entry & is bounded on the East and North sides by the tenements belonging to me the said Mr Hamilton of Olivestob and on the West side by a part of the houses or lands belonging to the said William Adam and the Incorporation of Mary’s Chapell’; on the west ‘by the Garden & houses formerly belonging to John Wright Merchant in Edinr. and disponed by him to John Streachy of London Esquire and by the said John Streachy to the forsaid Wilm Adam which West boundary betwixt the two Last mention’d Gardens is by a wall Carried on from the South West corner of the Garden now disponed Northward to the South East Corner of the house now belonging to the said Wilm Adam and so Northward by the East wall of the said Wilm Adam’s House untill it ends at the Southend of a ruinous Toofall now belonging to Me Mr Hamilton which terminates the Northend of the forsaid Garden and so Joins to the west boundary of the Closs before described’. Virtually all of this is readily discernable in Edgar’s map of 1742, with the exception of the west garden wall mentioned as separating Hamilton of Olivestob’s garden with that already owned by Adam since 1729. [Figure 48] It would appear that Adam had taken this down shortly between its acquisition in 1738 and the first measured survey by Edgar. Confirmation of its former position may be deduced from Rothiemay’s 1647 plan (Figure 46) of

28NAS B22/20/107/1: Disposition Mr James Hamilton to William Adam, 1738. Registered 20 June 1754.

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the area in which dividing walls between these ancient burgage plots are clearly shown. Adam had now secured a second entry from the Cowgate to his holdings through the close between his and Hamilton’s house. This close led into a courtyard somewhat larger than Adam’s existing court to the west. It is not named by Edgar or Ainslie but might logically be associated with Hellistob’s Land ( a corruption of Olivestob’s Land) which appears in some sources.29 It eventually formed a main entry into what later became known as Adam’s Square.30 In 1738 the entrance to the close must have been restricted, therefore accommodation was made in the Disposition for Adam at his own expense to heighten the gateway from the Cowgate by raising the arch and the floor of the room over the pend and by lowering the pavement ‘if it shall be found necessary by the said Wilm Adam so as to be ten feet and a half...whereby a Coachman sitting on his Coachbox may pass under the roof’. The latter took cognisance of the possibility that Adam might develop the garden area; but, there were limiting clauses applied to the transaction. In all time coming Adam or his heirs were not allowed to erect any edifice in the garden within sixty feet of the south wall of Hamilton’s tenement, but with the proviso that Adam and his heirs should nevertheless ‘have power and and liberty to add Closets or Rooms to the Eastside of his own house on the Westside of the Garden But so as these Closets or Rooms shall not reach beyond sixteen feet and a half Eastward from the East wall of the said house including the thickness of the new wall and not to encroach upon the Closs’. Some building work was certainly envisaged, as Hamilton resigned the ‘Stones and Materialls’ of his ruinous ‘Toofall’ (lean-to) at the north west side of the court, and a ‘high wall in the Closs’ so these might be demolished and the area of the close enlarged. Similarly, the materials of the vaults in the garden, the stairs to and within the garden, and its walls were included in the transaction. Besides the removal of the west wall of the garden evident by Edgar’s Plan of Edinburgh in 1742, it is transpires (as explained below) that William Adam did build, and in so doing incurred the displeasure of Olivestob, even though the building seems not to have been within the bounds of the garden disponed, and therefore the terms of the Disposition. The Trustees of Josph Cave and William Adam, 1738.
29See

the schematic diagram of closes in Gilhooly, J., A Directory of Edinburgh in 1752 (Edinburgh, 1988). The relationship of the closes on the south side of the Cowgate west of Robertson’s Close is probably inaccurate given the suggested position of Adam’s Land which in reality lay between Hastie’s Close and Hellistob’s Land. 30 In a petition to the Dean of Guild dated 28 June 1766 William Wemyss WS raised a complaint against John Adam, David Campbell WS, and Patrick Crawford WS. The petitioner was a proprietor of cellars in the close belonging to Olivestob’s Land which have been rendered waste by the families and of those petitioned against ‘throwing Nuisance and Dirty Water’ from the windows of their respective properties...Mr Adam has only a servitude of an entry tho’ the Closs which he acquired from Mr Hamilton of Olivestobe, at purchasing his garden, now the area of the Lord President’s House’. Ex inf Dorothy Bell.

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In Hamilton of Olivestob’s Disposition of 13 April 1738 in favour of William Adam, part of the east boundary comprises ‘a wall Running from the south east corner of the said Garden to the south west corner of the Malthouses lately belonging to Joseph Cave Ingraver in Edinburgh Now to the said William Adam’ This statement at first appears to confound the chronology of Adam’s aquisitions, as the surviving documentation relating to the transfer of Cave’s property is dated 29 June 1739.31 [Appendix 1.34] There were however, extenuating circumstances in relation to this transaction. Cave seems either to have been incapacitated or bankrupt, which might have drawn out the normal legal process. Alternatively, the latter date as stated might represent the date of the act of the Sasine following upon the precept contained in the original Disposition rather than the date of the Disposition itself. What is beyond doubt, is that Adam had actual possession of Cave’s property by the spring 1738. Cave is recoreded as ‘Ingraver in the Mint’ by Hamilton of Olivestob, and ‘Brewer’ in the Sasine in favour of Adam. The Mint was located near the foot of at ‘Gray’s or Mint Close’ [Edgar], on the north side of the Cowgate halfway between the site disponed to Adam and the Cowgate Port to the east. In this document one of the earliest formal appearances is recorded of ‘John Adam eldest lawfull son for and in name of the said Mr William Adam Architect in Edinr as [his] attorney’. Among the three Trustees who granted the disposition to Adam on behalf of the creditors of Cave, was Doctor Robert Lowis, Physician in Edinburgh - probably a relation of John Lowis of North Merchiston from whom Adam had acquired that estate in 1726. The subjects disponed to Adam by the trustees comprised ‘a Brewarie a Brewing house Kiln and Stable sometyme fallen down as also all and haill the fore and back Closs with free ish and entery to the said Brewing house from the wynd called Mellross or Robertsons wynd and sicklyke an well Malt Barn and Steep Lying upon the south part of that Tenement which belonged to the said Joseph Cave and a Chamber and two Lofts above the saids Barns and which were sometyme fallen down as the samen were possest by the said Joseph Cave & Lying and bounded conforme to the interest right and Infestments of the samen Lying within the burgh of Edinr. on the south syde of the Cowgate’. At the same time the Trustees granted Dispositions of the lower and upper and lower houses formerly possessed by Cave to Mr Charles Sinclair of Hermistoun, Advocate, and to Sir John Inglis of Crammond. Sinclair also acquired the garden to the south of the Brewary buildings. Through this garden ran water pipes from the well of the Brewary to the Malt Steep to which Adam had sole rights. Provision was made for Adam to renew or repair these pipes (but not to add to the existing number) providing he made good any disruption to the garden. Additionally, Sinclair retained a right to ‘Carry up a stone Gavill consisting of two foot thick in a streight Line from the south wall or partition of the wester closet to the east Syde wall of the house fronting from Robertsons Closs & that

31NAS

RS27/130 ff.75r - 78r: Sasine in favour of William Adam dated 29 June 1729; registered 12 May 1744.

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from the ground to the Top if he thinks fitt The said Mr Charles Sinclair...always throwing a pend or two pends over the breadth of the Malt Barn so as the Malt Barn may not be encroached upon or prejudged thereby’. A condition of any such alteration was that Sinclair was obliged to maintain the roof above the Malt Loft as well as the house, and that the doors between the garden and the Brewarie were ‘condemned’ at his expense. Sir John Inglis in turn, had acquired a cellar on the south side of the Brewary, with the right of shutting up its existing opening and ‘stricking out a door to the wynd’. Before division Cave’s property was valued at £8160 Scots. In 1744 the portion transferred to William Adam was valued at £2830 Scots for the purposes of a policy Adam had with the Edinburgh Friendly Insurance Company against Losses by Fire.32 Although no detailed boundaries are given in the Disposition of 1738 to compare, the site is readily identified on Edgar’s Map of 1742 [Figure 48], and this remains the same in the revised vesion issued by Edgar in 1765. Documentary evidence confirms that Edgar’s plan of the site already reflects building operations by William Adam on the site of Cave’s derelict barns; and this helps explain both the difficulty of interpreting some of the narrative of the Disposition relative to Edgar’s plans, and the relatively high insurance valuation in 1744. In a document of 30 July 1750 James Hamilton of Olivestob agreed to accept in settlement from John Adam, £18 and ‘certain reparations agreed on betwixt him and me in the laigh Story of the Gallery belonging to me Contiguous to the Gardens disponed to me to the deceased William Adam Architect his father, and which was damnified in its lights and ayrways by buildings made by the said William Adam’.33 As Adam had entered into quite distinct clauses in Hamilton of Olivestob’s Disposition of 1738 prohibiting building within given distances, it would appear that the offending structure must relate to the erection of the west range of buildings on the site of Cave’s old maltbarns adjacent to Olivestob’s property. By 1738 therefore William Adam’s property extended from Raploch’s Close on the west to Robertson’s close on the east - a very sizeable urban plot by any standards. Whatever plans he had for the site were probably not fully realised. The reasons are unclear, but from 1739 he was embroiled in a dispute with Lord Braco over the building of Duff House at Banff. This difference led to a lawsuit in 1743, bringing financial and personal strain on Adam which continued until his death 1748. In the interim, the Uprising of 1745 created an air of uncertainty uncon ucive to speculation. d

8.24 John Adam and the Cowgate
Following William Adam’s death, some years elapsed before any further expansion took place in the Cowgate site under the ownership of John Adam. In the Window Tax and Annuity Rolls for Edinburgh in 1752 under the heading of ‘Adam’s Land’, John Adam as resident householder is recorded as having 46 taxable windows in his property, putting him in the top three
B22/18/2, ff. 7v - 9r. B22/20/121/3: Copy Receipt Discharge & Ratification, by Mr Hamilton of Olivestob of the buildings next his Gallery. Dated 30 July 1750; registered 18 January 1765. One of the two witnesses to the document was Robert Adam.
33NAS 32NAS

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largest private dwellings in the burgh.34 But within a few years Adam was selling off parts of the Cowgate property. In 1758 a of part of the great tenement overlooking the mutual close with Olivestob’s Land to the east was tenanted by the father of Patrick Crawford WS, the latter buying the flat in 1760.35 Similarly, a fleeting glimpse of the great tenement is afforded by the documentation drawn up when another part of the great back tenement was sold by John Adam in 1765 to Miss Mary Cheap.36 [Appendix 1.35] In a Disposition dated 2 December 1765 ‘John Adam of Maryburgh Esquire Architect in Edinburgh.. with the Special Advice and Consent of his Trustee Allan Whitefoord of Ballochmyle Esquire’ sold to Miss Mary Cheap, daughter of the deceased George Cheap Esquire Collector of his Majesties Customs at Prestonpans:
‘All and Whole that Dwelling House lying on the South side of the Cowgate in Edinburgh opposite the foot of Marlins Wynd consisiting of Two Storys, the first containing a Kitchen a Dining room and Drawing room with Pantry Closets and other Conveniencys, The Second containing three Bed chambers three Closets and other Convenienceys’.

The entry to the property is given as an ‘arched Entry an gate-way’ leading from the Cowgate to a ‘plain Stone Court’ in which included in the sale lay two vaulted cellars under the court and a vaulted coalhouse and a vaulted ashhouse on the south wall of the court.37 The dwelling thus sold was ‘formerly
possest by the said John Adam and made the west part of his Dwelling house and is Separate therefrom by a Mutual partition in both Storys’.

Thus we hear of the old Adam household for almost the last time. In granting the west part of it to Miss Cheap, rights were assigned to her of ‘free ish and entry to the premisses from the Cowgate by and through the Arched entry and Gate way that leads to the new buildings lately erected by the said John
Directory, p. 71. The others are Lord Milton (54); The Marquis of Tweeddale (56); Lady Haddington (56). the other residents of Adam’s Land in 1752 are given as Lady Baird, John Dickie Jnr, James Lesslie, Alexander Boswall painter, and Walter Colville baxter. 35 Dean of Guild Record: Answer for Patrick Crawford, 6 March 1767 in the Petition and Complaint by William Wemyss WS v John Adam architect, David Campbell WS and Patrick Crawford WS, 28 June 1766. 36NAS B 22/2/60: Sasine in favour of Miss Mary Cheap, 1 January 1766. 37Confusingly, but almost certainly coincidentally (as the Adam/Cheap Sasine of 1766 definitely uses four distict words ‘a plain Stone Court’) Gilhooley (see note 19) shows a ‘Plainstone Close’ (given in tandem with Scott’s Land on p70 of his Directory) between Adam’s Land and Hellistob’s Land in 1752. This Plainstone Close might be identified as the precursor of Aitken’s Close named from 1758, exactly opposite the foot of Niddry’s Wynd, and later continued as South Niddry Street (Book of the Old Edinburgh Club, 1923, Vol.12, 147). The order of closes in Gilhooley is derived partly from taxation rolls, so it is possible that the exact positions on the ground are not quite as represented in his diagram. Explanations might be constructed either on the premise that Gilhooley cited Brown & Watson’s Map of 1793 as a source for close names (see BOEC as above), or that Adam’s Land is dealt with in the tax collection quarters only once, commencing at the minor westmost plot bought by William Adam in 1738 from the Trustees of the Creditors of Joseph Cave, which had an entry from Robertson’s Close.
34Gilhooley,

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Adam and through the plain Stone Court that leads to the Dwelling house and Cellars before mentioned’. From this it is unclear whether this gives two rights of access; one from Adam’s Court (immediately east of Wright’s Close), and another by the entry further east again (acquired in 1738), which leads into the large open area in front of John Adam’s ‘new buildings’. The New Buildings erected in 1761-2 occupied the ground to the east of Hastie’s Close, and largely within the area immediately south of west half of William Adam’s great tenement. Initially, a warrant to erect a new building was granted by the Dean of Guild on 24 March 1761, but by 1 July Adam had acquired additional tenements and subjects between his area and Hastie’s Close that brought about a change in position and plan.38 The dates of the following documents serve well to demonstrate the lapse of time that might ensue between the actual date of purchase of a property and the date of formalising the details. Adam’s new buildings were already erected by the time the documents for acquiring the ground were concluded. Principal amongst these aquisitions was the property Disponed by Alexander Sutherland, Brewer [Appendix 1.36] who in addition to other subjects not related to the site of Adam’s new building, sold :
‘All and haill that Malt barn sometime possest by Charles Robertson Brewer, thereafter by Mrs Bennet Brewer, thereafter by David Wright Merchant, Lying within the Burgh of Edinburgh on the South side of the Kings high street of the same called the Cowgate upon the East side of the Closs called Hastie’s Closs, with the Kiln and Coble pertaining thereto, and the Well upon the west side of the said Closs called Hasties Closs, with the other Well upon the East side of the Bakehouse, and at the head of the Closs called Raploch or Rapperlaws Closs, Bounded as ffollows Vizt. By the said Closs called Hasties Closs upon the West, by the woodstead disponed by Mr Thomas Moffat Minister of the Gospell at Newton To the Incorporation of Baxters upon the South, By the Vennel leading from the College wynd to the head of the said Closs called Rapperlaws Closs on the East, and by two houses sometime possest by William Hastie Writer in Edinburgh upon the North parts, Reserving always to the Tenants & possessors of the Subjects in Hasties Closs disponed by the said Mr Thomas Moffat to the said Incorporation of Baxters, and of the other Subjects in said Closs which belonged to him, The use of both of the Wells above disponed. Which last mentioned Malt Barn, Kiln, Coble and Wells were purchast by my said deceast Father from the said Mr Thomas Moffat’.39

38Edinburgh

Dean of Guild Petitions. Both variants of the plans are missing. Ex inf Dorothy Bell. 39 NAS B22/20/121/1: Disposition Alexander Sutherland in favour of John Adam, dated 25 January 1762; registered B22/2/59 ff 231r-233v, 18 January 1765. There are also two Inventories of writs accompanying this Disposition relating to Moffat and Sutherland: B22/20/121/1 and B22/20/121/5. Adam assumed responsibility for all levies payable on these properties from 15 February 1762.

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Pertinent to this transaction is a Sasine to John Adam following upon a Disposition dated 20 August 1765 by James Cunningham and James Craig, Deacon and Boxmaster respectively of the Incorporation of Baxters [Appendix 1.37] by which Adam formally acquired:
‘All and haill that bake house and oven with the wood loft above the same and other pertinents, sometime pertaining to Patrick Wallace son to the deceast Patrick Wallace Baxter in Edinr sometime possest by John Fleeming and others thereafter by Archibald Punton Baxter and Jean Wilson relict of William Hill Baxter, thereafter by other members of the said corporation as their Tenants lying in the Southside of the Cowgate of Edinburgh And on the Eastside of the Close called Hasties closs bounded betwixt the house belonging to Mrs Ferguson Merchant on the North, Hasties closs on the West, The closs called Raplochs closs on the East, And the stone Tenement which belonged to Mr Thomas Moffatt minister of the Gospel at Newton on the South parts, Together with well on the East of the said bakehouse As also a laigh house in the said Burgh joining the said Bakehouse, and which is the whole ground story of the said stone Tenement which belonged to the said Mr Thomas Moffat sometime possest by Mathew Oliphant thereafter by the Tenants of the said Bakehouse and their servants, As also a little house sometimes possest by Charles Laurie Soldier in the City guard, thereafter used as a wood loft for the said Bakehouse, and which is the Northmost of the two houses in the first story of the said stone land, As also All and haill that area or piece of waste ground used as a wood stead or yeard by the Tenants of the said Bakehouse lying at the head of said Raplochs closs, and bounded by the Vennel leading to the Colege on the South, The lands which belonged to William Adam Architect on the East, The Malt barn which belonged to the said Mr Thomas Moffat on the North, and Hasties closs on the Westparts, And are all parts of the Just and equall half of the lands and others which belonged to the deceast Mr Alexander Cairncross Minister of the Gospel at Dumfries’.40

Edgar’s revised plan of the city in 1765 also incorporates the site of another dwelling house subsequently built by Adam in 1767, a few feet to the north of the new building, on the east side of, and and fronting Hastie’s Close. This is referred to in his Petition to the Dean of Guild dated 24 February 1767 for which the warrant drawing survives. Yet even this may not be the final picture, as other manuscript plans relating to the Adam properties in the Cowgate, not revisited for this account, are to be found in the Blair Adam MSS.41 On completion the new buildings were sold to private purchasers including Lord President Dundas.42 The buildings are amply recorded in the many

B22/2/59: Registered sasine in favour of John Adam, 3 September 1765. These drawings were seen by me some years ago. Subsequently the archive was closed. The references are: NRAS 1454, Section 6: /3. Plan of Mr Adams Subjects in the Cowgate, 1769. /4. Ground plan of tenement on west side of Robertson’s Close. Endorsed ‘Plan given in with Mr Adam’s Representation 2nd. Aug 1770. 42 The Rt. Hon. Lord President, Lord Gray, Lord Kames, Mr Charles Sinclair and Mr Robert Chalmers are the petitioners in a representation made by John Adam to the Dean of Guild in September 1765 for permission to bring a water pipe from the cistern at the Society to a cistern to be erected on Adam’s property in Hastie’s Close over an old well.
41

40NAS

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surveys and proposals relating to the building of the South Bridge. Some of these show changes to the Adam properties since recorded by Edgar in 1765. Ainslie’s map of c.1781 appears (at least as far as the Adam property is concerned) to be based on Edgar. However, part of an an unattributed large scale measured survey relating to the South Bridge proposals, shows the area in great detail. In this, the west jamb of William Adam’s tenement appears to have undergone some refiguration: fronting the street on the west side of Adam’s Cort is now a free stan ding house with a semicircular stair tower on its south u elevation. This also appears on other surveys of 1785.43 The buildings on the site William Adam had bought from the Trustees of the creditors of Joseph Cave in 1738, and shown by Edgar in 1742 and 1765, have now been replaced with a long building 49ft. 6in. x 18ft. 6in. on an east-west axis and with a shaped wall in front. Hamilton of Olivestob’s little square Gallery at the northeast corner of the garden has also been removed. While John Adam’s new buildings survived for over a century, most of the great back tenement and others acquired by William Adam in the 1720s and 30s were compulsorily purchased and demolished to make way for the south bridge in 1785. The history of this is narrated fully elsewhere.44 (Figures 50 & 51)

Figure 51 : Robert Kay's design for the mirrored elevations that face each other over the Cowgate. The existing gable elevations are close to these initial sketches.

Andrew, G., The Building of the Old College (Edinburgh, 1989). The survey poduced by Robert Kay and illustrated pp 64-5, Figs 3.11 & 3.12, shows this apsidal feature, but unfortunately is unresolved in its rendering of the west side of Adam’s great tenement. See also The Trustees Plan of 1785, p 66, Fig 3.13; and Robert Adam’s proposals 1785, p 68, Fig 3.16. 44See particularly Fraser, Andrew, G., The Building of the Old College (Edinburgh, 1989).

43Fraser,

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8.3 Decline, Improvements and Development (19th – 20th centuries) By Morag Cross
The history of this city block was examined using both contemporary and modern sources. There is a wealth of documentary information about the buildings and their inhabitants, from valuation rolls to the census records from 1841 onwards. Post Office and Street Directories and Dean of Guild plans also enabled an idea of the social, commercial and topographic changes to be traced. The histories of the individual buildings have been traced where possible, numbered according to the scheme assigned in Addyman (2002). See Figures

8.31 Streets
The street patterns of this area of Edinburgh have been reworked twice in recent times. The building of the South Bridge and associated structures, and the second by the City Improvement Trust after 1866-71 occasioned the first change. Among the numerous photographs of the site, the most haunting images are those taken by Archibald Burns, between Martinmas (11 November) 1870 and January 1871. They show the filth and desolation of the boarded-up closes, bearing the removal notices of the decanted inhabitants (Edinburgh Central Library). These pictures have been widely reproduced, and variously dated and attributed (e.g. taken by Burns, 1871, NMRS B31896, 32006; from the RIAS Collection, unattributed but taken c1860, McKean, 1992, 45). Rodger (2001, 425) proposes that they are by J C Balmain, for the Improvement Trust in 1866 (although the Act was only passed in 1867, ibid, 433)). Balmain began business in 1898, suggesting that Burns is a more likely candidate (Torrance, 2001, 7). The eviction and removals notices visible in most views, give a terminus post quem for the pictures. In one photograph, of the Gaelic Church from College St (ECL 14458), the notice appended to the wall seems to refer to the Edinburgh Improvement Act of 1867 (also visible on image 3, Horse Wynd looking North from College St, with the same bill on the right, ECL 14459). The lone horse and trap in some of the pictures may have been the photographer’s, but the correct attribution is not helped by the initials AI (A A Inglis) beside the captions. Burns’s business was taken over in 1876 by Inglis, who also traded under Burns’s name from 1876-80 (Minto, 1974, 3). Details of Burns and Inglis business, based in Hill and Adamson’s original studios in Rock House, are given in Stubbs (2001, 16) and Torrance (2001, 11, 25). The bare trees in front of Minto House, west of the church, and slush on the ground, suggests that the Central Library’s suggestion of winter 1870/1 is probably correct (Contact prints and City Improvement Trust minuted extract, 1871 in album QYDA 1829.9 (866)). The poverty of this physical environment is too extreme to be picturesque, but the pictures cannot convey the stench constantly remarked upon by social campaigners like the Cowgate Free Church. The “atmosphere being most oppressive and sickening,” there were “bad smells, especially in warm weather...(and) a raw damp,” (Taylor and Dickson, 1880, 51, 57). Henry Johnston ennumerated the often medieval

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drainage conditions in each of 159 closes in the Old Town in 1856 (NLS, APS.1.77.122). Peter’s Close, and Dick’s Close, between College Wynd and Horse Wynd (ie immediately west of Wilkie House, building 7) were described by Johnston as “149. Peter’s Close leads to a byre. Entry and all most disgusting. There is a large dunghill in it...to breed a pestilence...150. Dick’s Close - Low, dark, filthy, and abominable “ (ibid, 37). This left a void between the anecdotage and antiquarianism of Daniel Wilson (1891) and J Grant (1882), and the urgent campaigns waged by sanitary reformers. The city medical officer HD Littlejohn’s Report on the appalling sanitary conditions of 1865 (NLS, NE.11.a.11) was supplemented by the interest architects like John Honeyman took in their own ability to make a material difference (eg, his paper on “The dwellings of the Poor...the Housing of the Working Classes...”delivered in 1885). This was also antithetical to the attitude of Lord Cockburn, whose famous Letter of 1849, some critics regarded as treasuring rather more of the Old Town than was fit to live in (Rodger, 2001, 427). Some of the other propagandist pamphlets and novels of slum and city life are discussed in Noble (1985). In 1883, a local historian explained that “houses, intended formerly as family mansions, having been let out in small portions, consisting sometimes of a single room” which were now occupied by whole families (Hunter, 1883, ii). This led to sewage lying in closes and stairs, causing “noxious effluvia” and disease (Johnston, 1856, 4). By habitual exposure the inhabitants, and charitable workers, became innured to such conditions. Rodger (2001, 415-458) describes in detail the impact of what he calls “social consciences” upon “civic consciousness...and the built environment,” (ibid, 415), with the background to the Edinburgh City Improvement Act of 1867. As Rodger points out (ibid, 427), this example of “municipal socialism” saw the “big three Scottish cities lead the way in slum clearance. Their own Improvement Acts gave to Dundee in 1871, Edinburgh in 1867, and Glasgow in 1866 the powers to purchase, clear and redevelop central slum areas...”(Best, 1968, 340). The moving spirit in Edinburgh was Lord Provost Robert Chambers, after whom Chambers St was named (and whom Marwick believes saw the scheme “merely as an expedient for the administration of recognised public utilities”, 1969, 36). Further histories of the redevelopment of the Old Town are given in Wood (1974, 51-3), Smith (1980, 99-133) and Gordon (1979, 178-181). Cousin and Lessels, architects to the Improvement Trust, recreated a pastiche of the architecture to be destroyed, in a Scottish baronial style that today informs tourists’, and natives’ views of what constitues a specifically “Royal Mile” and “Old Town” streetscape (Walker, 1985, 148-52; Rodger, 2001, 435, 438, 475-6). The ultimate result was Patrick Geddes’ “idealised representation” of the genuine article, Ramsay Gardens (Welter, 1999, 66-7). David Cousin (d 1878) was the Edinburgh Superintendent of Public Works from 1847, and laid out master plans in Mayfield and Newington. He also erected the Edinburgh Corn Exchange in the Grassmarket, and numerous churches. Cosin officially became architect to the E dinburgh Improvement Trust (with u whom he had already been working) in December 1867, but felt that he needed assistance due to his poor health (D Walker, 2003). In March 1868,

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John Lessels (1809-83) joined him as co-architect to the Trust. They produced the Trust’s master document, The Plan of the Sanitary Improvements of the City of Edinburgh (1866) . The details of the Chambers St programme are given in Rodger (2001, 432-3, where Cousin is referred to as “Cousins”). The City Improvement proposals show Chambers St and Guthrie Street overlaid on the existing scheme, which would cause the eastward displacement of College Wynd (Central Library, Edinburgh City Improvement Plans 1866 Sheet 3, Streets 9, 10 (Guthrie St), 11 (Chambers St) and 18). Although the utilitarian 4-storey tenements in Guthrie St look unremarkable, by their commissioning, the Trust “created the precedent for municipal housing in the city,” (Rodger, 2001, 433). Copies of elevations for the new buildings are found in the NMRS (eg EDD/566/1, Cousin’s elevation of the Phrenological Museum; A39282/po, D Rhind’s elevations of the School of Arts, 23-5 Chambers St). The thoroughfare first appears in the Dean of Guild plans in an application for the School of Arts on 18 May, 1872. Chambers St replaced North College St, (Figure 52) being much wider and allowing proper vantage points for the new Industrial Museum (later Museum of Science and Art) and Playfair’s (and Rowand Anderson’s) modified northern elevations of the Old College. The first Director of the Museum was George Wilson, brother of the archaeologist, writer and artist of “Memorials of Edinburgh in the Olden Time,” Sir Daniel Wilson (Wilson, 1860, 408-9, 422, 449). For Chambers St, and Buildings 10 and 8 (74-5 South Bridge and 1-3 Chambers St), the architects used a French/Italianate style laid down by City Superintendent David Cousin. The “round-headed windows and mansard roofs with iron cresting that still (give) dignity to most of the north side of the street,” (Fraser, 1989, 335). This was reminiscent of the design chosen by Alexander Mackison, city engineer for Dundee, after the Dundee Improvement Act replanned the crossing at Commercial St, Murraygate and High St after 1872. Mackison may have been aided by Lessels (D Walker, pers comm), but the overall impression of both buildings is similar (that in Dundee being described as “so many yards of pattern book architecture” in “The Builder,” (McKean and Walker, 1984, 42). This versatile “facadism” was judged fitted for many uses along Chambers St. As in Dundee, it concealed and unified shops, offices and public buildings. The confident statement of civic dignity that emerged might inadvertently have been Edinburgh’s answer to the cultural quarter in South Kensington built with the proceeds of the Great Exhibition. Chambers St housed the new premises of the Watt Institute (the origin of Heriot-Watt University), Tron Free Church, Phrenological Museum, Minto House School of Medicine and the Church of Scotland Training College, as well as the University and National Museum of Science and Arts. There was, inevitably, a counter-reaction to the wholescale demolition advocated by the Improvers. As part of this, the first paper published in the first volume of the Book of the Old Edinburgh Club was a “Provisional List of old houses remaining in High Street and Canongate,” (Home 1908, 1-30). Realising that improvement did not have to equate with razing everything, Home suggests “a united and vigorous effort” at conservation is required

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(ibid, 2) Even in the course of writing, Home notes houses that are being demolished, eg in Fishmarket Close (ibid, 20). Thomas Hamilton, architect of Buildings 4 and 5, was himself a contributor to the ‘restoration’ of John Knox House in 1853 (Gifford et al, 1984, 208), saved as a sanctified relic of the sainted Presbyterian, but its misnomer enabled its preservation and gives an idea of what was lost.

8.32 Adam Square and South Bridge
The planned residential developments on the south of the City, which included Brown, George, Argyle and Adam Squares, are discussed in A J Youngson (1966, 68-9). Adam Square was an early example of a unified facade design, concealing several buildings. It was soon truncated on its east side by South Bridge. In its original conception by Robert Adam, the South Bridge “gave the first clear demonstration to architects in Scotland of the full potential of a classically designed street,” (Rowan, 1997, 74). As finally built to the plainer, cheaper designs of Robert Kay, the backs of the buildings to Cowgate (ie building 3), Blair Street and Niddry St were unadorned. The opportunity to “carry the design round all sides of a building...(as in) Randolph Crescent,” so praised by John Betjeman (1972, 28) as a Scottish characteristic, was not fulfilled. The development of South Bridge has most recently been studied by Fraser (1989; 2003) and Rowan (1997). The last feus on the eastern side were sold in February 1800, where Thins booksellers stood (Grant, 1882, I, 375). The occupations of those applying for building warrants in 1800 shows that the buildings are still under development. The petitioners (usually the builders) included three listing their occupations as ‘builder’ (see Plan appendix 1.5). The Square does not seem to have been photographed intentionally, but it appears in the background to at least two photographs (one detailed under Hastie’s Close)(Figures 52 & 53). Archibald Burns’s Improvement Trust pictures are accompanied by a map showing his viewpoints, from which it can be seen that his picture no 22 (taken from North College St looking diagonally north east towards the outer, south face of Adam Square; Central Library photo no 14, 481) shows the three-storey houses on the corner, with tall chimneystacks of coursed ashlar. Copious notes (by William Cowan) given in the original album (Central Library album QYDA 1829.9 (866) 42374, p22) supply further information locating Hastie’s Close between two houses. This suggests that the southern end of a building shown in image 23, where it was photographed from the north, is also shown in the present picture no 22 (see under Hastie’s Close). The houses with tall chimneystacks appear to be the side of Adam Square to North College St, from which railings also divided it. The evolution of Adam Sq is detailed in Mowat (2002). From 1859, the Edinburgh Young Men’s Christian Institute occupied the Square (Hunter, 1883, 142). Different institutions housed in the Square, including the Watt Institute, are discussed in Grant (1882, I, 376, 379-82; II, 275). The Anderson Institution in Glasgow, forerunner of Strathclyde University (Fisher, 1994, 266) inspired the formation of the Edinburgh School of Arts in

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1821. This later became the Watt Institution, the predecessor of Heriot-Watt

Photographer : Archibald Burns : 1871
H a s t ie s C lo s e
South Bridge

Cowgat e

Adam Square from the south west.

A d a m S q u a re

View Taken from

Figure 52 : Burns Photograph of Adam Square from North College Street, 1871

University, indirectly linking both 1960’s foundations (Kaufman & Blomfield 2002, 22-3). The impetus was to provide affordable science classes for tradesmen, who, when “brought to think, (do) not remain stationary..” but “are at once ushered into a new world” of better understanding the principles of manufacturing and machinery. Beyond the philanthropy, the end product was also a more efficient worker (Hunter, 1883, 140-1). The school was based in the bow-windowed townhouse Pentreath has linked (through the quotation of window forms) with the design sources for Kininmonth’s Adam House (1995, 105). A former pupil and later lecturer, George Wilson, described the students as “two hundred stout fellows...rising tier above tier, piled to the very ceiling,”, mostly self-educated artisans (Wilson, 1860, 307-9).

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One of the founders , Professor James Pillans (former headmaster of the High School) was the son of the printer who had worked in Hastie’s Wynd. Pillans and Wilson’s printing firm subsequently produced textbooks for the School of Arts (Pillans & Wilson 1925, 72, 107). “The building of the New Town and ...South Bridge...effectively destroyed Adam Square’s attractions as a residential area for the well-to-do,” (Mowat, 2002, 99). By the late 1780’s, the upper classes had moved to the New Town (discussed in Youngson 1966). Between 1803-5, a bookseller and two surgeons altered premises in the Square (it was near the original site of the Infirmary, as well as the University). Grant (1882 I, 379) mentions one of them, Dr Andrew Duncan, Physician to the King, regular pilgrim to Arthur’s Seat on May Day, and recipient of a public funeral. He owned no 72 (DoG Petn T Sime, 18 Apr 1844: PO Dir 1840-1, 211). On purchasing their own building in 1851, the School of Arts erected a statue to its inspiration, James Watt (Dean of Guild, 6 October, 1853). It was removed to Chambers St with the School, and has now been moved again to the campus at Riccarton. Mowat notes the “certain professional distinction” lent by the residence of Rev Archibald Brown at no 75 (Mowat mis-locates him to no 73, Mowat, 2002, 99; PO Dir 1855-6, 69; ibid, 1863-4, 392). However, Brown not only lived here, but also ministered here. The 1st edition OS map of 1852 shows the Original Secession Church between Hastie’s Close and Adam Square. The Church had its principal entrance in the Square, not the Close - a Mr Lindsay was the pursuer, and Spittal’s Trustees the defenders in a case involving the church in Adam Square in 1844 (DoG, date of extract 7 June 1844). Unfortunately, the plans and papers concerning this are missing from the Dean of Guild collections, and no record of the church’s original appearance has yet been traced. The church was little noted, being mentioned by Stevenson (1851, 313) and Hunter (1883, 142), but few others. In 1842, the constituent Burgher and Antiburgher branches of this dissenting movement merged, to form the Original Secession. This church was the result of multiple schisms and unions over disagreements about oaths, the national Covenants and articles of union (history given in Cameron, 1993, 637). The majority of the Original Seceders joined with the Free Church in 1852, but the Adam Square congregation persisted alone. This congregation first met in the School of Arts, Adam Square in 1842. Archibald Brown joined them from Kirriemuir in 1843, but saw his flock split “owing to a diversity of sentiment respecting the lawfulness of Sabbathschools” in 1857 (Scott, 1886, 331). The dissenters erected a church in Victoria Terrace, and the remnant section sold the old building to the Improvement Commission and moved, with Rev Burns, to South Clerk St (PO Dir 1874-5, p23, Brown listed at 32 South Clerk St). After his death, some rejoined with Victoria Terrace. The majority of the Seceders joined with the Church of Scotland in 1956 (Cameron, 1993, 637). The outline of part of the church walls is preserved in later building lines, at the south side of building 13 and the area of building 11. This northern part of the church is contiguous with the Improvement Commission “limit of Deviation for Streets nos 10 & 11 (Chambers St)” shown on Sheet 3 of Edinburgh City Improvement Plans 1866, Streets 9-11 and 18.

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Further details of individual buildings in Adam Square are contained in extracts from the Dean of Guild sources. The elevation of Mr Sime’s house at no 73, shows a typical Georgian 3-storey over basement townhouse (probably in the Square’s NW corner). A two-storey “saloon” was added to the rear in 1844. A woman, Margaret Spottiswoode, carried out alterations to create a carriage sales room from an auction house at no 69-70 (both nos given). She had probably inherited the house from John Spottiswood, who had a “carron warehouse” there in 1805 (PO Dir 1805-6, 127). This was a specie of ironmongers, selling the high-quality cast (as opposed to oldfashioned wrought) iron goods of the Carron Ironworks in Falkirk (G Bailey, pers comm). Such goods included fire surounds, pans and ranges suitable for the new houses. Margaret let no 69 to William Inglis, coachmaker, after widening the central arched window and installing a metal grating as a bridge over the basement area to admit carriages (DoG, extract 16/7/1840; 1844-5 Dir, 69). They were displayed, like used cars, in “a row of carriages on each side.” That her neighbours were innkeepers and licensed victuallers suggests that the spirit of the Cowgate was spreading up Hastie’s Close. .

8.33 Hastie’s Close
This street has been extensively documented, with modern photographs in the NMRS. Johnson described it as “well causewayed, with a good surface drain” in 1856 (p37). It ran down the rear of Adam Square, suggesting that the square may be depicted in one of A Burns’s City Improvement Trust images from 1871 (Dr A Fraser, pers comm). The view of Hastie’s Close from College Wynd (which lay to the west), no 23 in the series of 26 pictures. (Visible on the World Heritage Trust website, L Cairns, pers comm.; also in the Edinburgh Room, Central Library, photo no 14,483) may show the western roof level, chimney, dormer and advanced centrepiece of the School of Arts on the extreme left. Part of Old College appears in the right side of the background, and what may be the west, rear tenement in Hastie’s Close in the centre, with a built-up brick chimneystack, possibly indicated on the 1852 OS map as a projection on the buildings to the west of the lettering “Close”. The map showing the viewpoints used in conjunction with the original prints (Central Library, photos 14,482, 14, 483; album QY DA 1829.9 (866) 42374, p23, p24) suggests that this is an accurate identification. The newer, regular tenement has lower buildings in front of it (to the east), which may be those shown in the view, no 22, looking north, down Hastie’s Close. The printing firm of Pillans and Wilson was situated in Hastie’s Close between 1796-1803, having previously been in Nicholson Street. By 1804 they had moved to Riddell’s Court in the Lawnmarket. The firm was founded in 1775 by James Pillans, who was a Seceder, and an elder of their Nicholson St meeting house. This firm has been overshadowed by Andrew Symson’s more famous premises in Horse Wynd, at the start of the 18th century, depicted by Wilson (1891, II, 142) and photographer Archibald Burns (Edinburgh Central Library Photo 14,469, neg no 92021/2/10). Pillans and Wilson printed religious tracts in the 1820’s, and continued to be associated with the Secession Church (NLS Scottish Book Trade Index, www.nls.uk/catalogues/resources; Pillans & Wilson 1925). A breakaway congregation of the Secession Church later had a

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meeting house in Adam Square. Pillans and Wilson are still extant, but do not preserve archives from this period (Mr H MacLeod, pers comm).
H a s t ie s C lo s e
South Bridge
Cowgate

Figure 53 : Burns Photograph of Hasties Close and Adam Square, 1871

A d a m Sq u a r e

View Taken from

Adam Square from the north west.

Photographer : Archibald Burns : 1871

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8.34 Buildings 1, 2, 3 & 10
J & R Allan’s department store/1-3 Chambers St and 74-85 South Bridge

The present building 10, on the corner of Chambers St, was designed by John Paterson and John Lessels in 1873 for John Smith (Walker, 2003; Dean of Guild date of extract 31 Oct 1873; Petitioner, John Smith). John Paterson’s and John Lessels’s elevation of this building, with the mansard roof, dormers and window architraves has been copied by the NMRS (EDD/566/2). In a serendipitous instance of synchronicity, the firm that became J & R Allan was originally founded by Sir James Spittal, builder of the tenements in the Cowgate, which were lately occupied by the Gilded Balloon. The brief history of the firm is given in Gilbert (1901, 215-20) and Marwick (1959, 135). Spittal founded a firm of silk mercers, or dealers in fine textiles, in 1807. In 1822, he is less glamorously described as a haberdasher, living at 11 Nicolson Sq (Directory 1822-3, 337). He applied to make alterations to the rear of 60, South Bridge in 1825, which had been the premises of T & J Blackwoods, haberdashers (Dir 1806-7, 20). Apart from Spittal’s property speculations, or investments in the Cowgate (detailed under buildings 4 & 5) in the 1820’s, there are apparently no other warrants granted to him, or for the premises at 84 South Bridge in the 1830’s. The early indices do not include street numbers, and buildings can be hard to locate without extracting the individual plans, which present reasons of economy and scale render impractical. Adjacent premises, at 85-6 South Bridge, were altered in 1823 (by James Anderson) and in 1838 (by Adam Bell). This building, which has preserved its southern facade to the Cowgate, is now occupied by Edinburgh City Council as offices and an advice shop. An action was raised by one John Cameron regarding 81 South Bridge in 1839, who may have been a paper manufacturer, based at 79 South Bridge (1840-1 Dir, 211). At this period, 74-84 South Bridge included such well-known names as John Keiller confectioner (probably in Adam Sq, which was listed at 68 South Bridge), Melroses grocers, John Spittal, an agent (sometimes an early form of banking and insurance officer or franchisee), teachers, the True Scotsman publishers, and shawl manufacturers. The most pretentious entry is for a carver and gilder “to the Queen and Duchess of Kent” (Victoria’s mother). This was mainly in the area occupied by Building no 3 (although on Kirkwoods map of 1817, no 81 South Bridge may extend into building no 2). Other alterations were carried out: to no 80 in 1841; by the grocers Andrew Melrose at no 83 in 1841 (plans extracted as A60685, NMRS, listed as being for John Taylor; who has signed the lower right hand corner. The Dean of Guild petitioner (usually the person applying for the building warrant) is Andrew Melrose, 15 July 1841; the elevation legend is inscribed “that shop ...belonging Andrew Melrose”), showing the insertion of two three-pane flat-headed shop windows, with a central two-leaved glazed doorway, and a wooden fascia with scrolled volutes above. The round-headed windows and doors of Robert Kay’s original terrace are indicated on the neighbouring buildings). Another applicant was Hannah Cameron, one of several female petitioners, at no 81 in 1853 (soon after occupied by a watchmakers), and again in 1868 (by now including the Scottish Freeman Magazine’s offices and Rombach Bros, as well

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as a printers and pawnbrokers). Another woman, Jane Smith, planned alterations at no 80 in 1856 (a toy warehouse in the 1860’s). Other petitioners are listed in the Dean of Guild plans list extracted at the end of this report. Various different owners occupied the same premises at 84 South Bridge, maintaining the same trade in silken goods and fabrics. Spittal and Son were succeeded by Christie and Alexander in 1840 and expanded the business by the 1850’s (Gilbert, 1901, 220). They incorporated 82 and 83 South Bridge, dealing in mourning and gentlemen’s wear. Lawrence Robertson also lived as well as worked on South Bridge in the 1840’s. By the mid 1870’s, now trading as Alexander and Macnab, Charles J Alexander also occupied 81 South Bridge. Their advertising described them as drapers, outfitters, and “The cheapest house in the Trade for carpets, curtains, beds and furnishings,” (Directory 1874-5, 3). C J Alexander carried out further building work at no 82 in 1872, and Hugh Paterson to no 77-9 at the same time. In 1876, the firm became Meldrum and Allan (Gilbert, 1901, 220). The Allan brothers acquired control in 1883. (Figure 54) By 1885, they had bought no 80, expanding south along the bridge (Directory 1885-6, 5). Addyman (2002, vii) describes how the street frontage was redesigned (but probably later than c1860), with cast iron and plate-glass vitrines, pediments removed and dormer windows inserted to provide additional warehouse accommodation. The company’s advertising in the Post Office Directory of 1894-5 (also reproduced in Gilbert, 1901) proudly shows the premises as a panorama on both sides of the Cowgate arch; only the central shop doorways preserve a portion of the original arcading as fanlights. The Allans amalgamated C & T Hodge on the North side of the Cowgate arch, and J McIntyres in Nicolson St. The Allans formed a limited company in 1897 (the minutes of their board meetings now form part of the House of Fraser Collection n the Scottish Business Archive, Glasgow University (HF33/1/1/1/1). The first board meeting was held on 1 June 1897, with Robert as Chairman. By the third Ordinary General Meeting, in February 1899, James had retired and was replaced by H Speedie. Two thousand shares were put in trust for employees, and the registered office of the company was at 84 South Bridge (ibid). They expanded after the First World War, and in 1920 purchased “the adjoining drapery and general warehouse business of Paterson and Smith to build an extension. These ambitious plans were almost immediately overshadowed by accusations of profiteering and demands from shop assistants for substantial wage rises to keep pace with inflation and for a shorter working week,” (Moss & Turton, 1989, 117). In 1928, the firm was purchased by the Scottish Drapery Corporation, who also owned Pettigrew & Stephens and Dalys of Glasgow, and J W Blair of Edinburgh. A H Mottram became “house architect” to the company in the 1920’s. A(rthur) Hugh Mottram (1886-1953) (Scotsman, 13 March; The Builder, 20 March, 1953) was an assistant to Sir Raymond Unwin, the garden city pioneer. Mottram worked on the “new town” of Rosyth, and was interested in housing reform, working with various housing associations, as well as being president of Edinburgh Architectural Association. He established the practice of

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Mottram Patrick in Frederick St in 1930 (D Walker, pers comm; Bailey, 1996, 132; Thomas 1996, 210). Due to his earlier work with J B Dunn and J L Findlay, who also worked for Jenners store, many of Mottram’s drawings are part of the Dunn and Findlay Collection in the NMRS. The Scottish Drapery Corporation commissioned an extensive redesign of what were still essentially Victorian premises, to bring them into the machine age. The plans, which mostly date from 1929-32, (see archive appendix 1.4) show, among other developments: • alterations to floors below South Bridge street level and openings in walls, stair to street level, Aug 1929 (E26432); • new saloon in place of cash room, Sept 1929 (E26430); • dining room on top floor of nos 77-80; • shopfitting schemes for ground floor drapery and linen department, with glass fronted cabinets and drawers (E26422); • hair dressing salon with private cubicles (E26423); • the ground floor millinery and corsetry department, projecting out over the Cowgate frontage above present building no 4 (E26424); • the insertion of an arcade of obliquely-angled display cases and octagonal island units at the entrance on the corner of 74-5 South Bridge (now Biblios Cafe/Bar) (EDD 880/36 & 37). Photographs taken of the shopfitting and the art deco black granite-clad shop fronts, with small round grilles under the windows, can be seen in a series of photographs by F Sage & Co (NMRS, B78868-9, C21001-6), dated c1925 in the catalogue. They are quite possibly later, as they show the return facade to Cowgate at South Bridge level, shown in EDD 880/34, dated 1933; and along South Bridge from nos 77-84, planned on EDD/880/26, dated c1932. The arcade at 74/75 South Bridge photographed by Sage, is planned by Mottram in Jan 1933 (EDD 880/33). William Gauldie designed a similar arcade in 1935, for D M Brown Ltd on the corner of Commercial St and High St, Dundee (Dundee D o G plans, 80-18, Vol XI, p21). Another one remains at the Kelvin House drapers, in Dumbarton Road, Glasgow, as a “period piece” of shopfront design. Some of the polished black granite cladding can still be seen on South Bridge (eg on building 10, 74-75 South Bridge and on ‘Gossip’ clothes shop, and 1-3 Chambers St). The wooden-framed period doors and windows with bands of horizontal panes (at no 85-7) may be from this time, if they are not from a later reinstatement of the property. The Dunn and Findlay Collection may hold relevant elevations. It would appear more likely that F Sage & Co’s photographic album (NMRS) was made as a record of the newly refurbished premises at the same time as a promotional/souvenir brochure was also commissioned. This is entitled “Grand Opening of Extended Premises...Mon 25 Sept 1933” (Edinburgh Central Library, YHF 5429 A41J, C58006). The reverse illustrates the Arcade, which “by its dimensions and its artistic setting... has become the topic with the Ladies of Edinburgh...” The same booklet shows the restaurant, with “the new scheme of furnishing” and the enlarged bay windows on the first floor of building 3, which survived until the fire. Another fire saw Turnbull and Wilson reconstructing their shop in 1934 at 60-62, South Bridge. One characteristic feature of the Cowgate was the addition of

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a lower, or subsidiary, enclosed bridge to the main archway over the street. This was not the only example nearby - behind Jenners in Meuse Lane (two examples; 1925 one has single window with broken pediment on ionic columns) and across West College St (Fraser, 1989, 337) are other “Bridge of Sighs” models. The bridge connected the warehouse levels of Allans departments, and was built in 1929 (DoG plans, date of extract 26 July 1929, along with other alterations between 1929 and 1933, including new shop fronts and arcade at 1-3 Chambers St, Jan 1933). The enclosed corridor bridge merited a mention in the Scotsman (24 October 1929), and has added further melodramatic gloom to this atmospheric underpass. There have since been suggestions that the original profile of the main bridge should be restored. The minutes for the 55th AGM, June 1951 show that the Company had a trading profit of £32,303, a slight decrease on the previous year. In a presciently topical note, the minutes record that trading “has perhaps been influenced by fears of shortages and higher prices. If the war in Korea and the expansion of the rearmament programme continue, there may well be a shortage of supplies and the rise in prices may result in consumer resistance...conditions are too uncertain to make any forecast of this year’s results,” (GUA, HF33/1/1/1/1, pp113-116). Hugh Fraser bought the group in 1951 for almost three million pounds. The company was paying fees for architectural alterations in 1951 of £263/5-, and spent£143 1 on repairs and renewals. In 1952, over £3000 was spent on repairs, perhaps as a result of Fraser’s takeover (GUA, HF33/3/1/1, sheets 3, 5). In early 1953, the company of J & R Allan Ltd, was wound up voluntarily by the Chairman, Hugh Fraser. Frasers opened a new food hall in 1954, and inserted lift shafts in 1957. The store became part of the Arnotts group in 1971, along with D M Brown in Dundee, which has also been recently redeveloped (Moss & Turton, 1989, 135, 177, 217; GUA HF33/1/1/1/1, Special Resolution 30/1/1953). Building 1 included the premises of Style and Mantle, about whom less information has been available. They also carried out alterations c1929-32, the plans being part of the NMRS Dunn and Findlay Collection. They applied to reconstruct shops after a fire at 1-3, Chambers St and 74-6 South Bridge (later J & R Allen’s property) in July 1929 (Dean of Guild plans). They inserted new floors with extensive new structural steel supports by “Constructional Engineers Redpath, Brown & Co” of Edinburgh. The architect on NMRS EDD 880/44 is listed as M K Glass, of Newcastle. The structural sequence here could be elucidated by the extraction of some of the DoG plans. On Mottram’s elevations for Allan in 1933, Style and Mantle occupy 75, South Bridge, and still appear to retain an Edwardian-style window arrangement, despite their recent planning applications. (Figure 54) Later uses of these buildings can be traced in building warrant applications, including an amusement arcade (1984), cafes, and a public house (1983).

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Figure 54 : J & R Allan Store, as depicted in 1901. with the store in the 1950s (below)

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Cowgate 8.35 Building 3, The Bridge and Earlier Views of the Site
235-7 Cowgate preserved its Adamesque facade to the North, rising through seven floors to its raised wallhead parapet. With the Living Room pub at Cowgate level, the orientation of the building turned through 90 degrees between the overhead and underpass streets. The integral carriage arch led from the Cowgate to Commercial Court, the north gable wall being listed category “C”. With its twin opposite, it framed many views of the impoverished Cowgate traversed by Robert Kay’s viaduct, in a literal demonstration of ‘upper’ and ‘lower’ social stations. The fire site may be illustrated in the background to some of these views, such as Thomas Shepherd’s drawing “South Bridge from the Cowgate,” engraved in his “Modern Athens displayed in a series of views...or Edinburgh in the Nineteenth Century,” published in 1829 (An earlier version by J Storer, 1818, is shown in Fraser 1989, 80). Fraser identifies the views as looking east, suggesting that the predecessor to Spittal’s shops is just visible at the extreme right edge of the image. The building’s details are, unfortunately, quite obscured. The wallhead was altered along South Bridge and the original pediments were removed. They survived nearly intact on the gable of 85-7, and on the north side of no 84. At 84 South Bridge, the outline of the pediment was built into the raised roof line with its balustrades, which was probably added during one of Allan’s building campaigns in the early 20th century. In the illustration in the 1894-5 PO Directory, the gable is intact. By A H Mottram’s Cowgate elevations of January 1933, (NMRS EDD 880/34) the gable wallhead has been squared off. Allans applied to make alterations at no 84 (Building 3) in 1906, 1920 and subsequently.

8.36 Buildings 4 &5/
Gilded Balloon/233 Cowgate

The Gilded Balloon theatrical and comedy venue brought international media attention to the site of the Cowgate fire. It opened in 1986, but the buildings had a long previous history and a distinguished designer. They share their architect, Thomas Hamilton, with George IV Bridge and the Royal High School. The two adjacent 4-storey tenements presented a uniform facade, both with arcades of six openings to the street. Building 3, to the east, covered the entrance to Commercial Court in the heart of the complex. Ainslie’s map of 1800, and a late 18th cent map (reproduced as SC761559 in the NMRS) show the typical street pattern of the old town, long narrow lands running back from the Cowgate. There are three buildings between Hastie’s Close and the rear of the South Bridge structures (now building 3). The central of the three buildings is further divided into two properties (the east side of South Bridge is not yet built). The detail in Ainslie, 1801 is more general, but by Kirkwood’s map of 1817, the construction of South Bridge has reduced three lands to two to the east of Hastie’s Wynd (which ran up from the Cowgate behind the west side of Adam Square, to North College St).

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Building 4

Building 5

Hasties Close

Figure 55: 1823 Elevation detail from Thomas Hamilton’s designs for buildings 4 & 5 note the arcaded shopfronts on the Cowgate Street Level.

In 1823, James Spittal, a silk mercer and future Lord Provost, “to the admiration and envy of his neighbours, opened up handsome saloons to the back along the line of the Cowgate,” (Gilbert 1901, 229). The architect of building 4 was the rising star of the Greek revival, Thomas Hamilton (17841858), who initialled the plans as “TH Jnr,” (extracted plans in NMRS, A60589 & A60588; DoG, petitioner J Spittal, warrant dated 19 June 1823; date of extract 28 June 1823). (Figure 55) Although omitted from Colvin’s list of Hamilton’s work, the architect did undertake a number of small commercial developments in the 1820’s (I Fisher, pers comm; D Walker, pers comm; Colvin, 1995, 454-5; Rock, 1984, 2). Among these were premises in George St for W and T Blackwood, publishers. Spittal’s two uniform buildings anticipate Hamilton’s treatment of “a unified facade for both shops” for Blackwood’s in 1829 (ibid, 48). This saw the far grander “use of twelve fluted monolithic Ionic columns across the facade” (ibid), with a full entablature, rather than Spittal’s

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flat pilasters between stone arches with simple archivolts. Rock (1984, 46n) identifies the same segmental arches used again in Arthur Lodge (1830), also attributed to Hamilton. Hamilton was concerned with improving access to the old town to prevent its economic and social stagnation (he worked on proposals for the “earthen Mound,” Robertson, 1932, 83; Rock, 1984, 15-21). While working for Spittal, Hamilton was also involved with drafting proposals for what would become George IV Bridge (executed by the first Edinburgh Improvements Commission after 1827), and the magisterial Royal High School (Youngson 1966, 156-9, 166-72). Although it may be fortuitous, the rhythm of the Cowgate arcade openings might reflect Hamilton’s interest in streetscapes and town planning. From the top of Blair St, the shopfront arches lead the eye across the Cowgate, and link up the east and west sides of Blair St in one almost-continuous “narrative,” now interrupted by Commercial Court. There were originally eight arches to building 4, forming four doors and four shop windows. The eastern two have been removed, but this would give fourteen arches when completed across building 5. The arcading thereby acted as a unifying link between the wider arched windows running down the hill, a literal eye-catcher. That this was deliberate is suggested by the legend on the original Dean of Guild drawing, “Elevation fronting Blair Street,” (Building 4, DoG elevation dated April 11 1823). The initial proposals were for a flat frontage, which was amended to the present intrusion into the Cowgate at an oblique angle (NMRS A60588, showing the changes inserted on a paper strip overlay). This followed closely the uneven, but oblique building line of the previous tenements. Hamilton proposed to introduce more regular fenestration (with rooftop cupolas) and include a curved, or bowed corner on the east side to Liberty Court (a passageway). The eastern elevation to Liberty Court showed the gables of the four-storey front and rear blocks, linked by a lower courtyard range (DoG section A-B, extracted 28 June 1823). Liberty Court has not been included in Harris (1996), Boog Watson (1923), nor in the gazetteer to Kirkwood’s map of 1817 (Commercial Court is omitted from both, but appears in Gray’s 1834 Directory, p180 at 247 Cowgate. Boog Watson (1923, 145-6) has Liberton’s Close as an alternate designation for Hastie’s Close. In James Spittal’s petition of 1823, the tenement on which he wishes to “demolish all old buildings and build others” is bounded by properties which were “sometime pertaining” (ie possibly many decades earlier), to named proprietors. These included the Masons to the east, Alexander Cairncross, minister in Dumfries to the west, and the way leading to the Church of St Mary the Virgin in the Field on the south (ie North College St). As the church was ruinous in the 1560’s, the other names may be similarly antiquated (Fraser, 1989, 32). Alexander Cairncross (1637-1701) had been “laite minister at the (Trinity) Colledge Kirk,” from 1663, and was translated to Dumfries in 1668. He later became Archbishop of Glasgow (Fasti I, 132; II, 265; Wood 1950, 53).

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Spittal’s neighbours to the south, Fairbairn’s Trustees “feel they have already indulged him by allowing him to encroach upon their back area” in building 4 (DoG, Answers for Trustees, 4 Mar 1824). The signatories as “conterminous proprietors” of 14 April 1823 include J Anderson, J Cameron and J McGlashan (the latter running a more refined cabinetmaker’s on South Bridge, and an auctioneer’s below in the Cowgate). In 1824 Spittal petitioned for the construction of building 5, beside Hastie’s close (NMRS A60586, SC754540). His builders, Thomas Ponton and David Paton, erected a facade uniform with building 4 (which is described, as of 4 Mar 1824, as being “presently erecting”). The elevation shows the familiar arcade, which housed shops, with a low arched pend to Hastie’s Close on the west(DoG plans, date of extract 6 April 1824). The plans are unsigned, but are also attributed to Hamilton (Rock, 1984, 2, 4n). The building was delayed by a dispute with the estate of a deceased bookseller, John Fairbairn, whose property lay in Adam Sq to the south. Fairbairn purchased his property in 1801 (Sasine, 10 June 1801), and it would appear to be no 70 Adam Sq (1804-5 Dir, 97; further investigaton of the Dean Of Guild petitions and in the Register of Sasines would clarify this). Spittal wanted to “square his property” with the rear wall-line of building 4 to the east. This involved transgressing onto Fairbairn’s “too fall which they have fitted up as a bedroom above and a henhouse below, erected on the site of a malt kiln,” (DoG, Replies for J Spittal, 11 Feb 1824). The lean-to seems to have been built against the old party wall, which was six feet wide at the bottom, lying north of Adam Sq. The argument was resolved by the erection of a single, mutual gable, paid for mostly by Spittal. The inventory of the title deeds of Mr Fairbairn’s property (at the north end of Adam Square) includes the sale by the Incorporation of St Mary’s Chapel in 1710, the sale to William Adam in 1729, the disposition to John Adam in 1763 and his sale to the South Bridge trustees in 1787. Further deeds are listed, taking the property (south of building 5) into the early 19th century. Spital also applied to erect a “ware-room,” lit by a cupola, behind 60 South Bridge in 1825 (following South Bridge’s retention of consecutive numbering, no 60 is on the east side, before Drummond St - see Gent, 1949, 65-6). James Spittal was Lord Provost from 1833 to 1837, gave his name to Spittal Street, and had an unremarkable administration, being “mild and conciliatory” (Whitson, 1932, 115). It is noteworthy that Spittal is associated with the fire site twice over. He also founded the firm at 84 South Bridge which eventually became J & R Allan (Marwick, 1959, 135 ). The two Cowgate tenements had been built with attention to classical detailing and the proportions of the windows, but subsequent inhabitants were less high-status. Some of the later occupants of these or adjacent buildings in 1840 (street renumbering makes identification inexact, and is beyond the scope of this report) included two cabinetmakers, an ironmonger and Mary O’Brien, one of three women trading as “brokers” (out of 21 on the same page for Cowgate, 1840 Dir, 156). Willison Glass, town-crier also lived at no 233. Most of the other businesses in the Cowgate were spirit dealers,

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cabinetmakers and a few brewers. In the 1870’s, Patrick Dillon, furniture broker occupied 233 and lived at 235 Cowgate, sharing premises with a cabinetmaker and upholsterer. In the 1890’s, the tenants were Gilhooly and McDermott, who do not list their occupations. The Irish surnames “reflected the heavy concentration of Irish in central Edinburgh. It was they who were an easy target and often criticised for the numerous beershops and brothels in the ill-lit closes...” (Rodger, 2001, 424). In the 1851 census, 29 % of the working population of the Old Town was born in Ireland (Gordon, 1979,178). In the 1930’s and until the 1970’s, the area was used for goods delivery by Allen’s and Arnotts. The later adaptations of the buildings included part of an amusement arcade extending from South Bridge level (1984), bars and restaurant use (1980’s), and a picture framer’s workshops (1990). Artistic and theatrical ventures moved into the premises, including the Gilded Balloon in 1986. In the 1980’s, the arches were opened up and the pavement and street front recessed behind the previous building line. This widened the pedestrian area and created a covered arcade, which was “C” listed.

8.37 Building 6
229 Cowgate/former Palace Cafe/Wilkie House theatre extension

Dr Dorothy Bell has pointed out the dangers of uncritically accepting pictorial evidence for the appearance of buildings before the use of photography (1999). However, with 229 Cowgate, the physical remains themselves supplement an engraving of the facade. The frontispiece of Taylor and Dickson’s History of the Cowgate Mission (1880) shows an accurate (if overscale) representation of the church facade, with the part of the building to the east, a three-storey, almost-certainly three-bay tenement with a central door on the ground floor. Before its destruction, building 6 had been heightened by the addition of two storeys. The change in walling was visible in the west gable, showing the divide between the lower stone and upper white glazed brick (NMRS photographs E32710, E32650). The modern Hastie’s Close was entered through a covered pend at the eastern side of this building, and had retained the same number (231 Cowgate), from 19th century street directories (eg 1840 Directory, p156). The caption on a photograph of Hastie’s Close refers to actors’ Hansom Cabs making their way to the Operetta House stage door, off the Close. How this was accomplished with the steps shown on the 1877 OS map is not clear, but there may have been other approaches to the performers’ entrance. This building was probably numbered 229 Cowgate in the 1875-6 PO Directory (p270), the only address between Cowgate Free Church at 227, and Hastie’s Close at 231. In 1840, Peter Mallan, broker (pawnbroker or furniture dealer) occupied no 229, succeeded by Alex Crerar, spirit dealer (one of at least 14 brewers and spirit dealers listed in the Cowgate in 1863), who was still there in 1894 (PO Directories 1840-1, 156; 1863-4, 329; 1894-5, 403). The People’s Palace Mission next door remedied the situation by “adapting the premises...of a reformed public house...(as) a very effective counter attraction to the drinking shops,” by opening the Palace Cafe staffed by volunteers. This provided not “free meals, but cheap meals” to the locals

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(Annual Report, 1934, 16). The late 1920’s/early 1930’s photographs in the People’s Palace Mission Annual Reports show the cafe with a plain glazed frontage, panelled door, and the westernmost arch of building 5 still partially blocked. The polished wooden gantry and bar of the pub remained inside, now decorated with a tea urn and flower vases. Today, some timber pilasters and ionic capitals of the pub frontage are still extant. In 1936, a new single-storey purpose built cafe opened to the west of the church, on the corner of College Wynd (Annual Report, 1936, 4-7). This included a Women’s Room, or parlour where they could attend sewing and other classes. The original Cafe (building 6) became a play centre for children unable to be accommodated in the already-full children’s club rooms upstairs. (ibid, 10). In anticipation of later artistic uses, art students contributed murals to the refurbishment. The Mission continued to use the buildings, until the closure of nearby hostels and lodging houses around 1961, which removed those who had formed their later clientele. In 1962, they wrote “the Cowgate is quiet, almost deserted. Twenty...years ago it may have been ..poverty-stricken..but (it was) vital,” (Annual Report 1962, 3). The church moved the focus of its social programme elsewhere. Building 6 finally became part of a bar and club, owned by Festival Inns Ltd. Building warrants had been granted for extensive renovations in 2002, the latest application being in October shortly before the fire.

8.38 Building 7
Cowgate Mission and Territorial Free Church (217-27 Cowgate)/ Wilkie House Theatre/ Faith (207 Cowgate)

The Free Church established a mission in Cowgate in 1852-3 (Ewing, 1914, II, 3). The parent church, the Free New North Congregation, Forrest Road were pursuers to the Dean of Guild Court for permission to build at 215-7 Cowgate in July 1859. The New North’s own architect had been Thomas Hamilton (“The (North) church was...in no way pleasing, Dunlop, 1988, 92), builder of the tenements at 233 Cowgate. The congregation in “this destitute district,” where “vice and immorality abounded in every stair and close,” (Taylor & Dickson, 1880, 34, 37) raised sufficient funds to lay their new church’s foundation stone on 26 September 1859. A buried glass ‘time capsule’ included church histories and three contemporary newspapers. In the 1875-6 PO Directory, the church is at 227 Cowgate. The church occupied the site of two single-storey shops, a confectioners and cabinetmaker (Taylor & Dickson, 1880, 34; 1840 Directory, 156). The first minister was John Pirie (1825-94), a former schoolteacher in Roslin. The active mission of the Cowgate Free Church included combating the very real problems of widespread extreme poverty and alcohol abuse. The church was designed by Patrick Wilson, the architect of the more elaborate, and genteel, South College Street UP Church of 1856. Described as “routine Dec” (Gifford et al, 1994, 225), the building cost £2397 and seated 573 (at a time when nearly 600 attended the Sunday Schools, and pew sittings were
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routinely rented to raise funds). Although it was designed in a deliberately economical style, the broach spire and varied window forms allowed Wilson some stylistic flourishes. A London man gifted the bells in 1860 (Taylor & Dickson, 1880, 32-5). By 1864, the church already required repairs due to wet rot in the floor (not aided by lack of drainage in the area, see Johnston, 1856). In 1872, the church purchased ground at its south end, which had been cleared by the City Improvement Trust. The south wall of the church was “in critical condition,” by 1877 “owing to the accumulation of rubbish caused by the removal of old buildings.... and formation of Guthrie street...the surface water had saturated the wall and endangered its stability...producing bad smells..” (Taylor & Dickson, 1880, 57). Conditions were so extreme that they caused members to faint and become ill. Various plans were made to extend the overcrowded accommodation, until they were forced to move temporarily into the Operetta House at 5 Chambers St in 1877. “The Builder” of Feb 22, 1879, records the enlargement “from designs by Messrs Thornton Shiells and Thomson. These will not affect the elevation towards the street, but the interior will be greatly improved both as regards effect and light...”(p211). This included lenghthening the church by 19 feet. The additions were necessary to accommodate the Sabbath Free Breakfast and People’s Palace Mission, an early church-run social service and outreach programme. “Originating in mid-December 1874, a product of the MoodySankey revival of that period...(the Mission involved) continuous active service among the very poor...every evening of the week,” (Ann Rep 1936, 4). The Mission ran playgroups, educational classes, Sunday Schools, youth organisations and seaside outings during the early 20th century. Clothes donations and subsidised food canteens were also organised. The relative level of poverty can be guaged by the attendance of 32, 591 people at the free meals after Sunday Services in 1913. Twenty years later, attendance was still 12, 331. The appearances of the Church and fire site are seen in pictures in the Mission’s Annual Reports, which in 1934 show the facade much as it exists today. In 1936, a six-bay, single storey charitable cafe was built to the west, on the site of the present 205 Cowgate. The free Sabbath breakfast ceased in the early 1950’s, and the redevelopment of the area led to a loss of population. The Mission was no longer viable, and around 1960, the church was sold to the University. The Mission continued to use the Cafe until the early 1960’s. The congregation united with College Street and Pleasance United Free Churches in 1910, to form Union UF Church, worshipping in Patrick Wilson’s other building in South College St. The successor congregation finally moved to Muirhouse Church in 1961 (Dunlop, 1989, 428-432). The Cowgate building became Wilkie House Theatre, where the University Settlement altered the cafeteria in 1983 (Warrant 83/1690, Building Control). Further alterations were made in 1998, and in 2002 before the fire.

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8.39 Building 8

Traffic Wardens Offices/7-8 Chambers St

This was intended as part of the parade of educational and institutional buildings on the north side of the new link between George IVand South Bridges. It was designed by David Cousin, City Superintendent of Works, and built by John Lessels in 1885, Cousin having died the previous year. Described as “three bays of unmodified Cousin elevation...(with) punchy detail,”(Gifford et al, 1984, 223), it bears an inscription above Guthrie St. In an elaborate pedimented surround, is inscribed “Near this spot stood the house in which Sir Walter Scott was born 15th August 1771; Memorial Tablet erected by the Town Council 1887; Sir Thos. Clark Bart Lord Provost; James Lessels Archt.” (James was the son of Improvement Trust architect John Lessels, and this may be refer to the frame design, Gifford et al, 1984, 353). College Wynd migrated eastwards in the changed topography of post-Improvement Cowgate (Fraser, 1989, 336), and has been replaced by the upper section of Guthrie St. College Wynd, originally Kirk o’Field Wynd, was photographed by Archibald Burns, where a reminder of its ecclesiastical past can be glimpsed. About 1842, Daniel Wilson describes the ogee-arched window, shown obliquely in picture ECL 14, 473, (no 14 in Burns’s publication). “A curious...window, and fitted with an antique oaken transom and ...shutters below.” On the adjoining tenement, he has drawn “an elaborately decorated Gothic niche” which has survived the “transformation from a Collegium Sacerdotum...to a brewers granary and a spirit vault...” (Wilson, 1891, II, 140-1, 154). William Cowan has transcribed these passages into the original photograph album, but the Gothic niche is not apparent in the pictures (album ECL qYDA 1829.9 (866) 42374). In 1945, 6 Chambers St was the District Registrar’s Office. Before the war, Edinburgh Police had used a former church in Jeffrey St as a training facility. Following the purchase of Tulliallan Castle by the Home and Health Dept in 1950, police training was reorganised. Chambers St became the Edinburgh City Police Training School, Recruitment and Special Constabulary Depts, with a police-clothing store at no 8 (PO Dir, 1945-6, 660; Dir 1950-1, 643; Archibald, 1990, 28; A Cross, pers comm). The police retained use of the building until the late 1970’s, when they moved training to their Fettes headquarters. The premises are currently used as Traffic Wardens’ offices.

8.3.10 Building 9

Adam House/Gaiety Theatre/Operetta House

The history and design sources of Adam House have been extensively documented by B T Pentreath (1995). The examinations hall of Edinburgh University, it was designed by William Kininmonth and erected between 19504. The facade, contained on the narrow site left by the demolition of the Operetta House, is a diminutive, if crowded reinterpretation of Adam’s Old College. The more spare, modernist treatment of the elegant rear elevation is revealed for the first time by the demolition of the surrounding buildings in Cowgate.

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The site at 5, Chambers St was originally the Gaiety Music Hall, built in 1875 for Carl Bernhardt (Peter, 1999, 27; not yet included in the 1875 PO Directory, 260). The manager, J G Crovelli, realised that the opening performance by “Lady Don” was under-appreciated. “(She) seemed to be suffering from a severe cold...” and “Noises of all kinds were raised from the pit,” leading to her indignant departure from the stage (University Theatre Souvenir Programme, 1955). Robert Young and William Stewart applied to demolish the third easternmost tenement in Chambers St in August 1874, probably near this site. In the immediate vicinity in 1875 were the Argyle Brewery, and Watt Institute. “The name of Moss Empires is synonymous with the variety business,” (Peter, 1999, 9), but it is less well known that Sir Edward Moss, a native of Edinburgh, managed the Gaiety as his first theatre from 1877 (Baird, 1964, 14-15; Bell, 1998, 178). He revived its fortunes, which had seen the bill become increasingly downmarket. He bought adjacent shops, and “the University Hotel above the theatre...to house his artistes’” (ibid, 27). Moss made several applications for alterations to the theatre, adding to the south upper gallery in 1880, and further alterations in 1881 and 1882. As mentioned above, the Cowgate Free Church found Moss a sufficiently respectable manager to lease the building for services for three years while their own church was being refurbished. The collected research of Mr G Baird , Edinburgh Theatres, Cinemas and Circuses, 1820-1963 (1964, repr 2000, Edinburgh) contains a more detailed history of the ownership and entertainments repertoire of the Operetta House, including extracts from advertising (ibid, pp 125-30). Internal photographs show it to have held galleries, supported on cast iron columns, beneath a ceiling toplit by cupolas. A band of glazing ran round the auditorium at clerestorey level, the panes following the curve of the arched roof (Central Library, photos of demolition, nos 3054 to 3056, July 1950; duplicate NMRS, B67346, showing stage, erroneously dated as 1954). The (as yet unnamed) architect was following the contemporary fashion for iron-framed buildings exploited to full advantage in Captain Francis Fowke, R.E.’s Royal Scottish Museum of 1861-75, which also sat along Chambers St. Known first as the Operetta House, then the Gaiety, Moss sold it in 1892 (Baird, 1964, 125), and it was renamed the Operetta once more. Moss had imported top London acts, but in 1897 it was advertising “Sam Hague’s Minstrels” for seven nights (Scotsman, Jan 20, 1897, p1). In 1906 it became a cinema. Moss built up a large chain of variety theatres (including the Empire Palace in Nicolson St), which continued after his death in 1912, to comprise a touring circuit of 38 venues by 1932. From 1939 until the 1948, the theatre was used as a furniture store, before becoming the headquarters for the new National Health Service Insurance for Edinburgh in 1948. It was demolished in July 1950 (Central Library photos nos 3054-6). Hastie’s Close led to the courtyard containing the stage and scenery dock doors and rear exits. The yard’s gate piers, at the half-landing where the Close turned west (shown in Central Library Photo no 16.202), survived the construction of Adam House.

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The theatrical tradition of the site was continued by performances in Adam House’s basement University Theatre, which opened with “Daughter of the Dawn” by the University Dramatic Society in August 1955. In keeping with the Adams’ Greek sources of inspiration, the play was “after”Aristophanes. A University Press Release from 1955 describes the building’s name as “a graceful tribute to the memory of Robert Adam, whose home was in Adam Square...The new building...rises 66 feet from Chambers Street...each storey contains a large hall (one has) a special ballroom floor and the top storey has been fitted for use as an Art Gallery...” (Baird, 1964, 129). It seems apposite that the architect of Adam House, W H Kininmonth was following an earlier namesake associated with the site. In 1840, his predecessor, one A Kinninmont, a shawl manufacturer, had a shop at 80 South Bridge.

Highlighted red are the entries for J & R Allen, including the entry for the Adam/Allen bridge ( dated 1929) over the Cowgate.

Figure 56 : Sample selection of petitioner list

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9 Conclusions
The disastrous fire of 8 December has resulted in the destruction of a highly important sector of the historic fabric of the City of Edinburgh. Historically this area is of the greatest interest. Not only does the site contain one of the few undeveloped areas of the Cowgate – with the boundaries and substantial surviving fabric of the tenements available for study – but has been directly affected by a some of the most significant 18th and 19th century developments of the Edinburgh Townscape - the Adam Square and South Bridge schemes; and the creation of Chambers Street respectively. The destruction has provided an unusual opportunity to undertake a comprehensive salvage recording exercise in conjunction with an equally comprehensive study of what are clearly extensive historic records. The study is unusual, as a thorough examination of the evolution of a large unit of townscape throughout its history in a little studied (for the pre-1750 period) area of the City. An additional future dimension to the study will be the archaeological examination that will need to take place in advance of the redevelopment of the site. The small excavation that took place in advance of required safety work showed the existence of extant archaeological deposits beneath the foundations of the South Bridge structures (buildings 1-3) and it is more than likely that this represents an indicative level of survival of historic remains. It is clear that the understanding of the space between the buildings, and the layout of the pre fire structures has been integral to the comprehension of the site as a whole. Structural surprises have been enhanced by detailed examination of the historical record, placing elements into context.

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10.

Acknowledgements

Many thanks are due to Morag Cross, Robert Maxtone-Graham, William Kay, and James Simpson for their help in the historical understanding of the buildings within the site area and their extensive research into the history and available resources referencing the site Thanks are due to Dr Andrew Fraser for the benefit of his extensive knowledge and research into the South Bridge scheme. Diane Watters of the RCAHMS very kindly provided much assistance, as did Ranald McInnes of Historic Scotland, Robin Adamson of the City of Edinburgh Concil who calmly oversaw the whole site, John Lawson of CECAS who u acted as a forgiving Project Manager, all at Will Rudd Davidson, especially Paul Ross and of course all those working for Dalton Demolition who supplied both goodwill and mechanical help in the recording process.

For Section 7 :
The staff at NLS, including the Map Library, Edinburgh Room at Central Library, AK Bell Library, Pat Dennison at Edinburgh University, Sheila Millar & Ruth Calvert at Midlothian Local Studies, Richard Hunter at Edinburgh City Archives,

For Section 9 :
I would like to thank the following people for their assistance in researching the history of the Cowgate site: Dr Andrew Fraser, University of Edinburgh; Ian Nelson, Andrew Bethune, Edinburgh Central Library; Diane Watters and Ian Fisher, RCAHMS; Prof David Walker, Edinburgh; the staff of Edinburgh City Archives; the staff of Glasgow University Archives and the Scottish Business Archive, University of Glasgow; Chatriona Hossack, Edinburgh City Council Development Dept; Linda Cairns, Edinburgh World Heritage Trust; Alan Cross, Training Sergeant, Scottish Police College; Hamish MacLeod, Pillans & Wilson, Edinburgh; Geoff Bailey, Falkirk Museums.

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11. Bibliography
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