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Latitude: 55.9778 / 55°58'40"N
Longitude: -3.1684 / 3°10'6"W
OS Eastings: 327186
OS Northings: 676705
OS Grid: NT271767
Mapcode National: GBR 8T4.QM
Mapcode Global: WH6SM.90HP
Entry Name: Edinburgh, Leith, 1, 2, 3, 4 Tower Place, Leith Sailor's Home
Listing Date: 5 March 1991
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 365267
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB27912
Building Class: Cultural
Unitary Authority Ward: Leith
Traditional County: Midlothian
Charles Stuart Still Johnston, 1882-5, signed and dated, converted to hotel, 1992-4. Large, 4-storey and attic asymmetrical L-shaped Baronial corner block with engaged square 5-stage clock tower, shops at ground floor, single storey hall to rear. Cream sandstone, squared and snecked stugged rubble with polished dressings. Ashlar shopfronts with plain frieze and continuous cornice to NW and SW elevations; balustraded parapet at 1st floor to NW elevation; 1st floor windows transomed; corbel course above 2nd floor; 3rd floor breaking eaves in gabled dormerheads; attic windows with Germanic-style gabled dormers; crowstepped gables; chamfered reveals; ashlar mullions; corbelled corner turrets.
NW (FRONT) ELEVATION: 8-bay; 3-bay tower to centre with round-arched corniced doorway at centre flanked by transomed windows, angel-head keystone, scrolled brackets and datestone (1883) above door, carved spandrels with rope mouldings; 1st floor with bipartite window to centre flanked by single windows, all architraved; 2nd floor as above; single windows to 3rd floor with corbel course stepping over; 5th stage of tower with 2 pedimented windows and with clockface to each side; corbelled crenellated parapet with canon spouts, angle bartizans with trefoil gunloops, SE bartizan crowned by caphouse to stair with ogival finialled roof; flagpole. 1st floor of 2 left bays with tripartite and bipartite window, heraldic panel above; 2nd floor with single and bipartite window; single windows to 3rd floor; rectangular corner bartizan with single window and finialled pyramidal roof to left.
3 right bays with 2 bipartite, 1 single window at 1st floor; 2 single, 1 bipartite window at 2nd floor; single windows at 3rd floor; corner turret with finialled conical roof to right.
SW (TOWER STREET) ELEVATION: 8-bay; 3 advanced gabled bays with apex stack and corner turrets at 3rd floor to outer left; single windows to all floors; heraldic panels at 1st floor and above 2nd floor. 5 bays to right with 2 bipartite, 3 single windows at 1st floor; single windows at 2nd floor; 3rd floor with alternating bipartite and single windows. 2-bay later brick addition to outer right.
NE (REAR) ELEVATION: single storey rectangular-plan gambrel-roofed hall with skylights and fine pagoda-style 2-tier ventilator with swept eaves to ridge at Tower Street Lane. Gabled end elevation of Tower Place range with single windows, angle bartizan detailed as above and apex stack; carved monogram plaque at 1st floor to left. Rear elevation of main ranges with irregularly-spaced single and bipartite windows; nepus gable to NW range; rectangular projection to outer left of SW range.
Modern sash and case replacement windows with plate glass glazing. Slate roof with metal flashings and red terracotta finials; 4 apex stacks (see above), wallhead stack to rear of SW elevation.
INTERIOR: not seen 1993.
Recently refurbished as hotel. Foundation stone laid 20 Sept 1883, opened January 1885 by Earl of Roseberry. Built for 65 officers and seamen, with 50 additional beds in attics to accommodate Naval Rescue men/shipwreck victims. Provisions were made at original design stage for a future extension (not executed), A J Morrison submitted plans for further extension in 1949 (not executed). Special concrete foundations were required to build on 26 feet of sand. Six architects were invited to compete for the commission, designs were rejected from Anderson and Brown (Francois Ier style), Hippolyte J Blanc (Baronial), Ireland and MacLaren (Elizabethan), R Wilson (French Renaissance) and George Craig (Gothic). The hall at Tower Street Lane was built as a recreation facility for "skittles or other games". The building history is lavishly documented in a proliferation of sculpted and heraldic panels, including commemorative opening panel and architect's monogram. Johnston had trained with Bryce, extending the former's Corsock House, Parton, Stewartry, also in Baronial style, in 1910.
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