Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

Field Visit

Date 22 June 1920

Event ID 1115555

Category Recording

Type Field Visit



About half a mile east of Cameron Toll is the 17th-century mansion of Peffermill (Fig. 177), built by Edward Edgar of Peffermill, c. 1636. It became a farmhouse, and subsequently was divided into small dwellings, but within the last few years it has been restored as a single tenement. On plan the structure is L-shaped, comprising a main block, which runs north-east and south west and measures 76 feet by 22 ¾ feet, and a "jamb" or wing projecting rectangularly, 24 ½ feet from the south-western end of the south-east wall, with a width of 25 feet; in the re-entrant angle, which faces east, is a circled staircase tower. In height there are three storeys, of which the uppermost is an attic lit by dormers, while above this is a garret.

The masonry is of rubble, harled, with the dressings exposed-these are of local grey freestone. The windows have a splay on jambs and lintel; the eaves-course is moulded, and a moulded string-course returns at sill level of the dormers and a second, on parts only of the structure, at the level of the first-floor sills. The gables are crow-stepped; the roofs, steeply pitched, are of timber, slated. The majority of the dormers have semicircular pediments, but others are pointed and segmental; one such on the north-west elevation is dated 1636.

The entrance is in the tower through a doorway with a Scottish Renaissance architrave and cornice, the latter surmounted by a curvilinear" broken" pediment, which contains a strap-work cartouche bearing a shield parted per pale and charged with a lion rampant, for Edgar, and two swords issuing from the dexter and sinister chief points respectively, their points piercing a man's heart, with a cinquefoil in the honour point, for Pearson of Kippenross. On a label below are the mottos, CUI VULT DAT DEUS : DUM SPIRO SPERO. The shield is surmounted by a cherub's head; above this, supported on a little corbel, is a roundel bearing in monogram E. E. M. P for Edward Edgar (1) and his wife, M. Pearson (see above). A scroll borders the roundel and is inscribed, GOD WILL PROVYD.

Internally the rooms were originally the fullwidth of the house and necessarily intercommunicated, as there were no passages. The two south-western chambers only are vaulted, and the southern of these was the kitchen. This had a widely arched fireplace in the south-east gable with a slop sink and outlet adjoining; at some later period a small chamber was formed within the opening by the insertion of a screen wall.

SUNDIALS. On three side walls are three identical sundials of the tablet type, each surmounted by a strap-worked pediment and supported on a cherub's head.

MILL. The coachman's house, which stands a few yards to the north-east, is dated 1670; it was formerly a mill.

RCAHMS 1929, visited 22 June 1920.

(1) History of the Parish of Liberton, by G. Good, p. 70.

People and Organisations