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Architecture Notes

Event ID 781385

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Architecture Notes


There are Ian Lindsay collection drawings for Queensberry House, W/444.

Book of the Old Edinburgh Club, Vol. I,

"Queensberry House standing in its own from the later years of Charles II's reign (1681-2"

Vol XV,

"Lands...on the south side of Canongate acquired by Charles Maitland, Lord Haltoun. Having demolished the existing buildings, Haltoun erected on the site the commodious mansion. In 1686, Haltoun, now third Earl of Lauderdale disposed of the mansion to the first Duke of Queensberry, who lived in it and died there in 1695.

In 1808 the mansion was enlarged by being raised a story and was transformed into barracks. It remained the property of the War Office til 1853 when it was acquired by the directors of the House of Refuge for (pounds)5000. The mansion, however, had been a house of refuge for twenty years previous to this date. On 26th December 1822, the first show of the Highland Society was held in the area behind Queensberry House.

This privilege was granted for four years in succession.

In carrying out structural alterations in 1926 two massive arched fireplaces were discovered."

Queensberry House, Canongate, Edinburgh

Transcript of TD82/85 61/68 West Register House (on loan from Thirlestane Castle)

22d March Instructions for my hous in the Cannongat

1681 with the courts yrof etc,

As to the hous begin at the Roof the stonwork of the platforme is finyshed, And it is set the timber that bears the load to be laid on And that the lead be properlylaid on, & then the two Roums beneth it with the Closet & the timber stair that is to be the passage to them must be maid & ended. The forth storie is near perfect: so is the third storie.

As to the 2d storie it is all finished except the Dining roume, & my roume & litel closet, As to the Dining Roume it being to be trew wainscot it must have no inlaid mullars upon the edges off the panells, but must be off the same order of workmanship as the dining roume is, but if it be thought fit the doors & windows shutters may have inlaid mouldings or mullers, & I desayre my closet to be trew wainscot & to be so finished as the dining roume is in the same order of work, with a press off 16 inches deep on the partition wall mext my dressing roume, according as I have instructed Alexr Iset. And there is nothing els in the 2d storie but it is already ordered. As the painting of eleven roums of the hous is ordered by the painters contract: As to the ground storie the roume beneth my wief's closet is be be the buttrie & the roume beneth her dressing room is to be the larder, the roume beneth my weif's bedchamber is to be the low parlour, 7 to bepaved with Blak wheit marble by Mr Ja Smith & to be of the largest marbell that I got from Sir Wm. Binnies' all the rest off the ground storie is to be paved with freeston, Except the kitchen which is to be calsayed in the same manner as the inner Court off Holyroodhous is, the kitchen being sunk 2 feet lower than the rest off the ground storie is, having a --- or two toward the garden, which is alreade made in that south wall off the kitchen on or thro the gavell is to be on the south seid off the west bank off the gratest --- to pass thrugh the south sid off the Colhous & from that to the back court.

The earth must be taken out of the sellar & laid in to the garden where the pavement stone is mor redie for the sellar & so must any other superfluous earth that is in the kitchen or any other part of the ground storie.

The passage that entereth the garden from thelow storie on the southwest seid therof must be a roume for the best servants to eat in to be deveided with a plaster wall & on the northwest seid off that passage must be a roume for futmen to eat in mor to the draw well & the passage to the well to be divided, and from it by a timber partition And the well must be built with ston the hight of the ston pavement of that roume & must be contracted to be foursquer with a brest work of timber having a gallery & a pully & bukools (bukcles?) the entrie to the well to draw water must be in that roume wher the futmen is to eat the buckets must emtie to a lead sistorne & to have a peip to goe to the kitchen to cross the north wall of the futmens roume & an other peipe to goe to Glens back closes to serve the sellar & the Brewhous & all this must be contreived conveniently befor the pavement ston be laid As to the inner Court the dimentions of it is 60 fut East & West and 72 fut south and north this Court is to descend two futt from the north wall to the south wall theroff which will not be above 18 inches from the foot of the stairs that enters the court from the street & the stairs porters lodg & Court to be off the dimentions set down in the draught theroff marked with [star of David] The gait to the street to be wrought by Mr James Smith & to be sutch a gait & of sutch order of work as I have agreed to in my sons book only The weidness off it must not exceed 7 futts off daylight [?] to the street.

The wall off the Court must be no higher than the selle off the windows of my dressing roume which is in the 2d storie Excepting that part yrof wher the gait is which must raise according to the hight off the gait.

As to the stable Court the est wall of it is the walle of the inner Court The south wall is the wall of the Garden The north wall runs in a straight line west from the inner court wall to the street & the Bak gait in that wall must joyne to Hepburns Land & this fait must be nothing but plane rubels & must not be catched above but open & to open with tuo lanes & most be 9 feet weid of daylight [?] to the street, the stable & Cotchhouse maiks up the west seid of this Court so far as they goe & the route for the rest is tak my own ground & no mor in which ther most be left for Suter Hepburn13 fut south ward from the south seid off this hous which is my bargan with him.

The Cotchhouse is nearest the south & the croks off the southseid of the doors theroff are to be fixed in the garden wall which is the south gavell of the Cotchhous The east seid wall off the Cotchhouse must be all doors & must not be built off ston being in lenth just 24 fut

The hight of the floor of the cotchhouse most be just a fut higher then the flor of the ground storie & the Cotchhous raiseth at the north end yr of an other fut & every on off the tuo stables raises an other fut so that the flooring of the northmost stable at the north gavell therof is 3 fut higher then the floor of the Cotchhous at the south gavell therof & this most be becaus of the deshent of the back court for the south end of the back court most be half a fut lower than the levell off the garden is to be or els the garden will never by dray & a sayver must pass under the south end of the cotchhous to convey the water both from the inner court & the back court The weidness off the cotchhous & stables within the walls must be 22 futts The lenth of all is restricted to Bailie Koys hous gavell which most be taken doun & rebuilt & this will be about 73 fut The hight off the cotchhous & stables to the justs is 12 fut at the louer end or south gavell & the loft is to be 3 fut in hight above the justs which is in all 16 fut in hight in the said wall above ground This is all --- be said as to the buildings. Iff any thing by under wreit of it & it shall have an answer.


Sources: Dean of Guild. Bundle 1810. Januray-June. 1.2.1810.

Pet. Col. Alexander Baillie, Inspector Gen of Barracks.

" errecting an Hospital, scuttling House, Guard Rooms, Privies and part of the

boundry walls and gates of Queensberry House..."

Plans and elevations. One sheet unsigned.

QUEENSBERRY HOUSE SURVEY Negative numbers D 67011- D 67302 (DETAILED SURVEY OF INTERIOR DURING RESTORATION) Room naming eg. LG-14 conforms to the 1999 Archaeological survey held in the NMRS.

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