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Edinburgh, 25 George Square

Faculty Building (20th Century), Terraced House (18th Century)

Site Name Edinburgh, 25 George Square

Classification Faculty Building (20th Century), Terraced House (18th Century)

Alternative Name(s) University Of Edinburgh

Canmore ID 117083

Site Number NT27SE 1314

NGR NT 25748 72874

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2024.

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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Edinburgh, City Of
  • Parish Edinburgh (Edinburgh, City Of)
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District City Of Edinburgh
  • Former County Midlothian

Architecture Notes

Owner: Mr I Simpson.

NMRS Print Room

Inglis Photograph Collection Acc No 1994/90

also including 24 and 26, both partly obscurred by trees, seen from in the garden


Publication Account (1951)

144. George Square.

This is the earliest, as well as the largest of the Georgian squares of Edinburgh, having been begun about 1766 and completed about 1785. Built on the grounds of Lady Ross's house, which fell gently towards the Meadows on the S., it measures about 516 ft. from N.N.W. to S.S.E. by 663 ft. from E.N.E. to W.S.W. There is an access at each corner, and originally each side was divided by a lane or street of which there survive only Windmill Street on the E. and the nameless lane on the S. leading into Buccleuch Place and North Meadow Walk. The square provided sixty building-stances in all, roughly fifteen on each side. These lots average 30 ft. in frontage and are sufficiently deep to leave room for back gardens with accesses both from the houses and from a lane. In the central area there is a common garden four and a half acres in extent.

Most of the houses are self-contained, terrace-houses comprising a sunk floor, three upper floors and an attic, the latest buildings-those situated at the E. end of the S. side-having in addition a cellarage and, in one case, a double attic, making seven storeys in all. In seven cases, however, the building consists of a main-door house with a flat or flats above it. The earlier houses, namely those remaining on the N. side and on the W. side up to Number 27, with Number 60 at the N. end of the E. side, are built of Craigmillar stone in all its various hues, relieved by dark-coloured "sneckings" in the characteristic manner of Michael Naysmith. From Number 28 to Number 59 the fronts are of Craigleith ashlar, sometimes polished but more commonly droved. In all cases the backs are of rubble.

There is considerable diversity in the several house-fronts, always subordinated, however, to the architectural unity of the Square as a whole. The entrances invariably have handsome doorways, in one or other of the versions of the Classic orders favoured at the time, and Numbers 25 and 29 have good fanlights above the doors. Some houses show a neat moulded cornice and rusticated quoins. Considerable use is made of stone belts to counteract the vertical lines of the Georgian windows. As regards the fenestration, the windows of Number 60 represent the most interesting arrangement. Number 15 has an early and interesting bay-window looking out on its garden.

Internally the houses are well planned and contain spacious and dignified rooms. Most of them retain their Georgian mantelpieces. Number 52 has wall-paintings by Paul Delacour which the owners have papered over. One or two houses have enriched plaster friezes which are probably original although the enriched plaster ceiling in the dining-room of Number 25 may be modern. The woodwork of doors, shutters, dado panelling, etc., is all of the highest quality.

RCAHMS 1951, visited c.1941

Photographic Survey (1955)

Photographic survey of 25 George Square, Edinburgh, by the Scottish National Buildings Record in 1955.


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