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Edinburgh, 129 Canongate, Panmure House

House (17th Century), Youth Club (20th Century)

Site Name Edinburgh, 129 Canongate, Panmure House

Classification House (17th Century), Youth Club (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) 115 Little Lochend Close

Canmore ID 132518

Site Number NT27SE 2778

NGR NT 26511 73873

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Administrative Areas

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

Summary Record (29 February 2012)

Late C17th L-plan tower house, built as town house for the Earls of Panmure. Adam Smith lived in the house from 1774 until his death in 1790. The interior was much restored and until 2008 occupied by the Edinburgh City Social Services department as a youth day centre. Bought by the Edinburgh Business School/Heriot Watt University in 2008, the intention is to restore the house and to use it as a centre for economics teaching and research.


Architecture Notes

Edinburgh 129 Canongate - Panmure House


Account for repairs and estimate for further work from Alexander Robertson.

1771 GD45/18/2286

Painting the Earl of Panmure's apartments at Holyrood.

Sum for painting and gilding included in Charles Wilson;s account for work at Panmure.

1671 GD 45/18/591/2 and 3

Estimate of the wright and slater work of the alterations to cover the stair that led to Mr James Livingstone's house.

1754 GD 45/18/818

Two estimates for repairs and a new roof.

1759 GD 45/18/2249

Account for repairs and estimate for further work from Alexander Robertson.

1771 GD 45/18/2286

Adam Smith lived in Panmure House 1778-90


Photographic Survey (19 March 2008)

Photographed by the Threatened Buildings Survey prior to sale.


Archaeological Evaluation (1 April 2013 - 29 April 2013)

NT 26510 73872 In advance of works involving ground reduction and underpinning to the building a series of seven evaluation trenches were excavated, 2–8 April 2013. Within four of these natural deposits were noted beneath a removed concrete floor, and it appears that the ground level had been reduced by 0.50m or more in works undertaken in the 1950s

within the western part. However, to the east two trenches (Trenches 2 and 4) exposed a number of deep cut pits containing 13th/17th-century pottery in tightly dated groups, which presumably dates to pre-Panmure House occupation of the plots. Trench 4 within the former kitchen also located the remnants of a silted-up stone drain relating to the 1690s

kitchen. Trench 1 to the exterior and upslope of the building also exposed deep deposits of made ground containing 13–15th century pottery.

Archive: NRHE (intended)

Funder: Edinburgh Business School

Information from Kenneth Macfadyen and Tom Addyman (Addyman Archaeology) April 2013 . OASIS ID: addymana1-149409

(Source: DES, Volume 17)

Standing Building Recording (1 February 2013 - 17 December 2014)

Addyman Archaeology was commissioned to undertake historic building recording at Panmure House, Canongate, Edinburgh as part of a planning condition prior to the repair and conversion of the building. The present recording exercise followed extensive removal of cement pointing to the exterior and considerable stripping of the interior. Panmure House is one of Edinburgh's most significant early buildings and has historical associations as the town residence of the important political figure of late 17th century and early 18th century Scotland, Henry Maule, 4th Earl of Panmure, and as the home of economist Adam Smith. The early structure dates to the 1690s and was of T-plan form, although the northern section of this range is now absent. This is reflected in the surviving roof structure, which displays carpenters' laying-out marks in numbered sequence, from XXIIII (24) to XXXXIIII (44), implying 23 missing frames. The house itself was of comparatively modest external appearance - long and low, presenting windows of moderate size with chamfered surrounds, and other vernacular details such as crow-stepped gables. On-going archaeological monitoring will take place as building works progress, which are expected to restart in 2017. Analysis will include coordination with the below-ground excavation results as well as comparison with buildings of similar period and function.

Information from Kenneth Macfadyen and Tom Addyman (Addyman Archaeology) December 2014

OASIS ID: addymana1-198286

Watching Brief (23 November 2016 - 15 December 2016)

Addyman Archaeology was commissioned by Edinburgh Business School to undertake archaeological monitoring during the demolition of the remains of a lean-to extension on the south-east side of the late 17th century Panmure House, possibly of 19th century construction. The building had been reduced to a single storey in the mid-20th century and a concrete slab roof poured on top. Within this reduced building and also to be demolished was the ground level remnant of a former external stair tower at the south-east junction of the south and east jambs. The stair and jambs had been reduced as part of the 20th century alterations. The formation of a large new door in the south wall of Panmure House leading into the new extension required the removal of an historic window as well other historic fabric. The slapping of the door allowed the unblocking of an original 17th century window prior to its demolition. This uncovered the original plaster-lined ingos; two layers of lime-washed plaster were recorded and sampled. Monitoring of the demolitions revealed that the stair tower was clearly built from reused masonry, but this was mostly plain squared blocks, although a few stones were seen with their former mouldings completely clawed back to square them up. A window and a door to the lean-to were uncovered; these were formerly believed lost in the mid-20th century restorations. The demolition of the lean-to structure revealed a small remnant of an earlier clay bonded structure mostly replaced by the lime bonded rubble of the lean-to. This clay bonded structure is likely to be the last remnant of a row of cottages extending north-south along the burgage plot boundary; a parallel row is evident built beneath the south gable of Panmure House.

Information from Kenneth Macfadyen (Addyman Archaeology) December 2016. OASIS ID: addymana1-295135

Excavation (10 January 2017 - 17 March 2017)

NT 26510 73872 An excavation was undertaken, 10 January – 17 March 2017, in advance of renovation and alteration of the existing 1690s building. The excavations revealed substantial medieval and post-medieval structures and strata in four broad phases.

Phase 1 consists of features and deposits predating the construction of Panmure House, and comprises 13th- to 16th-century remains, including midden and garden soil deposits and interrelated intercutting pit features, many clay-lined, as well as fire installations and original burgage plot boundary features. Well-bounded and stratified faunal, shell, metal and

ceramic assemblages were recovered from these features.

Phase 2 includes the construction of Panmure House, involving the restructuring of spatial organisation in the area, and the installation of a stone-lined well, preserved to a depth of at least 7m.

Phase 3 remains relate to the later use of Panmure House and include the installation of the stair-tower in the re-entrant of the L-plan House; the partial remains of outlying stone structures on the southern margins of the site; and multiple features associated with the change of use of the site to a foundry in 1838.

Phase 4 alterations in the mid-20th century were also recorded.

Archive: NRHE intended

Funder: Edinburgh Business School

Information from Philip Karsgaard (Addyman Archaeology) Auguist 2017.

OASIS ID: addymana1-292294


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