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Edinburgh, Gilmore Park, North British Rubber Company

Office(S) (19th Century), Rubber Works (19th Century)

Site Name Edinburgh, Gilmore Park, North British Rubber Company

Classification Office(S) (19th Century), Rubber Works (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Castle Mills; Fountainbridge; Scottish And Newcastle Brewery; Fountain Brewery Offices

Canmore ID 151836

Site Number NT27SW 2848

NGR NT 24344 72787

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2019.

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

NT27SW 2848 24343 72783

Edinburgh, Gilmore Park, Castle Mills, North British Rubber Company.

Architect: Frank Blance, 1929.


Edinburgh, Gilmore Park, Castle Mills, North British Rubber Company.

R.I.B.A. Drawings Collection, Frank Blance, 1929.

-Designs for extension of tyre department.

(Undated) information in NMRS.

Site Management (14 July 2010)

2-storey and basement, 16-bay, near L-plan former premises of the North British Rubber Company, rounded at corner junction. Painted brick. Advanced basement; pilasters dividing bays; cornice to corner bay at SE corner of Gilmore Park; predominantly segmental-arched openings.Predominantly 4-pane timber sash and case windows, 16-pane to NE elevation. Grey slate piended roof; corniced brick wallhead stacks. Cast-iron rainwater goods. (Historic Environment Scotland List Entry)

The North British Rubber Company started production making tyres, conveyors, combs, golf balls, hot water bottles and rubber flooring and rubber boots. Rubber boot production was boosted by World War I as the War Office commissioned The North British Rubber Company to construct a sturdy boot suitable for the flooded trenches. During the war 1,185,036 pairs of trench boots were made, with mills running 24 hours a day to keep up with the Army's demand. North British Rubber was bought by Uniroyal Limited in 1966, and sold on a number of times subsequently before a management buy-out in 2004 established an independant company, Hunter Boot Limited. (Hunter Boot Limited)


Test Pit Survey (1 November 2016 - 2 November 2016)

Addyman Archaeology was contracted by Gardiner and Theobald on behalf of Edinburgh Printmakers to undertake an archaeological watching brief during geotechnical investigations at the former North British Rubber Company buildings, 2 Gilmore Park, Edinburgh. It is proposed to convert and extend the structures to provide a new base for the Edinburgh Printmakers. A series of eight test-pits were excavated: one to reveal the soil morphology over the maximum excavatable depth (Test-Pit 1), three for plate load testing purposes (TP's 2, 3, 6), and four to reveal the depth of the building's foundations (TP's 4, 5, 7, 8). Stratigraphy within test-pit 1 showed over 2.0m of made ground overlying natural silty clay and boulder clays, with no archaeological finds or features present; made ground was noted in all test-pits, extending below the excavated depth in test-pits 2, 3, 5, and 6, and overlying the natural boulder clay in test-pits 4, 7, and 8. Stepped aggregate building foundations were seen within TP7, while the foundations within TP8 were non-stepped brick; the foundations within in both trenches were located at approximately 1.6m below the present ground level. TP5 showed the lower wall exposed within the trench to be plastered and painted, suggesting a cellar level or open area now in-filled. The watching brief revealed the depth of the brick foundations of the surviving building and also revealed a possible cellar within Test Pit 5, suggesting there may have been a former building in this area. The site has clearly been severely been affected by modern demolition, with demolition rubble encountered in all trenches, however only one of the test pits excavated was deep enough to reach natural deposits. It is therefore possible that although not encountered, building foundations and other archaeological deposits may survive in isolated areas within and below the made ground that stretches across the development area.

Information from Andrew Morrison (Addyman Archaeology) November 2016. OASIS ID: addymana1-268640

Standing Building Recording (29 May 2017 - 7 August 2017)

Addyman Archaeology was commissioned by Gardiner and Theobald on behalf of Edinburgh Printmakers to carry out historic building recording at the Former North British Rubber Company, 2 Gilmore Park, prior to its conversion for Edinburgh Printmakers in order to fulfil the archaeological requirement of the planning conditions (ref. 15/03186/LBC and 15/03129/FUL). Building recording of this B-listed building (ref. LB44936) and monitoring during stripping and ground-reduction works was undertaken from July and August 2017, including a full photographic survey. Building plans and elevations were produced detailing the phasing of the buildings. This survey shows that the buildings may be understood as the result of five phases major phases of construction, alteration and use. The earliest Phase 1 building was completed in 1875 and may incorporate an earlier gate-house structure. A major extension occurred in Phase 2, when from 1894 the major frontages along Gilmore Park and Dundee Street were added. Phase 3 is datable to 1916, when the ornate public entrance door was inserted in to the Phase 2 building, and the main entrance halls and internal spaces of the Phase 1 building were remodelled, some of these features remaining in situ. The Phase 3 entrance hall was designed as an impressive display of the potential of rubber products. In Phase 4, a substantial addition to the south-east side of the building filled in the re-entrant between the Phase 1 and Phase 2 buildings, producing a more regular L-shaped plan. Phase 5 includes the post-NBRCo use of the building, from 1971 to the present.

Information from Philip Karsgaard (addyman Archaeology) February 2018

OASIS ID: addymana1-307643


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