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Edinburgh, 343 - 355 High Street

Tenement (18th Century)

Site Name Edinburgh, 343 - 355 High Street

Classification Tenement (18th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Advocate's Close; Roxburgh's Close

Canmore ID 52299

Site Number NT27SE 278

NGR NT 25707 73625

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/52299

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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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

Archaeology Notes

NT27SE 278 25707 73625

The 6-storeyed tenement at the top of Advocate's Close dates from the 18th century, incorporating earlier work. Doorways on the E side of the Close bear the initials of Clement Cor and his wife Helen Bellenden, and date 1590, with the motto BLISSIT. BE.GOD.OF.AL.HIS.GIFTIS and SPES.ALTERA.VITAE. 17th-century circular stair tower at rear.

RCAHMS 1951.

Activities

Standing Building Recording (1 June 2010 - 1 October 2010)

NT 2570 7363 A standing building survey and watching brief were undertaken 1 June–1 October 2010 prior to and during groundworks associated with redevelopment of the site. The documentary evidence indicated that the complex of buildings between Roxburgh’s Close and Advocate’s Close have been extensively modified during the last 500 years, with major episodes of building, demolition and rebuilding. Originally high status homes and work places for merchants and tradesmen, the condition of buildings in this part of Edinburgh declined, particularly after the building of the New Town. It is likely that some properties were used for industrial purposes and by the 1860s parts were described as slums, and were subsequently demolished and rebuilt.

The work undertaken established a preliminary phasing for some elements of the buildings. The basement rooms along the High Street could potentially be of 15th-century date, but the buildings along Advocate’s Close contained substantial 16th- and 17th-century elements. It is probable that the rooms of the N Flat (Rooms F2 and F3) are substantially of this date and are part of what was once a much higher tenement with jettied overhangs and painted ceilings. The current High Street frontage has been significantly modified

and the building was severely truncated in the 1930s, when the extension to the City Chambers was constructed. Much of the surviving masonry fabric is probably 18th century. To the rear (N) of the property, fronting Roxburgh’s Close, the rooms forming the current sub-basement, basement and ground floors are comparatively recent, probably dating to the late 18th or 19th century, and appear to abut the older building to the W.

Archive: RCAHMS

Funder: Mark and Sylvia Hamilton

Tim Holden – Headland Archaeology Ltd

References

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