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Edinburgh, 64 St Leonard's Street, The Coalyard House

Commercial Office (19th Century), House (18th Century)

Site Name Edinburgh, 64 St Leonard's Street, The Coalyard House

Classification Commercial Office (19th Century), House (18th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Hermits And Termits

Canmore ID 52444

Site Number NT27SE 397

NGR NT 26475 72753

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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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

Architecture Notes

NT27SE 397 26475 72753

Built 1734 for William Clifton, Solicitor of Excise.

J Gifford, C McWilliam and D Walker 1984

Situated off St Leonard's Street near SW limits of the Queen's Park. Hermits and Termits originally the name of the district. 'Hermits' probably derived from association with Abbey of Holyrood; 'Termits' possibly derived from a word for an overseer of section of farm ground. Became part of the Edinburgh and Dalkeith railway. Taken over by Lothian Regional Council 1968, subsequently becoming derelict. Bought and restored by Ben Tindall from 1980.

J M Wallace 1987.


Publication Account (1951)

145. 64 St. Leonard's Street.

At the entrance to the coal depot of St. Leonard's Station is an unusually well preserved 18th-century house, which still commands an exceptional view of Salisbury Crags and Arthur's Seat from its front windows. It is oblong on plan and contains a cellarage and three upper floors. The masonry is rubble covered with cement, the chamfered and back-set dressings being left exposed. The skew-puts are scrolled. A central gablet, surmounted by a chimney-stalk, rises above the front eaves. The entrance doorway, which is immediately below the gablet, has a moulded architrave and is surmounted by a panel displaying a coronet from which a demi-peacock issues, with the initials C, W and M, and the date 1734, below. The initials are those of William Clifton, Solicitor of Excise, and his wife Mary. The crest is that of the Clifton family of Nottinghamshire. Clifton acquired the property in 1734 and apparently built the house before 1736 (1). The entrance opens into a small panelled entrance-hall, at the back of which a geometrical staircase with twisted mahogany balusters rises to the upper floors while a second flight descends to the cellarage. On either side of this vestibule is a single room. With two exceptions the rooms still retain their panelling of pine.

RCAHMS 1951, visited c.1941

(1) O.E.C., xxiv, p. 225.

Photographic Survey (December 1965)

Photographic survey of buildings in the St Leonard's area, Edinburgh, by the Scottish National Buildings Record/Ministry of Works in December 1965. Several of the buildings have since been demolished.

Project (1997)

The Public Monuments and Sculpture Association ( set up a National Recording Project in 1997 with the aim of making a survey of public monuments and sculpture in Britain ranging from medieval monuments to the most contemporary works. Information from the Edinburgh project was added to the RCAHMS database in October 2010 and again in 2012.

The PMSA (Public Monuments and Sculpture Association) Edinburgh Sculpture Project has been supported by Eastern Photocolour, Edinburgh College of Art, the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust, Historic Scotland, the Hope Scott Trust, The Old Edinburgh Club, the Pilgrim Trust, the RCAHMS, and the Scottish Archive Network.

Field Visit (7 December 2001)

Clifton family crest, composed of a demi-peacock rising out of a ducal coronet. The peacock is painted blue and green, the crown red white and gold. The inscription and the panel surround are gold.

Hermits and Termits is the name of the house built for William Clifton, Solicitor of Excise, in 1734. Restored by Benjamin Tindall, architect (and owner) in 1982.

The crest is that of Clifton, Bart., Notts

Inspected By : A. Taubman

Inscriptions : Below crest (raised letters and numbers): W C M / 1734 [The letter C is higher than the W and M]

Signatures : None

Design period : 1734

Year of unveiling : 1734

Unveiling details : 1734

Information from Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (PMSA Work Ref : EDIN1041)

Field Visit (7 December 2001)

Arched gate decorated with hostas and nasturtium leaves and flowers, all in galvanised mild steel, painted grey.

Two railings and bannisters (going up either side of steps to main door) decorated with hostas and nasturtium leaves, with small faces and dragons' heads on ends of tendrils amongst the leaves.

Within the railing on the right (by the door) is a portrait of Benjamin Tindall in mild steel.

Inspected By : A. Taubman

Inscriptions : None

Signatures : Cast into base of first post on left: AD / 1983 [Alan Dawson]

Cast into base of first post on right: BHT [Benjamin Tindall]

Design period : 1983

Year of unveiling : 1983

Unveiling details : 1983

Information from Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (PMSA Work Ref : EDIN1042)


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