Simpson & Brown, Scottish Buildings, Architecture, Photo, Restoration, Project
Historic Leith Building Renovation
St Ninian’s Manse, Quayside Street, off Coburg St, Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland
St Ninian’s Manse Leith
St Ninian’s Manse sits between Coburg St and the Water of Leith, opposite Coalhill. It is now used for a single office space and lies adjacent to an old granary now housing apartments. It stood at the head of the first bridge to North Leith and makes its first religious foundation. It contains masonry from the only pre-reformation building to survive in the area and is an unusual example of a 17th century clergy building associated with an urban church.
Simpson & Brown : Architects
The belfry, constructed in 1675, uses the original louvers which were re-set in their proper position. The coppersmith examined the original gilded copper weathercock which has been in the possession of the National Museum of Scotland since around 1900, before making the reproduction. Fragments of original lime coating and limewash colour were discovered.
The interior has been conserved as found except for removal of modern partitions and recent wall linings, mostly on the ground floor. The original fire surrounds have been retained and lime plaster reinstated directly onto the wall in the earlier parts of the building and on chestnut lathing in the 18th century part. The historically important roof structure was carefully conserved replacing only severely-damaged timbers with box heart Scottish oak. The sash windows were found to be very significant early survivals.
A conference room, storage and a reception area were formed on the ground floor. The reception area stands within the pend that originally led through the 18th century building to the interior of the church. The character of the pend has been retained as far as practicable by repairing the original outside walls and by forming a glazed timber screen and retaining the stone paving which had survived on the floor.
St Ninian’s Manse: information by Simpson & Brown
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photo © Adrian Welch
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