Police Station (Former), 55, Abbeyhill, Edinburgh

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

General Details and Location

Category
AT RISK
Name of Building
Police Station (Former)
Other Name(s)
Armenian Community Cultural Centre (Former)
Address
55, Abbeyhill, Edinburgh
Locality
Postcode
Planning Authority
Divisional Area
Reference No
5223
Listing Category
B
OS Grid Ref
NT 26812 74110
Location Type
Urban
HS Reference No
51170

Description

Single storey, 6-bay, irregular-plan castellated Romanesque former Police Station with distinctive advanced finialled, conical-roofed fishscale slated corner turrets and deep corbelled and battlemented parapet. Snecked, rock-faced red sandstone. Deep chamfered base course, band course. Animal figure gargoyles. Central round-arched chamfered doorway with recessed 2-leaf studded timber entrance door with semi-circular fanlight above. Round-arched window openings with roll-moulded architraves, some with stone column mullions. Gabled, louvred, timber lucarnes to turrets. Later metal grids obscure windows. Grey slates. Red ridge tiles with ball finial details. Cast iron rainwater goods with decorative hoppers.

This is a richly detailed building in an unusual castellated Romanesque style which makes a significant contribution to the streetscape of this architecturally diverse area of Edinburgh. Little altered externally, the red sandstone distinguishes the building from others in the vicinity. The quality of the stonework is particularly fine with its battlemented parapet and gargoyles. The fishscale slating to the corner turrets is a further mark of the attention to detail with characterises this building. A small single-storey flat-roofed block to the rear of the building (West) may be the old police cells.

At the end of the 19th century, this area of Abbeyhill was dominated by heavy industry with a chemical works and two breweries situated close to this former Police Station, and with the railway line running close to the rear of the station. While the railway remains the heavy industry has gone. Robert Morham (1839-1912) was an Edinburgh-based architect who became the City Superintendent of Works in 1873. Currently disused (2007). (Historic Scotland)
Building Dates
1896
Architects
Robert Morham

Category of Risk and Development History

Condition
Poor
Category of Risk
Moderate
Exemptions to State of Risk
Field Visits
24/10/2011, 19/5/2015, 04/05/2021
Development History
October 2011: External inspection finds the former police station is generally sound but vacant and suffering from rising damp. The building is thought to have last been in use as a restaurant.
19 May 2015: External inspection finds the building remains in much the same condition as seen previously.
4 May 2021: External inspection finds the building remains vacant and is slowly deteriorating but no dramatic change since last seen. Damp evident in lower courses of stonework but the roof appears sound.

Guides to Development

Conservation Area
Old Town
Planning Authority Contact
PAC Telephone Number
0131 529 3901

Availability

Current Availability
Unknown
Appointed Agents
Price
Occupancy
Vacant
Occupancy Type
N/A
Present/Former Uses
Name of Owners
Unverified. See FAQ on ascertaining ownership
Type of Ownership
Unknown

Information Services

Additional Contacts/Information Source
Bibliography
Online Resources
Classification
Police Buildings
Original Entry Date
15-FEB-12
Date of Last Edit
03/09/2015