Edinburgh World Heritage - News Article


EWH grant for Acheson House

EWH has awarded a grant of £39,961 for the conservation of the roof of Acheson House.

May 17, 2010

Acheson House, a category A listed building in the Old Town, dates back to 1633. The grant will not only restore the historic building back to its original character, but also help promote the use of a vital traditional material.

Owned by the City of Edinburgh Council, it is planned to incorporate Acheson House into a new museum for Edinburgh. The EWH grant will be used to help fund the re-roofing of the building in stone slates from Carmyllie in Angus. There the recently re-opened Denfind quarry provides the only source for the stone, which is essential in the conservation of historic buildings. This project will demonstrate its benefits and hopefully encourage others to use the traditional material.

The Carmyllie area near Arbroath was once famous for its quarries, and its stone was used in famous buildings such Cologne Cathedral, the Bank of Scotland head office on the Mound in Edinburgh, and the piers holding up the Forth Railway Bridge.

Originally Acheson House would have been roofed in stone slates from local quarries, which are now long since closed.  When the building was restored by Neil and Hurd in the 1930s some parts of the roof were left without stone slates, and the City of Edinburgh Council is now taking the opportunity to return the building to its original appearance.

House History

Acheson House on the Canongate is owned by the City of Edinburgh Council. It was built 1633-4 for Sir Archibald Acheson, who was King Charles I’s Secretary of State for Scotland. Later in the eighteenth century it was divided into for use as a tenement, and by the early nineteenth century it was notorious as a brothel. It popular name came from the Acheson family crest displayed above a doorway, the ‘Cock and Trumpet’.

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