Edinburgh, Niddry Street, St Cecilia's Hall

© Copyright and database right 2014. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100020548.

Alternative Names 214-216 Cowgate, Masonic Hall; The Bridge Bar; Dr Bell's School; Niddrie Street; Excelsior Ballroom; Freemasons Hall; University Of Edinburgh
Site Type COMMERCIAL PREMISES (20TH CENTURY), CONCERT HALL (20TH CENTURY), HALL (18TH CENTURY), MASONIC HALL (19TH CENTURY), SCHOOL (19TH CENTURY)
Canmore ID 52251
Site Number NT27SE 225
NGR NT 26002 73508
Council EDINBURGH, CITY OF
Parish EDINBURGH (EDINBURGH, CITY OF)
Former Region LOTHIAN
Former District CITY OF EDINBURGH
Former County MIDLOTHIAN
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Canmore Mapping
View this site on a map


Architectural Notes

ARCHITECT: Robert Mylne, 1763.

2 floors, upper one being a concert hall, ground floor divided by two transverse sections probably both originally consisting of 3 arches. At the South end 4 thick stone pillars supported landing of upper floor which was gained by 2 staircases. Capitals of the pillars were carved wood. The arched East wall served as a lobby for sedan chairs, etc. In the concert hall the seats were arranged amphitheatrically, a passage a few feet wide running round the outside edge of the oval amphitheatre. Ceiling oval domed. Now in disrepair.
Building superintended by George Paterson, architect.

REFERENCE: SCOTTISH RECORD OFFICE
Organ bought by Edinburgh Assembly Rooms 13th July 1801 and used for concerts. Estimate ?100-200. (from Minutes)

Robert Mylne, architect. William Adam writes that he has seen the concert room and describes it as ugly and squat. Letter to James Adam.
1762 GD 18/4942

REFERENCE: NATIONAL LIBRARY OF SCOTLAND
"St Cecilia's Hall in the Niddry Wynd", Glen, 182, Edinburgh, 1899, 80.
Page 5 -Plan showing position of Niddry Street and the Hall;
Page 15 -Reproduced sketch 1899;
Page 19 - From old plan in possession of city of Edinburgh;
Page 23 - From plan of city and castle of Edinburgh, by William Adgar, Architect, 1765;
Page 28 - Ground Floor Plan;
Page 31 - First Floor Plan;
Page 36 - Interior, after 1844 when Dr Bell's School;
Page 139 - Left side of organ gallery;
Chapter 1 - Locality;
Chapter 2 - Building and Name;
Chapter 3 - Architect.

REFERENCE:
Sources: Dean of Guild. Bundle 1812. January-June. 2.4.1812.
Pet. William Inglis, WS and Alexander Lawrie, bookseller and stationer.
Cowgate Street and Niddry Street.
Additions to St Cecilia's Hall at south for Freemasons.
Plan and elevation in poor condition. Signed J Thin.

St Cecilia's Hall was reconstructed in the 1960s and is currently a museum of musical instruments (2009).

Information from RCAHMS, 2009.

Notes and Activities

Archaeological Notes

NT27SE 225 26002 73508

St Cecilia's Hall
(University of Edinburgh) [NAT]
OS (GIS) MasterMap, April 2010.

 
Books and References

Grant, J ({1882}) Cassell's old and new Edinburgh: its history, its people and its places, 3v London
Held at RCAHMS D.8.3.CAS

Gray, W F (1933) 'The Musical Society of Edinburgh and St Cecilia's Hall', The Book of the Old Edinburgh Club, vol.19
Page(s): 189-245

Howard, D (1993) 'St Cecilia's Hall: architecture and music in eighteenth century Edinburgh', in Macdonald, M The arts in eighteenth century Scotland Edinburgh
Page(s): 31-52 Held at RCAHMS C.1.4.MAC

Showing 3 from 4 ...show more
Charity SC026749