A showstopper in Capital’s West End

An elegant Edinburgh townhouse in Manor Place has undergone a spectacular transformation despite the testing Covid-19 times, discovers Kirsty McLuckie

37 Manor Place
37 Manor Place

The townhouse at 37 Manor Place is a fantastic example of classic Edinburgh architecture, but the property has been enhanced further by renovation work to include all the trappings of a comfortable contemporary life in a supremely stylish way.

The Georgian townhouse is set over four floors with open views to St Mary’s Cathedral in the Capital’s West End. The sale property has five double bedrooms, four bath or shower rooms, and two stunning reception rooms facing west on the ground and first floors. It is priced at offers over £1.75m.

A stunning curved stone and wrought-iron staircase winds up through the centre of the house, illuminated by an ornate cupola.

37 Manor Place

The first-floor drawing room has classic Georgian features, such as a curved wall and three floor-to-ceiling windows, and a magnificent fireplace.

The dining kitchen on the ground floor is of a contemporary design, opening via a glass door on to the living room, with its wood-burning stove.

On the lower ground floor is a garden room, which would make an excellent home office, and doors leading out to a small but well-designed paved and lawned garden. The house also has two coveted parking spaces.

What makes its conversion from a previous somewhat unloved office building more remarkable is that it has been completed during a pandemic, when work has been constantly hampered and disrupted by restrictions.

37 Manor Place

The owners of our featured property bought it just over two years ago after it had been used as a commercial building for approximately 50 years.

The husband and wife team, who work in other industries and so undertook the project in their spare time, have had previous experience of large renovations in the Capital, having completed a ground and basement flat upgrade in Great Stuart Street and a townhouse project in Chester Street.

Manor Place is an interesting example of the transition between Georgian and early Victorian urban design in Edinburgh. Begun by Robert Brown for the former Walker estate in 1822, number 37 was completed by John Lessels in a second phase from 1864 onwards.

The A-listing for the Manor Place property brought extra challenges for the renovating couple with planning discussions and appeals having to be conducted by video.

37 Manor Place

One of the owners, who do not wish to be named, explains: “We moved in in February 2019 and immediately started work on planning. A visit to the planning department unearthed the original drawings for the building and subsequent additions – an extra floor was added in the 1880s and a laundry extension at the back in around 1900.”

Both of these augmentations gave the couple a great deal of extra floor space to work with, compared to neighbouring properties in the West End.

“We were fortunate enough to complete the structural work and get a fitted kitchen, a sitting room, one bedroom and a bathroom usable before March of 2020 when lockdown brought all work to a standstill.”

The finishing touches of decoration, carpets and curtains resumed in the summer, when the couple also welcomed their first child – fortunately, the house was complete by the time of his arrival.

37 Manor Place

It is a stunning achievement. Laura Mathieson of selling agent Rettie and Co., says: “It is one of the best townhouses I’ve seen and it is exceptionally well located, being in a quiet street with those fantastic views of the cathedral.

“It has already attracted local and international interest, as properties of this quality in Edinburgh are renowned and the renovation is such high quality that new owners will be able to enjoy the house from the moment they move in.”

For more information, contact Rettie and Co. on 0131-624 9045.

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37 Manor Place

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