No.5 Charlotte Square

Lying on the north side of Charlotte Square, next to Bute House, the official residence of the First Minister of Scotland, No. 5 Charlotte Square is an example of the Neo-Classical architectural style synonymous with Robert Adam (1728-92). However, while Adam had provided the overall plan for the square, he had died before it could be implemented and the individual houses were the work of various builders, in this case Thomas Russell.

Dating from 1796, No. 5 was purchased by the Grants of Rothiemurchus and was the birthplace in 1797 of Elizabeth Grant who wrote The Memoirs of a Highland Lady. From 1802, it became a town house for the Abercrombys of Tullibody, then the Erskines and the Fergussons of Kilkerran before coming into the hands of John Crichton-Stuart, the 4th Marquis of Bute (1881 - 1947) in 1903. Bute put in place a major programme of restoration under the supervision of architect A.F. Balfour Paul, who was responsible for the splendid ceiling in the grand drawing room on the first floor, which was copied from Adam's work in Lady Bute's dressing room at Luton Hoo (England). Lord Bute was a great supporter of the National Trust for Scotland and the house served as their headquarters between 1949 and 2000. Together with Nos. 6 and 7, the ownership of No. 5 passed permanently to the Trust in 1966 through the National Land Fund Scheme in partial settlement of Bute's death duties. A chimney-piece was moved to the Georgian House at No. 7 during the Trust's refurbishment of the latter in 1975.

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