Arthur Lodge

A modest mansion at the eastern end of Blacket Place in the Newington district of Edinburgh, Arthur Lodge lies a mile (1.8 km) south southeast of the city centre. Hidden behind a high wall from Dalkeith Road, it was built in 1829 as Salisbury Cottage most-likely by architect Thomas Hamilton (1784 - 1858) but was renamed after it was bought by Major James Arthur in 1841. Built on multiple levels, it takes the form of a Greek classical villa, but it is the interior that it remarkable, with no two rooms the same shape, height or style. The classical design scheme features Tuscan Doric columns, Corinthian pilasters, fine mouldings and cornice-work, a carved 18th-C French marble fireplace, 17th-C Venetian embroidered panels and a remarkable Rococo-style painted ceiling in the dining room. The decorative scheme was restored and extended in the mid 1980s by another owner, the flamboyant advocate John Pinkerton.

Arthur Lodge was also the home of distiller Andrew Usher (1829-98) and was inherited by his daughter Jane, who married the explorer William Burn Murdoch (1862 - 1939). The couple entertained other notable polar explorers here, including Roald Amundsen, Fridtjof Nansen and Robert Falcon Scott. An antique globe, once owned by Burn Murdoch and signed by several of these explorers is held by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society.

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