NT2572 : Buccleuch Place

taken 12 years ago, near to Edinburgh, Great Britain

This is 1 of 5 images, with title Buccleuch Place in this square
Buccleuch Place
Buccleuch Place
Built around 1770, Buccleuch Place belonged to the first phase of Edinburgh's southward expansion, partly in competition with the Georgian New Town expanding to the North. It had its own Dancing Assembly (where steps now lead to the University's Hume Tower) and attracted some notables like Francis Jeffrey, co-founder of The Edinburgh Review in 1802. he lived at the south-west end of the street. The writer, Walter Scott, who lived round the corner in George Square, had his first dance here. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the University began buying up properties here for use as departmental offices and tutoring rooms.

The Edinburgh advocate, Henry Cockburn, has left us this description of how the social gatherings of the middle classes at the assembly rooms were organised at the end of the eighteenth century.

"Martinet dowagers and venerable beaux acted as masters and mistresses of ceremonies, and made all the preliminary arrangements. No couple could dance unless each party was provided with a ticket prescribing the precise place in the precise dance. If there was no ticket, the gentleman, or the lady, was dealt with as an intruder, and turned out of the dance. If the ticket had marked upon it - say for a country dance, the figures 3.5; this meant that the holder was to place himself in the third dance, and fifth from the top; and if he was anywhere else, he was set right or excluded. And the partner's ticket must correspond. Woe on the poor girl who with ticket 2.7 was found opposite a youth marked 5.9! It was flirting without a licence, and looked very ill, and would probably be reported by the ticket director of that dance to the mother. Of course parties, or parents, who wished to secure dancing for themselves or those they had charge of, provided themselves with correct and corresponding vouchers before the ball day arrived. This could only be accomplished through a director; and the election of a pope sometimes required less jobbing. When parties chose to take their chance, they might do so; but still, though only obtained in the room, the written permission was necessary; and such a thing as a compact to dance, by a couple, without official authority, would have been an outrage that could scarcely be contemplated. Tea was sipped in side-rooms; and he was a careless beau who did not present his partner with an orange at the end of each dance; and the oranges and the tea, like everything else, were under exact and positive regulations. All this disappeared, and the very rooms were obliterated, as soon as the lately raised community secured its inevitable supremacy in the New Town."

See also NT2573 : Former assembly rooms, New Assembly Close and NT2573 : Assembly Rooms, George Street
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Grid Square
NT2572, 639 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Tuesday, 19 May, 2009   (more nearby)
Saturday, 23 May, 2009
Geographical Context
Housing, Dwellings 
Street   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 259 728 [100m precision]
WGS84: 55:56.5729N 3:11.1993W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 260 728
View Direction
West-southwest (about 247 degrees)
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