10. The Stockbridge Colonies 1861-1875(est.) (Edinburgh Cooperative Building Company Limited) Edinburgh

This variation on the Victorian terrace has a shared stair leading to paired entries for the first floor; the lower flats are access on the adjacent street through the garden. This is perhaps one of the most condensed type in terms of number of dwellings within a single house-form. The arrangement is clever but results in an odd condition where the garden of the upper units are immediately in front of the windows of the lower level units. In addition, residents have to go down the stair and onto the pavement to access the garden. The secluded nature of the site and residential scale of the complex makes this workable.

There is also an interesting shift in the planning from mirrored arrangements on the western side of the site (stairs face each other on alternate streets) to a serial arrangement on the eastern half (stairs face low level entries). There are 10 ‘colonies’ in Edinburgh, several of which utilise this type. The Rosebank Cottages (1857) first introduced the layout with entries on opposite sides of the building. At Rosebank, however, the entries are not located side by side but spaced apart including the first floor entries so that a degree of individuality and privacy is introduced. In addition, the layout at Rosebank consists of terraces perpendicular to the street rather than parallel to it and so the dwellings are reached via pedestrian paths.


  • street (city) ⇒ ascend shared stair (threshold) ⇒ shared landing ⇒ door (pair)
  • street (city) ⇒ cross fence (boundary) ⇒ individual path (threshold) ⇒ door (pair)

Unit identity

  • Street to door to unit identity is fairly strong; four units are contained within a single house form.


Digimap Colonies

above: Stockbridge Colonies; below: Rosebank Cottages

  • Colour image from wikipedia (Creative Commons License).
  • Street View images courtesy of Google Maps.
  • Map courtesy of OS Digimap.


Previous Entry 9. Farringdon Road Buildings

Next entry 11. Beaconsfield Buildings


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