Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Robert Stevenson's home in themed hotel revamp

James Will, Douglas Winfield and Anna Will (L-R) Image copyright Courtyard Edinburgh
Image caption James Will (L) and Anna Will (R) visit the new Robert Stevenson bust

The former home of Scotland's most celebrated engineer has been turned into a themed hotel.

A £30m project has restored the townhouse of engineer and lighthouse designer Robert Stevenson in Baxter's Pace in Edinburgh.

The townhouse has been converted into a Courtyard Marriott hotel with a Robert Stevenson theme.

A new bust of Mr Stevenson has been unveiled at the hotel. He was buried in New Calton Cemetery in 1850.

Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson was the grandson of the engineer. Their descendants have visited the new hotel.

James Will, Robert Stevenson's great, great, great grandson, represented the family alongside his daughter Anna, who is the first member of the Stevenson dynasty for generations to choose mechanical engineering as a career.

'Pioneering spirit'

After unveiling the new bust, they toured the hotel which pays homage to the building's heritage and former owner through images, technical drawings and maps in every room.

Mr Will said: "Robert and Jean Stevenson brought up five children in this house - three of those children Alan, David and Thomas went on to become famous lighthouse engineers themselves.

"They were a quite remarkable family and it is very fitting that the new hotel commemorates their contribution to Scottish history and the building's origins as a family home. "

Douglas Winfield, the general manager of Courtyard Edinburgh, said: "The redevelopment of the three Georgian townhouses that form the front of the hotel has been enormously respectful of the building's past and we've worked very closely with the Northern Lighthouse Board and local historians to ensure we capture the pioneering spirit that Robert Stevenson represents.

"The centrepiece is the new bust of Robert Stevenson and we were delighted that his direct descendants were here as it went on show for the first time.

"It has been made locally by sculptor Clare Flatley and is a copy of one that belongs to the family today, so a real talking point for guests as they arrive at the hotel."

Mike Bullock, from the Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB), added: "It is has been a very exciting prospect for NLB to have one the most important buildings in its history brought back to life and I am very grateful to the Chris Stewart Group for allowing the new hotel to tell the story of the Stevenson family and their amazing contribution to the safety of mariners in Scottish and Isle of Man waters."

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