Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see ‘About Listed Buildings’ below for more information.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NT 30539 66850
330539, 666850


Circa 1760. Single storey, circular-plan, domed hilltop summerhouse, (possibly also a wellhead?). Polished ashlar sandstone. Arranged as

4 arched openings with Gibbsian surrounds; 4 intermediate piers, each with tall, blind arched panel, framed by panelled pilaster strips stopped by a convex moulding at foot, terminating in a scrolled console (only 1 survives). Moulded cornice; stone, bell-cast roof, crowned by stone pineapple finial (recently collapsed, circa 1994).

INTERIOR: possibly originally plastered, stone domed ceiling; small, round-headed niches set in ingoes of arched openings.

Statement of Special Interest

An important focus within the designed landscape at Melville, this temple, known as 'Willie's Temple', is sited on a hilltop reputed to be a medieval lookout point. The Estate Plans clearly demonstrate changing focus in landscape design with the role of this temple; in 1764 formal avenues led downhill form the building and to the E past a canal to England's Hill, a hilltop plantation to the N. By 1790 the canal (sited to the W of the present Garden Cottages) had disappeared. A Group with Melville Castle, Chestnut House, East Lodge, Esk Cottage, Garden Cottage, Garden Farmhouse, Walled Garden and Lodge, South Driveway Bridge, South Lodge, and Walled Garden Steading.



Shown on RHP 2088, Surveyor: H Leslie (1764); RHP 2095, Surveyor:

J Wilson (1790); RHP 10598/1, Surveyor: R Drysdale (1810), Estate plans of Melville Castle. J Thomas, MIDLOTHIAN RIAS GUIDE (1995) p30;


VOL 2 (1996).

About Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing and if a number or name is missing from a listing address it may still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing can also cover structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority advises on the need for listed building consent and they also decide what a listing covers. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at


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Printed: 23/03/2019 04:46