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


There are no additional online documents for this record.


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

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. 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 legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

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 1997 Act. 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 subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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Printed: 18/07/2019 06:00