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.

University of Edinburgh, Dryden Tower, Langhill Farm, RoslinLB13032

Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NT 26969 64655
326969, 664655


Mid 19th century. 3-stage, square-plan gothick tower with corbelled parapet and northeast-facing, D-plan structure at base (1st stage). Ashlar sandstone with polished dressings; margins to openings; cornice and blocking course between 1st and 2nd stage; cornice course between 2nd and 3rd stage; raised cills to 3rd stage; strip quoins to 3rd stage; consoled battlements with corbelled, octagonal pinnacles to angles. Stone gargoyle rainwater spout added circa 2014.

1ST STAGE: NE ELEVATION: 3-bay. Evenly disposed square-plan columns with cornice and square cap (one missing) between each bay. Single window (blinded) to each bay; ashlar cope to wall sections between.

SW ELEVATION: paired slit windows to advanced 1st stage of tower; flanking windows to base structure (one blinded).

2ND STAGE: 2 small square-headed windows with small round headed window above, within recessed round-headed arch to each face.

3RD STAGE: round-arched window with circular window above to each face.

INTERIOR: turnpike stair inside tower.

Statement of Special Interest

Initially intended as a hilltop eye-catcher for Dryden House, demolished in 1938, and is still a prominent landmark. It originally belonged to a wider landscape known locally as The Pleasure which was destroyed by the construction of Bilston Glen colliery. It was perhaps built to commemorate the Battle of Roslin, 24th February, 1303, when the Scots successfully defeated three English Divisions.

The tower first appears on the 1854 Ordnance Survey map of Edinburghshire.

Repairs during 2014-15 saw the introduction of a stone gargoyle rainwater spout to upper eaves course of tower.

Listed building record and statutory address updated (2015). Previously listed as 'Dryden Tower'.



Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland: CANMORE ID 85672

Ordnance Survey (surveyed 1852, published 1854), Edinburghshire, Sheet 12 (includes: Glencorse; Lasswade; Penicuik) 1st Edition. London: Ordnance Survey.

Jones, B. (1974) Follies and Grottoes, Constable, p. 422.

Headley, G. and Meulenkamp, W. (1986) Follies, A guide to Rogue Architecture In England, Scotland and Wales, London: Jonathan Cape, p. 422.

Thomas, J. (1995) Midlothian. Edinburgh: RIAS. p. 48

Cooper, S. (1996) An Inventory of Garden Buildings In Scotland, Vol 2.

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


Southwest elevation, University of Edinburgh, Dryden Tower, Langhill Farm, Roslin, with metal railing surrounding tower.
West elevation, University of Edinburgh, Dryden Tower, Langhill Farm, Roslin, metal railing in foreground, sunndy day.

Printed: 23/03/2019 11:11