David Cousin, dated 1853. Jacobean-style hall bridging between 2 streets, comprised of 2 blocks; symmetrical twin-gabled to lower High Street block and a massive gabled elevation to St Andrew Street (Exchange Hall). Random, variegated, stugged sandstone ashlar to main elevations, random rubble side elevations; ashlar dressings. Moulded Tudor-arched surrounds to 2-leaf doors. Mullioned windows, some with transoms. Chamfered reveals. Delicate relieving arches above 1st floor windows.
W (HIGH STREET) ELEVATION: broad door at centre, with hoodmould overstepping Buccleuch arms and 2 monogrammed shields; moulded panel above with shield dated "1853". Further corbelled panel above, with 4-line inscription ("The Earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof, Thou crownest the year with Thy goodness"), serving as a base to gabled ashlar bellcote with bell between gableheads of outer bays. Ashlar coping to sides of bellcote base. Smaller doors to outer bays flanked by tripartite window towards centre. 2 large 5-light transomed windows at 1st floor. Hoodmouled bipartite windows in gableheads. Deep base course. Angle buttresses. Cornice below gableheads. Ashlar apex detail to hall roof visible behind. Ball finials and weathervanes on all gableheads (finial missing from bellcote gable).
E (ST ANDREW SREET) ELEVATION: Shallow base course. Broad door at centre; 2 smaller doors in outer bays. Two 5-light transomed clerestorey windows. Hoodmoulded tripartite window in gablehead.
Rubble wall, continuous with wall-plane, linked to No 59 St Andrew Street to left.
N ELEVATION: blank with coped rubble buttresses, some set-off, dividing bays. Gablehead stack of High Street block to right. Modern entrance inserted in outer left bay. Modern addition adjoined to third bay from left. Group of 7 ectricity insulators in 2nd bay from right.
S ELEVATION: blank and buttressed as above. Later 1-storey lean-to addition, enclosing lower section of buttresses along entire elevation.
Small-pane glazing pattern, some fixed pane, some casement. Coped
skews and bracketted skewputts. Damaged fleur-de-lis ridge tiles to main roof. Grey slates. Double row of 9-light roof-lights to both pitches to W; replaced by purple slates to E. 3 ridge ventilators to S pitch, 1 to N. Pigeon loft to W gablehead of main roof.
INTERIOR: offices to W. Open hall; overhanging gallery to W, with barley sugar balusters, carried on 5-bay Tudor-arched arcaded screen; timber hammerbeam roof; Tudor-arched doorways; boarded dado.
Statement of Special Interest
B Group with Nos 153 and 155, 161 and 163, 165-169, 186 and 188, 190-194, 196 and 198, 212 and 214, and 216 and 218 High Street. The Corn exchange was opened on 10 August 1854, having been built largely by public subscription at a cost of over ?3800. It was the biggest indoor grain market in Scotland at that date. It functioned as the "Empress Dance Hall" in the mid 20th century, and then as a factory. It is currently used for storage by an electrical firm. David Cousins also designed Kelso Corn Exchange, 1856, in a similar style.