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 27030 76584
327030, 676584


Robert Reid, 1810-12; additions and alterations by William Burn, 1825. Severe neo-classical symmetrical 2-storey 11-bay building, with attic storey to advanced centrepiece and end bays; single storey stable range to rear; Burn?s additions include perron stair, single storey pavilions and single storey links to stables. Cream sandstone ashlar; base course, cill course to 1st floor, band course above, dentilled cornice; balustraded parapet between panelled and coped attic storeys; punched windows.

S (COMMERCIAL STREET) ELEVATION: 3-bay pedimented centrepiece with pair of fluted Greek Doric columns set in antis between broad piers, each pier with niche at ground and framed square panel above; Royal arms (carved from wood) in tympanum; 2-leaf panelled door with moulded architrave and cornice; perron steps, panelled to front, with bulbous balusters and piers. 3 bays and broader advanced end bay to either side. Flanking advanced single storey pavilions with window in recessed arch; moulded impost course; cornice and blocking course with raised panelled central tablet. Arrowhead cast-iron railings on flat ashlar bed between pavilions and centrepiece.

W (DOCK PLACE) ELEVATION: at ground, single storey pavilion to S with large rectangular window in recessed segmental-arched panel, moulded impost course, panelled door with 3-pane rectangular fanlight to right, blocking course with raised panelled tablet; coursed single storey rubble screen wall enclosing stable court to S with 2 small windows and door between extends to tall ashlar carriage gateway detailed as pavilion but with 2-leaf boarded gates in round-headed arch. Recessed to N, piend-roofed 2-storey 3-bay end of coursed rubble stables, central window of 1st floor blind. 1st floor of main block with pair of central windows and slightly advanced outer bays.

E (WATERFRONT) ELEVATION: as above, but: S pavilion with round-headed arch and standard window (no door); ashlar screen with 5 bays, panelled door to left with consoled cornice, narrow door to inner left with flanking sidelights, 3 windows to right. Stable pavilion with door to centre at ground.

N (REAR) ELEVATION: 2-storey and attic 8-bay; coursed rubble with ashlar dressings; band course, cornice and parapet to advanced single end bays only; windows to each bay of principal floors. Centre 4 bays advanced with attic windows and pediment. Flanking bays with round- headed loading bay breaking eaves at centre; projecting porch to 3rd bay from left; inner right bays with projecting garage door addition at ground. End pavilions (see above).

STABLE RANGE: coursed rubble 2-storey 12-bay range with stugged ashlar dressings; 4 central bays with irregular fenestration between pair of slightly advanced fronts with recessed archways (blank to left, windows to both floors to right) and blocking courses, 2 bays beyond and taller end bays.

12-pane timber sash and case windows. Grey slates, piended roofs; cast-iron downpipes; decorative rainwater heads stamped GIIIR.

INTERIOR: classical theme continues, much-altered by Burn. Lobby leads via tripartite doorway with elliptical fanlight to oblong central stair-hall with Imperial stair going down to ground level and up to gallery and principal floor; acanthus balusters embossed with lions rampant; oval dome on pendentives and elliptical arches with coffered soffits, opening through smaller elliptical-headed doorways to room each side. To E top-lit Boardroom, with apsidal ended meeting room beyond; to W top-lit arcaded Long Room with D-shaped room beyond. To E at ground Burn's public reception room created in single storey link with direct access; elaborate 9-compartment ceiling on bracketed cornice (now fitted out as exhibition room).

Statement of Special Interest

The interior was massively altered by Burn, who put in the stair, and is now used as storage by the National Museums of Scotland; it's appearance reflects that use.



NMRS EDD 132/1-4. RCAHMS INVENTORY No 229. John R Hume THE INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY OF SCOTLAND London (1976) Vol I. F Groome ORDNANCE GAZETTEER IV (1895) p482. David Patterson & Joe Rock THOMAS BEGBIE?S EDINBURGH Edinburgh (1992) p124. Thomas H Shepherd MODERN ATHENS London (1829). RIAS EDINBURGH (1992) p222. Gifford EDINBURGH (1988) pp462-3.

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: 22/04/2019 19:09