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 25425 74101
325425, 674101


Major Andrew Frazer, 1782-4; steeple built by Alexander Stevens, 1787; internal alterations by Esme Gordon, 1953, and Robert Hurd & Partners, 1976-9. 2-storey neo-classical church with vaulted basement below; elliptical plan, with pedimented portico and slim steeple. Redhall sandstone ashlar, front half droved, rear half coursed rubble; polished Craigleith dressings and steps. Tetrastyle Corinthian portico with oculus in pediment and pedestals for statues (never installed). Polished ashlar 3-bay pilastered frontispiece; at centre, doorpiece with moulded architrave and segmental pediment, 2-leaf panelled door with 4-pane fanlight; flanked by similar blind openings with triangular pediments; at 1st floor architraved window at centre flanked by similar blind windows. Body of church with depressed arched windows at ground, round-headed at 1st floor; moulded cornice and blocking course. Heavy pilastered doorpiece with open pediment to each flank containing depressed arch doorway with 2-leaf flush-panelled door and 6-pane fanlight.

Grey slates.

STEEPLE: 4-stage. Square plinth and pedestal with projecting pedimented central faces with swagged husks and clock faces, flanking panels with ribbons and drops of husks; octagonal 2nd stage allows urns at corners. 2nd stage with projecting pilastered central faces containing arched louvred openings. 3rd stage with Ionic columns and arched openings, alternately louvred and blind. Capped by panelled octagonal spire with 3 tiers of oculi; weathervane finial.

INTERIOR: very fine plasterwork and joinery; windows with deeply splayed soffits; U-plan panelled gallery supported on Ionic columns, with original tiered pews; swagged frieze; fine flat ceiling of concentric ovals surrounded by husk garlands. At ground, box pews remain under balcony; pulpit much altered. Present arrangement by Esme Gordon, who also added plaster ornament to vestibule ceiling. Organ at centre of gallery with fine tripartite case by Peter Conacher of Huddersfield, 1881; rebuilt by Rushworth & Dreaper, 1967. Glass: 6 windows to N by Ballantine, 1890; to S, 1 by Alfred A Webster, 1913,

1 by Douglas Strachan, 1934. Crypt adapted for social use by Robert Hurd, with new stair from glazed vestibule extension.

RAILINGS AND LAMP STANDARDS: spearhead cast-iron railings to basement area and steps to side doors; wrought-iron lamp standards.

Statement of Special Interest

Originally St Andrew?s Church. The site was chosen in 1781, the intended site in St Andrew?s Square having been bought by Laurence Dundas, and acquired from John Young, wright, in exchange for a similar plot of land; Young stipulated that there should be no burial ground around the church, as he had already built to the rear of the site (which explains to some extent the elliptical plan, as the site was shallow). David Kay, architect, may have executed Frazer?s plans. Total cost was ?5,813. First important example of a church built on this plan in the UK. William Sibbald had won a competition for the design of the steeple in 1785, but it seems likely that it was actually Frazer?s design which was built. This was the location for the Disruption of the Church of Scotland in 1843.



RCAHMS INVENTORY no 123. MacRae Her 39. Hay POST REFORMATION CHURCHES. A J Youngson THE MAKING OF CLASSICAL EDINBURGH (1966) pp82-5. SCOTS MAGAZINE March 1781. Gifford, McWilliam and Walker EDINBURGH (1988) pp273-4. C McKean EDINBURGH RIAS Guide (1992) pp94-5. Original drawing for spire in private collection of Howard Colvin.

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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