Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 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. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


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

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. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. 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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