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 25388 71394
325388, 671394


Brown and Wardrop, 1850-1852; alterations and additions probably in 1889 by Wardrop and Anderson. 2-storey, 5-bay, L-plan Italianate villa with distinctive engaged pyramidal-roofed 3-storey tower, service wing to east with narrow link to outbuilding range. Originally a villa, currently (2014) hospital offices. Cream sandstone, squared and snecked rubble with droved ashlar dressings. Set on raised ground in wooded garden of the former villa. Base course, cill band course at first floor. Deep overhanging eaves. Tower with exposed decorative cavetto moulded brackets.

Mainly large pane glazing in timber sash and case windows (some 6-pane glazing to side and rear elevations); two broad corniced wallhead stacks to north linked by ashlar arcading; 4 central stacks; octagonal yellow clay cans; piend and platform roof with grey slates.

Good mid-19th century interior (seen 2014) largely still in place with some later alterations. Marble and timber chimneypieces, decorative cornicing and panelled doors.

Statement of Special Interest

This is a good early example of an Italianate suburban villa dating from 1850-52 designed by the eminent practice Brown and Wardrop with sympathetic later 19th century alterations, probably by Wardrop and Anderson, including fine interiors. It has been in use as a hospital unit since 1946 and it retains its domestic character, and the public spaces still have their original layout. Much good detailing is preserved such as the ironwork on the exterior and much fine plasterwork and timber details in the interior. St Roque is an important component of the Astley Ainslie Hospital which is an unusual hospital site for its suburban garden character that has largely been retained with a number of buildings which have been little or moderately altered.

The Italianate style in which this building is designed was first used in England by John Nash at Cronkhill, Shropshire in 1802 and developed by Charles Barry in the 1830s. It was further popularised by Barry's use of it at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight for Queen Victoria. Osborne, built 1845-1850, just predates St Roque and the choice of style on this occasion may have been influenced by the recently completed royal building.

The Astley Ainslie Institution was constituted in 1921 when the Board of Governors purchased about 31 acres of ground of the Canaan estate through an endowment by David Ainslie, who had acquired considerable wealth as a farmer and sheep breeder. The hospital was to be for convalescents from the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. As pressure on beds steadily grew during the 19th century, convalescent hospitals were a way of moving recovering patients out and freeing up beds for more acute cases. Typically these were situated on the outskirts of cities and towns where patients could benefit from fresh, clean air. This emphasis on light and clean air was inspired by the example of Continental sanatoria.

In the area initially purchased through the Ainslie bequest there were three villas with their large gardens: Canaan Park, Canaan House and Millbank. The first hospital unit, opened in 1923 as an experimental unit for female patients was Canaan Park, a Victorian villa which had been adapted and extended for hospital use as the facility expanded. New pavilions were added to the site from 1929 as were other related buildings such as the 'Scientific Department' for specialised treatment, the nurses' home and the school as well as accommodation for the superintendent and other staff.

During the Second World War the Astley Ainslie was closed to convalescent patients and became a military hospital. A series of wooden huts were constructed on the site in 1940. The military hospital status continued until 1 October 1945 when the hospital returned to its former function. That same year another villa, St Roque with its large grounds, was added to the site and Morelands to the east of the site was added two years later. New units added since then include a children's unit (1965), a disabled centre (1979) and two day hospitals (1971 and 1983).

In the second half of the 19th century and in the early 20th century hospitals which specialised in particular conditions grew in number. The Astley Ainslie was unusual in that it was not a subscription or voluntary hospital but simply ran on its initial endowment. In Scotland in 1870, there were just seven convalescent homes, mainly in the West, with an annual admission rate of 4000 patients. By the 1930s this had risen to over sixty convalescent homes that cared for more than 34,000 people annually. In 1948 the hospital and its grounds were vested in the Secretary of State for Scotland of the new National Health Service. Its endowment funds were handed over to a Board of Management.

Most major towns had convalescent hospitals in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Of the handful that were purpose-built as general convalescent homes in Edinburgh, (the Astley Ainslie, Corstorphine and one in Gilmerton), only the Astley Ainslie continues to provide rehabilitation for patients as well as providing care for older people. Corstorphine has been diverted to other use and Gilmerton is no longer a hospital building. The Astley Ainslie is important not only because of the rarity of convalescent hospitals but is also unusual in that the original layout and area of the site have been respected.

The architects of St Roque, Brown and Wardrop, became one of the foremost practices in Edinburgh in the mid-19th century. This is one of the earliest commissions of the practice and certainly the largest domestic commission for the practice to date. Thomas Brown (1806-1872) was articled to his father, also Thomas, and spent some time in the office of William Burn. He was appointed architect to the Prison Board in 1838 and this provided a steady source of work throughout the 1840s. He formed a partnership in 1848 or 1849 with his assistant James Maitland Wardop (1824-1882). Geographically the work of the practice was widespread and the building type varied. It produced a range of innovative and accomplished designs. Wardrop, who gradually took over the responsibility for the design work of the practice, favoured a subdued Italianate style but was equally adept at the Scottish Baronial - for example at Lochinch, Wigtownshire (thus challenging David Bryce) - and his extensions at Nunraw are an early and serious attempt at revivalism.

The practice returned to St Roque in the late 1880s to enlarge the staircase and make alterations to the servants' quarters. The practice by this date was in the hands of the eminent Robert Rowand Anderson.

Garden fountain previously included in listing building record and dragon bench no longer in situ, 2014.

Listed building record and statutory address updated in 2014. Previously listed as 143 Grange Road, Astley Ainslie Hospital, St Roque with Garden Fountain and Dragon Bench.



Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland: CANMORE ID 125640

Edinburgh University Library Special Collections, Drawings from the Office of Sir Rowand Anderson, EC 221, RA 911

Ordnance Survey (Surveyed 1851, Published 1853) Large scale town plan, Edinburgh. London: Ordnance Survey.

Census records, 1851-1901

Edinburgh Post Office directories 1852-53 to 1911-12

Ordnance Survey (Revised 1877, published 1881). Large scale town plan, Edinburgh.. London: Ordnance Survey.

RCAHMS Watherston drawings, 1889, EDD 612/1

Edinburgh City Archives, Dean of Guild drawings, Grange Loan, St Roque, 4 April 1889

Ordnance Survey. (Revised 1893, Published 1896) Large scale town plan, Edinburgh. 1:500 London: Ordnance Survey.

McWilliam, C., Walker, D. M. and Gifford, J. (1984) Edinburgh. Buildings of Scotland. London: Penguin.

Smith, C (1988) Between the Streamlet and the Town: A Brief History of the Astley Ainslie Hospital. Edinburgh: Astley Ainslie Hospital.

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


There are no images available for this record, you may want to check Canmore for images relating to ST ROQUE, ASTLEY AINSLIE HOSPITAL, 143 GRANGE ROAD, EDINBURGH

There are no images available for this record.

Search Canmore

Printed: 29/03/2023 14:02