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


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Group Category Details
100000019 - See Notes
Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NT 25914 73960
325914, 673960


Robert Matheson, 1861-65, with later additions, W W Robertson, 1891-2 and W T Oldrieve, 1907-10. 3-storey, 11 x 15-bay Italian High Renaissance office building on critical city centre junction site with 4-storey, 3-bay, slightly advanced corner pavilions, and stepped 26-bay elevation to S, with further lower storeys. Ashlar, chamfered rustication to ground. Base course, band course, blind balustraded parapets to 1st and 2nd storeys, dentilled cornice to 2nd storey, balustraded parapet with pedestaled urns to corner pavilions.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: N, S and W elevations with Corinthian order dividing bays; 1st storey window openings with pilasters, engaged and clasping columns; moulded architraves and alternate segmental and triangular pediments. 2nd storey with engaged columns and clasping pilasters, some paired. Deep-set round-arched window openings to ground and 2nd storey.

Main (entrance) elevation to N (Waterloo Place): symmetrical. Central 5-bays to ground with ashlar, round-arched arcaded entrance atrium.

Predominantly 4- and 8-pane timber sash and case windows. Circa 2000 recessed flat-roofed attic storey. Other areas now with roof gardens.

INTERIOR: believed to be comprehensively altered (2000). Office space created within façade retention.

WALL AND LAMP STANDARDS: to W. Broad, ashlar wall with base course and broad, flat coping. Surmounted at 2 entrances by 4 tall, tapered, cast iron square-plan decorative lamp standards with curved feet and hexagonal lanterns.

Statement of Special Interest

A Group with Nos 6-20 Waterloo Place, Nos 1-29 Waterloo Place, Regent Bridge, Register House, Balmoral Hotel and 5-43 Leith Street.

This strategically placed, former General Post Office is situated on an important and crucial city centre junction, and it has important cityscape presence. The stepped rear (South) elevation overlooks the Waverley Valley and is a dominant feature in the skyline of Edinburgh. The building has well-detailed Classical decoration.

Initially built in 1861-5 as a Post Office on the site of the Old Theatre Royal, this building was originally a single block of 2-storeys with 3-storey corner towers. It was built to replace the old Post Office of 1821 at 16-20 Waterloo Place (see separate listing). The foundation stone was laid by Prince Albert. By 1890, the original building was proving inadequate as the Post Office business was booming and W W Robertson extended the Southern elevation with an extra 7-bays. In 1908-9, the building was extended again by W T Oldreive with an additional 12 bays to the Southern elevation, and with an entrance to Calton Road, close to an entrance to Waverley Station (see separate listing). The original building was also heightened by an extra storey to each elevation. The interior of the building was removed in 2000 and replaced with a modern office space.

Robert Matheson (c 1807-1877) was the Clerk of Works for Scotland. Using the High Renaissance style, he worked on buildings throughout Scotland, although mainly focussing on Edinburgh and the East. His other works include New Register House in Edinburgh (1869) (see separate listing).

Both Walter Wood Robertson (1845-1907) and William Thomas Oldrieve ( 1853-1922) became Principal Architects of Scotland.

List description revised as part of the Edinburgh Holyrood Ward resurvey 2007-08.



2nd Edition Ordnance Survey Map (1876-7). Ordnance Survey Map, (1931-2). Gifford, Colin McWilliam and David Walker, The Buildings of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1984. p436-7. (accessed 24-07-07). Other information from company website ( accessed 04-05-07).

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. 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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Printed: 29/02/2020 01:27