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.


Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NT 25433 73742
325433, 673742


William Playfair, 1850-59 with later alterations and additions, including WT Oldrieve, 1911-12 (see Notes). Cruciform Ionic temple/gallery on stylobate. Paired Ionic columns in antis to centre at N and S with entrance in pronaos, flanked by tetrastyle Ionic porticoes. E and W elevations pilastraded; higher central transverse block with hexastyle Ionic porticoes to centre of E and W elevations. Antifixae and acroteria to plain pediments. Solid parapet to higher central section, balustered to lower.

INTERIOR: 2 ranges of top-lit lozenge-shaped and octagonal galleries. Corinthian-columned screens between galleries. Curved stairs to N and S to galleries at upper level.

Statement of Special Interest

Foundation stone laid by Prince Albert 30th August 1850. Funded by the Treasury and the Board of Trustees, a large part of the site being given by the City at a nominal cost. Twin porticoes to N and S reflect the building's original dual function, divided longitudinally to accommodate the exhibition galleries of the RSA to E and the National Gallery permanent collection to W. Cost constraint was a factor in the unadorned style of the building. In 1912 the RSA galleries moved to the former Royal Institution building to N (separately listed). Internal alterations were made by WT Oldrieve in 1911-12. A railway tunnel runs under the building. In 1970 additional galleries were constructed in the basement to SE. An underground link to the former RSA building, which will provide access from East Princes Street Gardens, a cafe, lecture theatre and bookshop is under construction (2001).



Plans, Edinburgh University Library. Grant OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH (1885) vol II pp 88-93. AJ Youngson, THE MAKING OF CLASSICAL EDINBURGH (1966) pp 282-3. Gifford, McWilliam and Walker EDINBURGH (1984) pp 282-3.

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


There are no images available for this record, you may want to check Canmore for images relating to 1 THE MOUND, NATIONAL GALLERY OF SCOTLAND WITH RAILINGS

There are no images available for this record.

Search Canmore

Printed: 25/04/2019 15:16