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 25399 73432
325399, 673432


George Smith, 1844-5. 2-storey (4 storeys to rear) 8-bay symmetrical M-roofed former teacher training college with Jacobean/Baronial details. Polished coursed ashlar (rubble to rear). Moulded eaves course and parapet with urns. Windows in tabbed surrounds.

N (JOHNSTON TERRACE) ELEVATION: slightly advanced buckle quoined centre block with finialled curvilinear gable flanked by ogee-topped octagonal pinnacles: paired doors (right door glazed) with sunburst fanlights in chamfered keyblocked roll-moulded surrounds under bracketed cornice and strapwork pediment with thistle detail; 2 windows to 1st floor; oriel in gable. 3-bay flanking blocks: strapwork pediments to ground floor windows; keyblocks to 2nd floor.

W ELEVATION (TO PATRICK GEDDES STEPS): 4 bays with later windows added 2nd bay from left and round-arched windows in left gable; strapwork pediments to original 2nd floor windows; chimney stacks with chequer-set corbelling to left, V-shaped corbel below eaves cornice to right.

12-pane glazing to timber sash and case windows. Grey slates. Corniced end stacks and diamond stalks to ridge.

Statement of Special Interest

Formerly known as the Normal Institution. Opened 19th May 1845 as a model elementary school for the children of the poor in Edinburgh and for the instruction and training of masters, providing residence for teachers and students. The College was managed and controlled by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. It accommodated 100 students and 500-600 children. Females were only admitted at their own expense as non-boarders until 1849. Johnston Terrace was part of Thomas Hamilton's plan for the new Southern Approach and Western Approaches to the city. Hamilton was appointed architect to the Commissioners of the 1827 Improvement Act, and carried out the 2 major town planning initiatives for which they were responsible - the W approach - King's Bridge and Johnston Terrace, and the S approach - George IV Bridge, and the link to the Grassmarket - Victoria Street. Hamilton was replaced as architect to the Commissioners in 1834 by George Smith. The architectural style specified by the Commissioners for the new buildings associated with the developments was 'Old Flemish,' a variation on Scotch Baronial owing much to the detailing of Heriot's Hospital. The Normal Institution was built on the westmost lot fued from the Commissioners to the Improvement Act 'in line with the new west approach.'



Dean of Guild 7th March 1844. Appears on 1854 OS map. Grant OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH (1885) pp 295-6. Alexander Morgan 2 FAMOUS OLD EDINBURGH COLLEGES: A CENTURY OF TEACHER TRAINING (1935). Gifford, McWilliam and Walker EDINBURGH (1984) p

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 15 JOHNSTON TERRACE

There are no images available for this record.

Search Canmore

Printed: 15/08/2022 02:53