Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NT 25817 73359
325817, 673359


John Rhind and Hippolyte J Blanc, 1888-1891. Bronze commemorative statue of Lord Provost William Chambers on red sandstone ashlar base with low bronze reliefs depicting Literature, Liberality and Perseverance. Squared sandstone base with advanced scrolled margined corners framing decorative panels to sides. Corniced, garlanded, upper pedestal supporting statue above. Two tier octagonal granite plinth to base.

Statement of Special Interest

A finely detailed and decorative commemorative statue prominently sited to the centre of Chambers Street making a strong contribution to the streetscape and commemorating an important local dignitary after whom the street is named. The statue was designed by prominent Scots sculptor, John Rhind (1828-92), and, architect, Hippolyte J Blanc (1844-1917) designed the base. There is good Art Nouveau styling to the script and decorative panels to the base.

William Chambers was a printer and prominent Edinburgh businessman; as provost he promoted the clearance of the medieval slums from Edinburgh's Old Town. Chambers Street itself was formed by cutting through the site of three 18th century squares after the introduction of the 1867 City Improvement Act passed while he was Provost. He was also responsible for making improvements to public health administration.

Buildings of Scotland suggests that William Birnie Rhind (1853-1933) may have actually designed the statue rather than his father, as the style is more in keeping with his more exuberant form.

The base panels are inscribed 'Erected by the Lord Provost, Magistrates and Council 1891. The Right Honourable John Boyd Lord Provost' and a commemorative panel to William Chambers (1800-1883), Lord Provost of Edinburgh, 1865-69.

(List description updated at re-survey 2011-12.)



J Gifford, C McWilliam and D Walker, Buildings of Scotland Edinburgh, (1984) p222-3. Dictionary of Scottish Architects, (accessed 2011).

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 statutory listing address is the legal part of the listing. 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.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned 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. For information about curtilage see 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 is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

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Printed: 20/11/2018 23:30