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 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

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 CHAMBERS STREET, WILLIAM CHAMBERS STATUE

There are no images available for this record.

Search Canmore

Printed: 28/01/2022 19:03