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.

GEORGE IV BRIDGE WITH RAILINGSLB27942

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Category
A
Date Added
14/12/1970
Local Authority
Edinburgh
Planning Authority
Edinburgh
Burgh
Edinburgh
NGR
NT 25660 73437
Coordinates
325660, 673437

Description

Thomas Hamilton, 1829-34. Multi-arched bridge on piers, built up on both sides, carrying roadway and pavement from Bank Street to Forrest Road/Bristo Place. Ashlar. Visible spans at Cowgate and Merchant Street. At Cowgate: semicircular groin-vaulted arch on chamfered oblong piers, the spaces between now blocked (see Notes); moulded capitals and arch; modillioned entablature; at Merchant Street: semieliptical tunnel arch with flanking segmental pavement arches.

RAILINGS: cast-iron railings with anthemion quartefoils (replaced beside National Library by stone balusters).

Statement of Special Interest

A photograph of circa 1860 shows the spaces between the piers of the Cowgate arch open. King George IV Bridge was part of Thomas Hamilton's plan for the new Southern Approach. The plan was first proposed in an article in the Scots Magazine in 1817 (attributed to Hamilton) proposing the formation of 'a Communication between the N and S sides of the City of Edinburgh by means of a bridge entering the Lawnmarket nearly opposite Bank Street.' Hamilton and William Burn produced a 'Report relative to the proposed approaches' in 1824, of which a plan appeared in 'The Scotsman' (27th November 1824). Hamilton and Burn went to London in 1825 to gain support for an Act of Parliament, and the City Improvement Act was passed in 1827. Hamilton was appointed architect to the Commissioners, and carried out the 2 major town planning initiatives for which they were responsible - the W approach - King's Bridge and Johnstone 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. Memorial plaque to James Connolly (born at 107 Cowgate) on SE pier.

References

Bibliography

Youngson THE MAKING OF CLASSICAL EDINBURGH (1966) pp 182-7, ill p183. Rock, Joe THOMAS HAMILTON (1984). Gifford, McWilliam and Walker EDINBURGH (1984) p 179.

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 www.historicenvironment.scot/advice-and-support. You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at designations@hes.scot.

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Printed: 18/10/2019 21:48