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


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Group Category Details
100000019 - See Notes
Date Added
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NT 25884 73115
325884, 673115


Robert Rowand Anderson, circa 1890. 4-stage carved Portland stone tower on three convex plan steps with lantern prominently sited in front of McEwan Hall to S side of Bristo Square. 3-sided base section with framed panels under cornice and next stage with ornately carved foliate scrolls separating carved panels of mythological scenes and coat of arms. 3rd stage of floral garlands hanging between scrolls supporting fluted bowl under frieze of dancing cherubs. Tall, ornate, hexagonal cast iron architectural lantern on foliate and rounded brackets.

Statement of Special Interest

Part of an A-Group with McEwan Hall. The lantern pillar is a fine example of Victorian commemorative and civic street architecture, with good stone carving, prominently sited in front of the McEwan Hall and is an unusual work by a significant Scottish architect of the period. The lantern was funded along with the McEwan Hall by William McEwan (1827-1913) who established the successful Fountain Brewery in Edinburgh in 1856, after learning the brewing trade from his uncle. The products of this brewery were popular both locally and abroad via exports to the British Empire. In 1886 he entered parliament as MP for central Edinburgh with the brewery managed by his nephew. McEwan gave £115,000 to the University of Edinburgh to erect a graduation hall, and upon opening he was presented with an honorary doctorate and the freedom of the city of Edinburgh. The lantern bears the inscription Donated to the city of Edinburgh by William McEwan, Member of Parliament and bears the McEwan family crest of lion over a bunch of wheat. Sir Robert Rowand Anderson (1834-1921) had limited experience of designing public or commercial buildings when he was included among the six architects invited to compete for Edinburgh University s graduation hall and medical school in September 1874. This he determined to win by making a study tour of medical schools and lecture theatres in England, France, Holland and Germany. His submission was selected by the ten relevant professors on 29 January 1875 and had been greatly revised and enlarged by June 1877 following the acquisition of more land. (List description updated at re-survey 2011-12.)



J Gifford, C McWilliam and D Walker, Buildings of Scotland, Edinburgh (1984) p246.

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, (accessed 2017).

Further information relating to William McEwan courtesy of the Scottish Brewing Archive Association (2017).

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


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Printed: 22/04/2019 01:33