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

University of Edinburgh, Gatepiers and Flanking Walls to Old Infirmary at Main Entrance of 1 Drummond Street, EdinburghLB28001

Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NT 26187 73410
326187, 673410


William Adam, circa 1738. Pair of square-plan fluted and half rusticated, banded gatepiers surmounted by urns and with flanking balustraded quadrants by Sir Rowand Anderson.

Statement of Special Interest

These grand and imposing gatepiers in characteristic Adam style with swagged urns and banded rustication are the only surviving remnants of the renowned architect William Adam's Royal Infirmary of 1741-1884.

They originally stood on the North entrance to the hospital on Infirmary Street and were moved into their present location outside the Geography Department of the University of Edinburgh at the beginning of the 20th century. The balustraded quadrants are a truncated approximation of the original arrangement.

The Royal Infirmary on Infirmary Street was designed by William Adam to replace the previous Edinburgh Infirmary which had become inadequate for the needs of the local people. A 4-storey building, it could accommodate 228 patients. By the mid 19th century, the hospital was suffering from overcrowding and the architect David Bryce was appointed to create the new Royal Infirmary on Lauriston Place (see separate listing). The old infirmary was demolished in 1884 but the gatepiers were preserved and are now at the entrance to the University of Edinburgh Geography Department (see separate listing). Sir Rowand Anderson was involved with work with the University of Edinburgh at this site around 1905-06, when the gatepiers were moved and the flanking quadrant walls were built.

William Adam, (1689-1748) was the leading architect of his generation and at the forefront of Scottish architecture in the 18th century. The father of Robert Adam, he is particularly noted for his country houses which include Haddo House and the House of Dun (see separate listings).

Sir Rowand Anderson (1834-1921) was an eminent and renowned Scottish architect whose practice was involved with many of the most prestigious public and private buildings in Scotland. His work includes Scottish National Portrait Gallery and Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute (see separate listings).

List description revised as part of Edinburgh Holyrood Ward resurvey 2007-08.

Statutory address updated (2015). Previously listed as 'Drummond Street, gatepiers and flanking walls, University of Edinburgh'.



Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland: CANMORE ID 118842

Alexander Kincaid, A Plan of the City & Suburbs of Edinburgh, 1784, NLS.

A Logan Turner, Story of Great Hospital, 1979.

Dictionary of Scottish Architects, (accessed 15-01-08). (accessed 24-07-08).

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.

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Drummond Street elevation, University of Edinburgh, Gatepiers and Flanking Walls to Old Infirmary at Main Entrance of 1 Drummond Street, Edinburgh

Printed: 28/11/2022 19:25