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.

HOLYROODHOUSE PALACE, FORECOURT, FOUNTAINLB28024

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Category
A
Group Category Details
100000019 - See Notes
Date Added
14/12/1970
Local Authority
Edinburgh
Planning Authority
Edinburgh
Burgh
Edinburgh
NGR
NT 26856 73907
Coordinates
326856, 673907

Description

Robert Matheson, 1859. Large elaborately carved 3-stage sandstone fountain forming triple crown, set in sunken circular basin on octagonal plinth, situated at centre of Palace forecourt. Tall, tiered base course, buttressed at arrisses. Carved lion's head faucets to each face.

Intricately carved 3-tier octagonal sculpture above with flying buttresses, pedestals, statues, heraldic emblems and shields including sejant erect lions and unicorns. Carvings include portrait heads, floral details and animals and decorative medallions. Surmounted by 4-figures supporting crown with Scottish Royal Crest as finial.

Statement of Special Interest

The ground beneath the Palace of Holyroodhouse and nearby structures (including Croft-an-Righ House, the buildings on the N side of Abbey Strand and the buildings around Mews Court) is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 for its archaeological importance. The upstanding remains of Holyrood Abbey and Queen Mary's Bath are also scheduled monuments. Significant upstanding and below-ground archaeological remains may survive as part of and in addition to the structures and features described above.

This large, highly decorative and elaborate fountain is prominently situated at the centre of the Palace forecourt. Based on the design of the James V fountain at Linlithgow Palace of 1628 (see separate listing), it was erected as part of Queen Victoria's improvements to the Palace grounds. The carving is intricately detailed and makes reference to both the Scottish Royal Family and 16th century aristocratic pursuits such as falconry and music.

The statues were designed by Charles Doyle, from the Office of Works and carved by John Thomas, a well-known contemporary sculptor.

Robert Matheson (circa 1807-1877) was the Clerk of Works for Scotland, who carried out a programme of gradual improvements to the Palace, the Park and the Abbey Precincts, at the request of Queen Victoria. These improvements included designing Lodges for the entrances to the Park, this fountain in the forecourt and the improvements to the Abbey courtyard.

In 1128, David I built an Augustinian Abbey at Holyrood. This flourished and when the Royal Court was subsequently in Edinburgh many royal guests chose to stay in the guesthouse of the abbey rather than the Castle, as the former was considered more comfortable. In 1501, James IV built a Palace on the site of the Abbey guesthouse and a gatehouse was constructed. This gatehouse was demolished in 1753 and the surrounding area is thought to have become quite dilapidated. In 1822-3, the King's architect, Robert Reid began a new building programme in the area, but it was not until the more comprehensive rebuilding programme by Robert Matheson in the 1850s and 60s that many of the current buildings were constructed, including this fountain.

Part of A-group comprising: Palace of Holyroodhouse; 28 and 30 Croft-An-Righ (Croft-An-Righ House); Abbey Strand Eastern Building; Abbey Strand Western Building; Queen Mary's Bath House; North Garden Sundial; Palace Forecourt Fountain; Abbey Court House; Gatehouse and Former Guard Rooms; Palace Coach House; Stables; Queen's Gallery (see separate listings).

References from previous list description: O & N Edinburgh II 79. Building News June 10 1859. Plans SRO (October 1858).

List description revised as part of the Edinburgh Holyrood Ward resurvey 2007-08. List description updated 2013.

References

Bibliography

2nd Edition Ordnance Survey Map (1876-7). J S Richardson, The Abbey and Palace of Holyroodhouse, guide booklet, 1950. James Grant, Old and New Edinburgh, 1890 Vol 3 p91. John Gifford, Colin McWilliam and David Walker, The Buildings of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1984. p141.

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: 20/06/2019 10:26