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
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NT 26796 73937
326796, 673937


Early 16th century with 17th century and later additions and alterations (see Notes). 2-storey, roughly L-plan complex comprising three buildings (now connected internally) and adjoining harled 16th century 'Western Building' (see separate listing). Rubble built with sandstone dressings. Chamfered margins. PRINCIPAL (S) ELEVATION: comprises three unequally sized crowstepped gables; later segmental-arched opening to right, now entrance to shop; irregular fenestration. Forestair with lean-to timber and stone porch to far left rising to 1st floor doorway at W elevation. Section to SE is slightly higher with pantiled garret. Forestair to rear (W) elevation rising to timber outshot supported by timber columns. Two timber doors at re-entrant angle; pedimented dormer breaking eaves to right and attic dormer, above left.

Multi-pane glazing to timber sash and case windows. Graded Scottish grey slate to S block; pantiled to N. Broad axial stack to W block and end stacks to garreted section. Cast iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: Shallow-moulded plasterwork ceiling to ground floor rear. Narrow steps between split-level rooms at rear. Some moulded stone fireplaces remaining.

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.

Situated in a key location beside the main gated entrance to the Palace at the foot of the Canongate, Abbey Strand Eastern Building is a very rare 16th century survival. Altered during the 20th century, it retains much of its historic character and is an important part of streetscape, contributing to the wider group of buildings associated with the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Its three unequally sized crowstepped gables and its forestairs to front and rear are particularly distinctive elements.

Originally constructed as an extension to the Western Abbey Strand apartments, it follows the original building line. These domestic buildings in Abbey Strand were probably part of the 16th century almonry in the vicinity and may also have been leased for commercial use, as happened at Westminister Abbey. Owned by the Earl of Rosebury in the early part of the 20th century, the buildings were in multiple occupancy until 1933 when they were declared unfit for human habiatation. At this time, following the removal of the tenants, the buildings were purchased by the Crown and subsequently restored. The alterations, including the large segmentally-arched pend and extension of the simple 17th century compartmented ceiling at the first floor, were undertaken by H.M.Office of Works in 1935.

It should be recognised that significant upstanding and below-ground archaeological remains may survive here as part of and in addition to the structures and features described above.

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; North Garden Sundial; Palace Forecourt Fountain; Abbey Court House; Gatehouse and Former Guard Rooms; Palace Coach House; Stables; Queen's Gallery (see separate listings).

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



John Gifford et al, Buildings of Scotland - Edinburgh, (1991) p218. Charles McKean, Edinburgh - An Illustrated Architectural Guide (1992) p23. G Ewart, D Gallagher and D Stewart, 'Abbey Strand, City of Edinburgh (City parish of Edinburgh), standing building recording', Discovery Excavation Scotland - 3, 45 (2002). References from previous list description: Inv. 90; MacRae - Royal Mile Report 57. C & D Arch IV p474.

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: 20/03/2019 00:45