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

ABBEY STRAND, WESTERN BUILDING, 'THOMPSON'S COURT'LB28208

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 26779 73938
Coordinates
326779, 673938

Description

Early 16th century origins with series of later additions and alterations (see Notes). 3-storey and attic (4-storey to rear) tenement with irregular fenestration and 6 dormer gablets breaking eaves to Abbey Strand (S) elevation. Harled rubble with sandstone ashlar to ground floor and sandstone dressings. Predominantly moulded and chamfered margins. Wide band course at 1st floor and further band directly above 2nd floor openings; cill course to dormers. Timber door to central pend. Rear (N) elevation: central full-height turnpike stair with conical roof and door off-set to left at ground. Pair of further doorways to right flanked by windows. Single remaining skewputt to E gable.

Variety of multi-pane glazing to timber sash and case windows. Graded Scottish grey slate. Co-axial ridge stacks and broard end stacks. Clay cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: Some moulded stone fireplaces. Remnant of moulded panel over doorway towards rear of ground floor.

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.

Occupying a key location at the foot of the Canongate and forming part of a group of buildings associated with the Holyrood Palace complex, the building to the Western side of Abbey Strand is an important and rare example of restored early 16th century Scots Renaissance tenement design.

The building has been identified with a large mansion situated on the N side of the High Street near the Abbey Gate, described as 'New Biggit' in 1570. It is perhaps more probable that the building was designed as a tenement with a pair of two-room dwellings on each floor, each having its own forestair to the first floor. The stair door to the E with moulded jambs is still in position while the line of the crowstepped gable remains traceable at the W end and one skewputt remains in place at the E. The windows were at one time leaded with wooden casements and bars, traces of which can still be seen in some of the glazing. It belonged to Andrew Chalmers, the chamberlain of the Abbey until 1613. Its position within the earlier monastic precinct, projecting to the west of the main enclosure, suggests it may have also have been associated with the Abbey's almonry. The upper windows were later heightened. It was altered again in the early 19th century, and restored in 1915-16, when the pedimented ashlar dormers were added. The turnpike stair was extended to rise the full height to the rear of the building and the building was also re-roofed at this time by Thomas Ross, the renowed architect and author, with John MacGibbon, of the five volume 'The Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scotland'. The ground floor of the building was home at one time to both the Crown Inn and the Abbey Tavern. The name 'Thomson's Court' was appended to the site in the 20th century. The original Thomson's Court building (now demolished) was located slightly to the north-east. The walls were harled in the 1990s.

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.

References

Bibliography

Dennis Gallagher, Holyrood Abbey: The Disappearance of a Monastery (1998), The Proceedings of the Society of Antiquities, Scotland, Vol-128. John Gifford et al, Buildings of Scotland - Edinburgh, (1991) p218. Charles McKean, Edinburgh - An Illustrated Architectural Guide (1992) p23. References from previous list description: Inv. 90; MacRae - Royal Mile Report 57.

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.

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: 29/09/2022 09:05