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


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NT 24148 74087
324148, 674087


John Chesser, 1874; later additions to rear. Crescented terrace comprising 3-storey basement and attic, 2-bay Free Renaissance townhouses with prominent rectangular and canted bays; advanced end terraces at Nos. 1-3 and 19 -21. Sandstone ashlar. Entrance platts oversailing basement area. Banded base course; moulded cill courses at 1st and 2nd floors. Consoled corniced eaves course. Rectangular dormers with large triangular pediments, linked by balustrading. Corniced doorpieces with paired console brackets, moulded architraves, rectangular fanlights and narrow sidelights (from No. 4 - 21). Corniced and balustraded 2-storey, 3-light bays, rectangular at ground floor, canted at 1st floor. Bracketed and pedimented 1st floor windows with moulded architraves. Moulded architraved windows at 2nd floor with bracketed cills (tripartite above canted bays).

E (BELGRAVE CRESCENT LANE) ELEVATION: 2 bays. Droved sandstone ashlar, with ashlar quoins to left (S). Sandstone ashlar stair, irregular arrangement of doors at ground floor. Moulded cill course at 1st and 2nd floors, integrated with round arched windows to centre. Rectangular blind windows at ground and 1st floors, pedimented at 2nd floor. Round arched stairlights to centre with small pane glazing pattern. Coursed sandstone attic storey, stepped to rear; integrated with corniced ashlar gable end stacks.

N (REAR) ELEVATION: 5 storeys. Coursed squared rubble with some droved ashlar quoins, rybats, cills and lintels. Roughly regular fenestration with some paired windows at 1st and 2nd floors. Some boundary walls to rear; many integrated with later garages fronting onto Belgrave Crescent Lane.

W (BELGRAVE PLACE) ELEVATION: 3 bays. Dormer to left (N). Balustrade integrated with tall wallhead stack; some balustrade missing to centre (2009). Blind windows to right (S) at ground, 1st and 2nd floors, to centre at 2nd floor.

Plate glass in timber sash and case windows, some small pane glazing to Nos. 2 and 8. Some later 20th century glazing at 2nd floor and attic. Corniced ashlar ridge and gable end stacks (some later replacement) with octagonal clay cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods integrated with stonework. Cast-iron railings on ashlar coping stone edging basement area to street.

INTERIOR: characterised by highly decorative classical scheme with intricate cornices. Large entrance vestibules with cornice works and encaustic tiled floors, predominantly timber stairs with carved newel posts, topped by large cupolas with decorative plasterwork frieze. Highly decorative plasterwork and some large marble fire surrounds to ground and 1st floor drawing rooms. Later conversion to flats throughout (2009).

Statement of Special Interest

A well detailed row of terraced late 19th century townhouses using bold architectural elements, such as the canted bays and extensive balustrading. The terrace is part of the continued development of the West End of Edinburgh in the later 19th century after the completion of the nearby Dean Bridge (see separate listing). The gardens opposite (S) were designed in 1876 as formal pleasure grounds for the residents similar to those found in London Squares during this period..

This terrace was built on land bought by property developer (and Lord Provost of Edinburgh) James Steel, and along with Eglington Crescent (see separate listing) was one of Steel's first exclusive housing developments, after previously developing lower status housing in Tollcross. His relationship with the Heritable Estates Company assured a steady income allowing him to speculate with more exclusive developments. To enhance the status of the development Steel secured the purchase of the ground between Belgrave Crescent and the Water of Leith, which became a private garden for the residents, designed by James Jeffery and completed in 1876. The terrace forms part of the long delayed residential expansion of the city in the late 19th century to the north of the Dean Bridge, following its completion in 1831-2. Unlike the earlier phases of the New Town the terraces of the Dean estate were exclusively of individual affluent family houses with lavish Victorian detailing. Changing social circumstances in the 20th century have led to a degree of alteration and adaptation.

John Chesser began his career as a master of works on the Ravesby Estate in Lincolnshire, before replacing his father in the same post on the Dalmeny estate. By 1852 he was working for David Cousin in the office of the superintendant of works in Edinburgh, and through this office he may have secured his post as superintendant of works for Herriots Hospital. By the time he came to design Belgrave Crescent his Free Renaissance style was fully developed. Many of his terraces are characterised by the use of large bay windows, and particularly by the combination of rectangular and canted storeys.

List description revised as part of resurvey (2009).



Ordnance Survey, Large Scale Town Plan (1893-4); J G Bartholomew, Plan of Edinburgh and Leith, from Survey Atlas of Scotland, (1912); J Gifford, C McWilliam, D M Walker, The Buildings of Scotland: Edinburgh (1988) p. 398; Richard Roger, The Transformation of Edinburgh: Land, Property and Trust in the Nineteenth Century (2004) p. 248; C Byrom, The Edinburgh New Town gardesn, (2005) pp 389 -97; (accessed 17/9/2008).

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 You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


There are no images available for this record, you may want to check Canmore for images relating to 1-21 (INCLUSIVE NUMBERS) BELGRAVE CRESCENT, INCLUDING RAILINGS

There are no images available for this record.

Search Canmore

Printed: 28/09/2023 22:55