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 26025 73596
326025, 673596


Late 16th century with 17th century alterations (see Notes). 4-storey and deep basement, former townhouse situated on sloping ground with projecting 3-storey stair tower and ogee-headed doorway. Rubble with predominantly raised ashlar margins; irregular fenestration. Principal and rear elevations show evidence of earlier openings with segmental relieving arches. Later, 2-storey with basement, 9-bay, squared and snecked rubble addition adjoining to left with single projecting bay adjoining at far right; wide band course between 1st and 2nd floors; regular fenestration.

INTERIOR: Pricipal ground floor room to townhouse with original fluted-columned fireplace and ogee-headed niche to left. Wooden lintels to earlier window openings exposed. Extensively refurbished elsewhere.

Statement of Special Interest

Nos 8-18 Blackfriars Street is a rare survival of a 16th century town house. Situated on steeply sloping ground, it is internally joined to the later 9-bay building to the left. The building has been incrementally altered over time including its raising by a floor in the 17th century. The effect of these changes can be seen throughout the principal elevation with the variety of irregularly placed window openings. Built for the Regent Morton, who erected the half-moon battery at Edinburgh Castle, the building is strategically situated towards the middle of the Medieval Old-Town landscape, mid-way between the Palace and the Castle. The house formerly had projecting wooden galleries at 1st floor until the late 18th/early 19th century. The interior has been comprehensively refurbished for use as a Youth Hostel.

Formerly known as Blackfriars Wynd, the E side was demolished in 1867 under the Improvement Act, the roadway widened and subsequently renamed Blackfriars Street as part of the first wave of sanitary improvements within the Old Town. Throughout the 19th Century the Old Town's prosperity declined as large sections of the nobility and middle classes moved out of the area in favour of the grandeur and improved facilities of Edinburgh's New Town. Blackfriars Wynd was a key thoroughfare in the Old Town containing a number of grand mansion houses, now mostly demolished.

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



John Gifford et al, Buildings of Scotland - Edinburgh, (1991) p221; Dictionary of Scottish Architects, (accessed 10.05.2007)

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


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Printed: 09/02/2023 08:17