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.

167 AND 169 CANONGATELB28433

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 26400 73795
Coordinates
326400, 673795

Description

Early 17th century. 3-storey and attic, 3-bay building with full-height square-plan turnpike stair projection to left and public house to ground with restored frontage. Random rubble with roughly squared, raised dressings; squared and snecked rubble to later public house frontage. Base course; cill courses at each floor. 2-leaf riveted timber door to turnpike. Entrance to public house to centre with slightly bowed fixed-pane window to right. Pedimented dormer windows breaking eaves with crescent and thistle finials.

INTERIOR: Predominantly refurbished interior to ground floor public house. Exposed iron-gated recess at SW corner. Upper floors incorporated into museum with adjacent tollbooth (see separate listing). Mostly renovated but some early 17th century panelling and a 17th century ceiling with painted beams with arabesques survive.

Predominantly 12-pane glazing to timber sash and case windows with horns. Grey Scottish slate. Lower portion of W gable is crowstepped. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

Statement of Special Interest

Part of an 'A Group' comprising Canongate Parish Church; Canongate Tolbooth; 167-169 Canongate; 142-146 Canongate, Huntly House; 140 Canongate, Acheson House and the Canongate Burgh Cross which together form the historic core of the former Canongate Burgh (see separate listings).

Nos 167-169 is a rare survival of a traditional, early 17th century building occupying a critical location on the Canongate beside the 16th century tollbooth (see separate listing). The Canongate has a rich heritage of traditional 17th century buildings and Nos 167-169, with its traditional rubble construction and arrangement of wall to window at upper levels, contributes significantly to this. The 3rd storey and attic are integrated into the adjacent tollbooth (now a museum) and the survival of oak panelling and remnants of decorative ceiling timbers all add to the interest. The building was extended to the rear around 1750 for residential use. The public house to ground floor was established in 1820 and the frontage was sympathetically altered, remaining in keeping with its surroundings, during the mid 20th century.

The historic and architectural value of Edinburgh's Canongate area as a whole cannot be overstated. Embodying a spirit of permanence while constantly evolving, its buildings reflect nearly 1000 years of political, religious and civic development in Scotland. The Canons of Holyrood Abbey were given leave by King David I to found the burgh of Canongate in 1140. Either side of the street (a volcanic ridge) was divided into long, narrow strips of land or 'tofts'. By the end of the 15th century all the tofts were occupied, some subdivided into 'forelands' and 'backlands' under different ownership. Fuedal superiority over Canongate ceased after 1560. The following century was a period of wide-scale rebuilding and it was during this time that most of the areas' mansions and fine townhouses were constructed, usually towards the back of the tofts, away from the squalor of the main street. The 17th century also saw the amalgamation of the narrow plots and their redevelopment as courtyards surrounded by tenements. The burgh was formally incorporated into the City in 1856. Throughout the 19th Century the Canongate'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. The Improvement Act of 1867 made efforts to address this, responding early on with large-scale slum clearance and redevelopment of entire street frontages. A further Improvement Act (1893) was in part a reaction to this 'maximum intervention', responding with a programme of relatively small-scale changes within the existing street pattern. This latter approach was more consistent with Patrick Geddes' concept of 'conservative surgery'. A renowned intellectual, Geddes, who lived in the Old Town, was a pioneer of the modern conservation movement in Scotland which gathered momentum throughout the 20th century. Extensive rebuilding and infilling of sections of the Canongate's many tenements took place, most notably by city architects, E J McRae and Robert Hurd (mid 20th century) with some early frontages retained and others rebuilt in replica.

List description updated at resurvey, 2007/08

References

Bibliography

John Gifford et al, Buildings of Scotland - Edinburgh, (1991) p220. Charles McKean, Edinburgh - An Illustrated Architectural Guide (1992) p38. Dictionary of Scottish Architects (accessed 10.05.2007), www.scottisharchitects.org.uk

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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