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.


Group Category Details
100000019 - See Notes
Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NT 26392 73663
326392, 673663


Circa 1625 (see Notes). Rennaissance style pedestrian gateway with elaborate strapwork pediment situated in former garden grounds of Moray House. Polished ashlar. Pilastered columns spanned by lintel with swagged frieze and cornice. Decorative, scrolled and swagged, silhouette strapwork pediment. Later cast-iron gate with scrolled decoration

Statement of Special Interest

The Moray House gateway is a rare survival and a fine example of 17th century Rennaissance garden architecture particularly notable for its elaborate strapwork pediment. While of interest as an individual example of its type, the gate adds much to the architectural and historic context of Moray House (see separate listing) and the wider interest of the former garden lands of the Canongate. Originally occupying a large parcel of land stretching down to Holyrood Road, Moray House has been described as perhaps the finest aristocratic mansion to survive in the Old Town. The gateway is likely to date from the earlier construction phase of Moray House and may have been moved to its present position, and possibly reconstructed slightly, from an arch that once connected Moray House garden with the South Back of the Canongate at Holyrood Road.

Moray House was built, possibly by William Wallace (see Imrie and Dunbar, Accounts Of The Master Of Works, Vol II) for Mary Dowager, Countess of Home and then passed to her daughter the Countess of Moray in 1643. The British Linen Bank were tenants between 1753 and 1790. Lord Kames, the renowned Scottish lawyer, philosopher and agriculturalist, was also a tenant of the South Wing during this period. Sold in 1845, the extra windows and lowered cills to the E wing (Canongate elevation) date from its conversion to a Free Church Normal School in 1849. The building is currently part of the University of Edinburgh's Education Department.

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.

Part of A-group with Moray House - HBNUM 28449 (see separate listing). List description updated at resurvey (2007/08).



John Gifford et al, Buildings of Scotland - Edinburgh, (1991) p213. Charles McKean, Edinburgh ' An Illustrated Architectural Guide (1992) p29. 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: 04/10/2023 04:08