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 25453 73542
325453, 673542


Earlier 17th century and early 19th century with later alterations, including Ian G Lindsay and Partners, 1979-81. 3-storey 3-bay early 19th century plain ashlar block to Castlehill with pends to right (Jollie's Close) and left (Semple's Close) bounding long narrow rubble-built 17th century L-plan block to rear.

S (CASTLEHILL) ELEVATION: continuous cornice and fascia to ground floor; eaves course. Fluted pilasters to outer right and left at ground floor; 2-leaf glazed door to shop. Projecting cills above.

E (JOLLIE'S CLOSE) ELEVATION: drum stair tower, entrance to 3-storey and attic rubble-built tenement, built to slope of ground.

W (SEMPLE'S CLOSE) ELEVATION: ); rubble-built 3-storey and attic 4-bay tenement with ashlar dressings, now at lower level; 2 broad wallhead stacks; later dormer to attic. fragment of Sempill House to N: 3-storeys, rubble-built with ashlar dressings; piend-roofed semi-octagonal stair tower to left; studded timber boarded door in roll-moulded surround with corniced inscribed lintel (see Notes) over; recessed bay to right with timber boarded door to left in roll-moulded surround; paired windows above.

12-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows. Grey slates. Corniced apex stack to E gable of 19th century block; corniced rubble wallhead stacks to 17th century blocks, all with circular cans.

Statement of Special Interest

Wilson illustrates the old houses on the N side of Castlehill prior to demolition in 1845. Sempill House (formerly 2 properties) was purchased by Hugh, 12th Lord Sempill in 1743, who created 'a great lodging or dwelling house consisting of a kitchen or 2 large rooms in the 1st storey, 4 rooms on the 2nd storey, and 4 rooms in the top or garret storey, with 2 cellars.' The house was bought by Sir John Clerk of Penicuik in 1755. The 2 lower floors of the house were converted as part of the kitchens, and the top floor rebuilt, when the Rainy Hall (New College) was built in 1899. Further alterations were made in the 1960's. The inscription on the stair door lintel reads PRAISE BE THE LORD, MY GOD, MY STRENGTH, & MY REDEEMER ANNO DOM 1638. That on the door to right reads SEDES MANET OPTIMO CAELO. The vernacular tenement between Jollie's Close and Semple's Close was refurbished and converted to student accommodation for the University of Edinburgh by Ian Lindsay and Patrners (re-using salvaged panelling) in 1979-81.



Grant OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH (1885) vol I p91, ill p100. Wilson MEMORIALS OF EDINBURGH IN THE OLDEN TIME (1891) p188, ill p189. RCAHMS INVENTORY EDINBURGH (1951) No 10, p72. Pinkerton and Windram MYLNE'S COURT (1983) pp98-100. Gifford, McWilliam and Walker EDINBURGH (1984) pp192-3.

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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