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 25430 73507
325430, 673507


Early 17th century with later alterations, including Hardy and Wight, 1895. 4 storeys and attic, 7-bay tenement. Sandstone with ashlar dressings, stuccoed and channelled to ground floor; harled to sides and rear. Moulded string courses between floors. Red sandstone long and short quoins.

N (CASTLEHILL) ELEVATION: regularly fenestrated. Ground floor altered 1895 (see Notes); architraved and corniced surround to close entry at outer left. 5 finialled dormerheaded windows breaking eaves to attic, 3 to right separated from 2 to left by later wallhead stack.

E (BOSWELL'S CLOSE) ELEVATION: 2 gabled bays with apex stacks. Small irregular windows. Carved lintel to stair entrance (see Notes); timber panelled door in roll-moulded surround.

S (REAR) ELEVATION: 2 harled gabled bays with apex stacks, irregularly fenestrated; that to left crowstepped.

12-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows. Grey slates; Corniced end and wallhead stacks with circular cans. Stone skews.

Statement of Special Interest

Built for Thomas Lowthian circa 1600. Inscription (now very worn) on lintel in close reads O LORD IN THE IS AL MI TRAIST, and initials TL. An illustration in Wilson's 'Memorials' shows the 5 dormers of Boswell's Court behind the old weighhouse, taken down in 1822. The illustration in Grant shows the form of the ground floor in 1845. The ground and 1st floors were converted by Hardy and Wight in 1895 into committee rooms and 'conversation rooms' for the General Assembly; the 2 upper floors were converted to 'dwelling houses.' Alterations included new windows and channelled stucco to ground floor. The article in the BUILDER states that the site, 'one of the few remaining ancient buildings on the High Street,' had been purchased by the Church of Scotland, and that 'the external aspect' would be 'carefully preserved, and the roughcast repaired.' Most of the old buildings on the S side of Castlehill had been demolished to make way for the top of the Western approach - Johnston Terrace, and for the new Assembly Hall.



Grant OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH (1895) p90, ill p83. Wilson MEMORIALS OF EDINBURGH (1891) p183. BUILDER 27th July 1895. RCAHMS INVENTORY EDINBURGH (1951) No 11 pp 72-3. Gifford, McWilliam and Walker EDINBURGH (1984) p 193-4.

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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