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 25395 73505
325395, 673505


Early 17th century with later alterations and additions (see Notes) including John Carfrae, 1913. 2-storey, semi-basement and attic tenement with lower gabled wings to rear. Random rubble with ashlar dressings. Long and short quoins.

N (CASTLEHILL) ELEVATION: 8 bays: 3 2-window nepus gables with apex stacks to left; lintel courses over attic windows. Stone steps with swept coped parapet to studded timber boarded door in roll-moulded surround to outer right; carved shield (worn) and inscription (NOSCE [TEIPSUM]) in lintel (removed from elsewhere in building).

W (CASTLE WYND NORTH) ELEVATION: gabled side elevation of block to Castlehill to left: irregularly fenestrated, some windows with stone grooves for shutters; wallhead stack. Single bay block to right with swept roof, stepped to slope of ground; ball-finialled gabled dormer to attic with initials in lintel (see Notes).

E ELEVATION: much altered 1913 (see Notes): E gable with 3 tall windows to 1st and 2nd floors, that to centre at 2nd floor with balustered apron, notched pilasters, inscription on lintel (see Notes), and aedicule over. Pend arch on moulded corbel to outer left. Scrolled skewputts to gable.

S (REAR) ELEVATION: gable end of SW extension to left; irregularly fenestrated; small windows, some with shutters which slide in original stone grooves. 2-window nepus S gables of main block visible behind. Remains of mid 18th century block to right mainly obscured by later additions.

Small-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows. Graded grey slates. Stone skews. Coped rubble stacks with circular cans.

Statement of Special Interest

Cannonball House takes its name from a cannonball embedded in its W gable; how this got there is uncertain. The earliest part of the building is the rectangular block to Castlehill. In the mid 18th century the bay to outer left was added, and the 3 nepus gables built. The lower wing to SW was built in 1630 by Alexander Mure, a skinner and Burgess of Edinburgh, whose initials, and those of his wife, Margaret Niellems, are in the pediment of the attic dormer. In 1913 Cannonball house was incorporated into Castlehill School (separately listed) by John Carfrae for the Edinburgh School Board. The interior was gutted and reconstructed as classrooms and offices. The previous interior is described by Wilson. The inscription in the lintel of the E gable reads ESB 1913, that in aedicule 'Cannonball House.'



Appears on Edgar's 1742 plan of Edinburgh. Wilson MEMORIALS OF EDINBURGH (1891) p179-82. MacGibbon and Ross THE CASTELLATED AND DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE OF SCOTLAND (1896) vol IV p453, ill p454. RCAHMS INVENTORY, EDINBURGH (1951) No8 pp71-2. Gifford, McWilliam and Walker EDINBURGH (1984) p193.

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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