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
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NT 25397 74105
325397, 674105


John Young, circa 1780; now classical hotel with many later alterations. David Bryce, 1840-1; alterations and additions McGibbon and Ross, 1879-80; alterations R H Watherston, 1903; rear block Henry Wylie, 1968. 4-storey, 7-bay former office to E; 3 4-storey 3-bay former terraced houses to W; all with considerable alterations at ground.

NO 19 (INCORPORATING 15 & 17): cream sandstone ashlar. Channelled glazed arcaded rustication at ground, with pedestals to each pier; originally pilastraded (altered by Watherston); doorpiece to projecting centre bay framed by fluted and panelled pilasters and open segmental pediment; garlands in tympanum and arched doorway with mask keystone. Giant colonnade to 1st and 2nd floors of fluted Corinthian columns, engaged at centre bay, which has pedimented window at 1st floor; remaining 1st floor windows corniced. Massive entablature and dentilled cornice. 3rd/attic storey with pilastered arched windows and engaged fluted Corinthian colonnade; entablature and balustraded parapet with urn finials. Similarly detailed single bay return to E, adjoining irregular 5-story 5-bay stuccoed elevation framed by channelled pilasters; further tall 2-storey block beyond, containing former telling room (McGibbon & Ross). Single storey link to Wylie?s elegant 7-storey accommodation block to NE, with alternate horizontal bands of windows in bronzed frames and polished ashlar.

NO 21: ground floor treatment as above with simple pilastered arched doorway to right. Upper floors with moulded architraves; consoled cornices and single cast-iron balustrade at 1st floor; cill course (former cornice) at 3rd floor; heavy eaves cornice; later set back attic.

NO 23: projecting full-width painted Adam revival tripartite bay at ground; taller canted tripartite central section flanked by pilastered single bays with swan-necked pediments. 1st and 2nd floors with moulded architraves, cill courses; cornice above 2nd floor; later 3rd floor/attic with punched windows, cornice and blocking course.

NO 25: rendered to upper floors; projecting tripartite ashlar front to function rooms at ground, with broad central entrance bay, panelled pilasters, entablature and balustraded parapet. 1st floor windows with raised architraves and consoled cornices with blocking courses. Upper floors rendered with punched windows; cornice and blocking course continuing that of No 23.

Rear elevations of 2 and 3 stories with attics, on raised basements; ashlar.

Variety of timber sash and case windows, and several casements.

INTERIOR: lavish decorative scheme. Entrance hall with single row of columns; former banking hall with windows to rear with Corinthian columned aisles and glazed saucer dome; fitted restaurant seating.

Statement of Special Interest

No 19 was given a tetrastyle portico by Bryce, which was repeated across Nos 17 & 15 (house and tenement stair) by MacGibbon & Ross, who at the same time added the attic storey; Watherston later altered the ground floor, perhaps also altering No 21 to suit. MacGibbon & Ross were working for the Caledonian Insurance Company, while providing hotel accommodation on the upper floors for the adjacent George Hotel. The George took over the whole building in 1950. The W houses contain a significant surviving part of the original fabric of Edinburgh?s New Town, one of the most important and best preserved examples of urban planning in Britain.



THE BUILDER 11 July 1879, 20 March 1880. Gifford, McWilliam and Walker EDINBURGH (1988) p299. A J Youngson THE MAKING OF CLASSICAL EDINBURGH (1966) pp91-3. C McKean EDINBURGH RIAS Guide (1992) p95. Valerie Fiddes and Alistair Rowan MR DAVID BRYCE 1803-1876 (1976) p92. Kirkwood?s Map of 1819. HISTORY OF THE 100 YEARS: THE CALEDONIAN 1805-1905. Dean of Guild plans 30th July 1840.

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: 02/07/2022 20:59