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 25239 74051
325239, 674051


Circa 1775; subsequent considerable alterations, G Beattie & Sons, 1877; J Kinross and J Inch Morrison, 1921. 3-storey and attic 11-bay former classical tenement. Droved cream sandstone ashlar.

No 49: built out front by John Kinross and J Inch Morrison, 1921. 3-bay block with pared down Greek Doric 2-storey front. Polished ashlar additions; 2nd floor stonecleaned. Rusticated at ground with multi-pane canted glazing and 2-leaf doors to left; 1st floor plinth with Greek key frieze; metal glazing set back between square columns decorative cast-iron balustrading in front; stylised triglyph frieze and heavy cornice. 3 flagpoles. Original 2nd floor with eaves cornice. Single piend-roofed canted 20th century dormer (pair to that at No 51, see below).

3-storey on raised basement dressed stone rear elevation with tripartite window at centre to each floor.

Timber and metal casements to addition; 12-pane timber sash and case at 2nd floor. Enlarged rendered stack to E; grey slates.

Interior: good inter-war classical interior decorative scheme with open dog-leg stair across centre and top-lit banking hall to rear, with compartmented ceiling.

No 51: refaced and slightly built out front by George Beattie & Sons, 1877. 3-bay block with Renaissance detailed 2-storey front. Polished ashlar additions. At ground, large segmental-pedimented doorpiece to left and 3-bay arcaded window to right with small Corinthian pilasters; lugged architraves at 1st floor, with consoled cornice above. Original 2nd floor with eaves cornice. Single piend-roofed canted dormer (pair to that at No 49, see above).

Irregular 3-storey on raised basement 5-bay coursed rubble rear elevation (extends behind Nos 53-5) with arched openings at ground, loading doors and flying link with Nos 54-8 Thistle Street (see separate listing).

Timber sash and case windows; plate glass to new front, 12-pane at 2nd floor. Ashlar coped skew and stone stack to W; grey slates.

Interior: front block remodelled later 19th century; 2 plain top-lit auction rooms to rear, that to E of considerable historic interest (see Notes).

Nos 53-55: 5-bay. 2 modernised shops built out at ground; that to right retaining later 19th century consoles and cornice and incorporating access to common stair door to right. Pair of late 19th century canted piend-roofed dormers, and further bipartite dormer above common stair bay.

Timber sash and case plate glass and 12-pane windows. Ashlar coped skews; stone stacks (removed to W); grey slates.

Statement of Special Interest

No 51 was first adapted for William Nicholson, a miniatures painter, who, together with Dr Hay, established a picture gallery to the rear of the building. This was probably designed by Thomas Hamilton, together with a new plastered shopfront at ground floor, and survives largely untouched to this day. It is a very significant survival, still retaining its boarded walls and picture rail, and finished much as the National Gallery was when it was first completed. Lyon and Turnbull have been here since the late 19th century, having been founded in 1825 by Jonathan Lyon. Beattie may have adapted No 51 for them. Until 1864 Lyon had been in partnership with Dowell, who established his own firm a couple of doors along George Street at No 65, and continues today as Phillips. Lyon and Turnbull have very considerable stores to Thistle Street Lane (see separate listing) and the rear elevation of this property to NW Thistle Street Lane is of the 1820s and of considerable interest, although it has been much altered over the years. 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. A Group with Nos 33-63 (odd nos) George Street.



Gifford, McWilliam and Walker Edinburgh (1988) p302. A J Youngson The Making of Classical Edinburgh (1966) pp91-3.

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.

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