Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing 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.

137-141 (ODD NOS) HIGH STREET AND 29-31 NORTH BRIDGE, ROYAL BANK BUILDINGLB29037

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Category
B
Group Category Details
100000019 - (see notes)
Date Added
14/12/1970
Local Authority
Edinburgh
Planning Authority
Edinburgh
Burgh
Edinburgh
NGR
NT 25955 73679
Coordinates
325955, 673679

Description

Arthur George Sydney Mitchell and George Wilson, 1898. 4-storey and attic free Scots Renaissance corner block; 5 bays to High Street, 2 to North Bridge treated similarly; 3 corner turret bays with copper ogee roofs and tall finials. 1st floor canted mullioned and transomed oriels; 2nd floor giant recessed keyblocked arches carved with grotesque animal heads; paired segmental-arched 3rd floor windows; projecting, bracketed and crenellated parapets. Corner stop-chamfered entrance bay with 2-leaf timber panelled door and border-glazed fanlight; blank scrolled cartouche in chamfer; carved panels to frieze. Polished cream coursed ashlar; pink granite facing at ground and at corner entrance bay. Base course; string courses at each floor. Bull-faced red ashlar to rear; polished margins; white glazed brick to Carrubber's Close.

S (HIGH STREET) ELEVATION: 2-bay basement level to left; rectangular triple key-blocked ground bays (3 as mezzanine shop-fronts; pink granite surrounds); keyblocked carriage arch to Carrubber's Close at outer right. Carved masks between bays at 1st floor cill course; blank carved cartouches above 1st floor bays; thistles carved at base of principal turret. Aediculed dormers with triangular-pedimented dormerheads containing broken-segmental pediments.

W (NORTH BRIDGE) ELEVATION: gable all as N elevation but no dormers. Aediculed stack; segmental pediment broken by pinnacle projecting beyond stack.

N (REAR) ELEVATION: advancing stepped bays from outer left.

E ELEVATION: plain, rendered; faces aerial gap site.

Modern glazed shop fronts at ground; some original 24-pane timber casements at ground. 1st and 2nd floors modern metal-framed and uPVC casements; 3rd floor timber sash and case; 12-pane dormer and turret glazing appear original. Grey slate pitched roof; corniced end stacks; large corniced apex stack; large corniced stack to rear, no cans. Decorative cast iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: modern refurbished interior.

Statement of Special Interest

A-group with 3-29 North Bridge, Carlton Hotel; 25-52 North Bridge, including Scotsman Hotel, Scotsman Steps, Royal Mile Mansions; 175 and 177 High Street; and 65-71 Cockburn Street (see separate listings). Designed for the Commercial Bank and to conform to the winning competition scheme by John Nichol Scott and James Anderson Williamson, 1896, for the redevelopment of the entire North Bridge area. This was intended to improve railway access to the city and began with the widening of the bridge in 1894-7 by Cunningham, Blyth & Westland. The mediaeval closes Halkerston's Wynd and Kinloch's Close were demolished to make way for the buildings on the east side of the street. Carrubber's Close remains enclosing the rear of the blocks. Scott and Williamson's plans were followed in outline only and the resultant group of buildings are united by their architectural vocabulary. Mitchell & Wilson's building, however, is superior in composition and detail to William Hamilton Beattie's adjoining buildings for the Carlton Hotel towards the north. The ground floor is still in use by the Royal Bank of Scotland and the Carlton Hotel now occupies the upper floors. The building was stone-cleaned and repaired circa 2001.

References

Bibliography

Edinburgh City Archive, Dean of Guild plans dated 1898. BUILDER, October 22 1898. Appears on 1905 OS map. Gifford, McWilliam, Walker, BUILDINGS OF SCOTLAND: EDINBURGH (1984) p231. AHSS Magazine Winter 2000 pp8-9.

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. 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 www.historicenvironment.scot/advice-and-support. You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at designations@hes.scot.

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