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.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NT 25975 73689
325975, 673689


David Cousin, 1864-65 (see Notes), and Peter Lyle Barclay Henderson, 1901, incorporating earlier fabric (originally part of 5-storey 7-bay tenement by Thomas Bonnar, 1813, see Notes). Single tall storey High Street public house with Renaissance detailing (Henderson); pend to right (Bishop's Close) stone-vaulted to rear; pend to left (Carrubber's Close) with long narrow Baronial-detailed tenement block on sloping site to rear; drum staircase; further plain adjoining tenement block to N (Cousin, 1865).

S (HIGH STREET) ELEVATION: symmetrical 3-bay polished grey ashlar arcaded pub front; grey granite fluted Ionic pilasters flanking bays; scrolled foliate consoles supporting dentilled cornice and panelled entablature; central square-headed doorway with shouldered fanlight; 2-leaf glazed timber inner door; swept pediment above; flanking large key-blocked round-arched windows; moulded ingoes.

ADJOINING BLOCK TO REAR: random rubble; ashlar dressings.

W (CARRUBBER'S CLOSE) ELEVATION: 3-storey and attic 5-bay model tenement; squared and snecked sandstone; dressed margins. Painted roll-moulded stop-chamfered doorway; timber metal-studded door; moulded bishop's mitre device within round-arched shouldered surround; 2 flanking windows with iron grilles (modern) as stylised bishop's mitre devices. 4 gabled dormers breaking eaves; triangular dormerheads. Modern timber single leaf boarded door; open scale and platt stair to left with corbelled openings and plain iron railings. Regular fenestration.

N ELEVATION: 5 storeys; regular single and bipartite fenestration.

E ELEVATION: droved ashlar to Bishop's Close pend; rubble-built with stugged ashlar margins to courtyard at Bishop's Close. Drum stair in re-entrant angle to rear; timber-headed dormer breaking eaves.

Timber-framed glazing to pub front (partly reproduction). Rear ranges timber sash and case, predominantly 12-pane. Modern roof behind continuous timber fascia. Grey slates to rear ranges; coped wallhead stacks; lost cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: part seen 2002. Original ribbed plaster ceiling to pub; moulded cornice. Cellars and basement storage.

Statement of Special Interest

The inscription above the doorway of the Baronial tenement in Carrubber's Close reads: 'House of Archbishop Spottiswood 1578 Rebuilt 1864'. This tenement is probably by David Cousin as he constructed the adjoining tenement further north shortly afterwards in 1865, and stylistically it is within his oeuvre. The site of these buildings conforms to the burgage plots (being long and narrow) shown on James Gordon of Rothiemay's plan of Edinburgh dated 1647. There is further evidence, from the maps cited above, of the original 'Bishop's Land' that fronted the High Street and was the town house of John Spottiswood, Archbishop of St Andrew's. He inherited the house from his father, also John Spottiswood, 'Superintendent of Lothian, a reformed divine, who prayed over James VI, and blessed him when an infant in his cradle, in the Castle of Edinburgh' (Grant p208). Bishop's Land was associated with many important and aristocratic inhabitants, including Bishop Sydserf (successively bishop of Brechin, Galloway and Orkney) and Henry Dundas, Viscount Melville. A lintel from this house inscribed 'BLISST BE YE LORD FOR ALL HIS GIFTS 1578' can now be seen in the pend of North Gray's Close. This was re-instated in 1813 when the tenement by Thomas Bonnar was constructed. The lintel has a shield impaled with two coats of arms and the initials 'VN' and 'HM'. The Mitre public house is westmost in this row of High Street buildings, reduced in height circa 1970. Photographs in the NMRS collection (ED/5048, ED/5049, dated 1970) show Bonnar's 7-bay 5-storey pedimented tenement, and the early 18th century 5-storey and attic 4-bay tenement to the east, still intact. The photographs were taken just prior to demolition, which left only the ground and first floors. Little is left of Henderson's 1901 pub interior, now fitted out entirely with reproduction bar furniture.



Carrubber's Close marked on William Edgar's City and Castle of Edinburgh map dated 1742. Bishop's Close marked on John Ainslie's map circa 1780. Bonnar's building appears as 'Temperance Hotel' on 1852 OS map. Edinburgh City Archive, Dean of Guild plans dated 1865; alteration plans 22.2.1901; 7.3.1901. Home OLD HOUSES IN EDINBURGH (ND). Grant OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH (1885) p208. Wilson MEMORIALS OF EDINBURGH (1891) p45. Gifford, McWilliam, Walker BUILDINGS OF SCOTLAND: EDINBURGH (1984) p205.

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 You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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