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.


Group Category Details
100000020 - See Notes
Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NT 26031 73660
326031, 673660


Robert Morham (adapting a design by David Cousin and John Lessels - see Notes), 1871-3. 4-storey and double-attic, Scots Baronial corner tenement forming part of a unified run on S side of High Street and E side of Blackfriars Street. Squared and snecked rubble with sandstone ashlar dressings. Chamfered, long and short window margins. Pilastered timber corner shop front. High Street elevation: 1st floor tripartite window to left; single window set in wide panel to right. 4th floor windows with raised wallhead rising to gabletted attic at left, gablet dormer head at right. Symmetrical elevation to Blackfriars Street with central 2-storey oriel to 2nd and 3rd floors. Crow-stepped gable spans two left bays with broad wallhead stack at apex. Single dormerhead to right with double gablets within roof pitch above.

Predominantly 4-pane glazing to timber sash and case windows with horns. Grey Scottish slate. Broad end stacks. Clay cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

Statement of Special Interest

No 56-60 High Street is a good example of early City Improvement Act work and integrated tenement design. It occupies a prominent corner postion on the High Street and Blackfriars Street. The building is part of a planned run of buildings designed by David Cousin and John Lessels which continues West to the corner and down Blackfriars Street. The use of the Scots Baronial style fits well into the surrounding streetscape and borrows elements from 18th century tenement design in the Old Town. Robert Morham was a respected Edinburgh architect and former pupil of Cousin whose other works include the restoration of the Canongate Tolbooth.

Throughout the 19th Century the Old Town's prosperity declined as large sections of the nobility and middle classes moved out of the area in favour of the grandeur and improved facilities of Edinburgh's New Town. The Improvement Act of 1867 made efforts to address this, responding early on with large-scale slum clearance and redevelopment of entire street frontages. Under the Improvement Act, Cousin and Lessels plans included the unified runs of St Mary Street, Blackfriars Street, Jeffrey Street and Chambers Street. The High Street is located at the heart of the Old Town and has World Heritage Site status. Historically the central focus of public, civic and commercial life within the city, the High Street contains many of Edinburgh's most distinguished buildings including St Giles Kirk and Parliament Hall (see separate listings). Its special architectural and historic interest as one of Edinburgh's primary thoroughfares is unparalleled.

Part of B-Group comprising 1-67 (Odd Nos) Blackfriars Street (see separate listings). Category changed from C(S) to B (1992). List description revised as part of Edinburgh Holyrood Ward Resurvey (2007/08).



John Gifford et al, Buildings of Scotland - Edinburgh, (1991) p208; Dictionary of Scottish Architects, (accessed 10.05.2007)

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: 09/02/2023 09:56