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

186 AND 188 HIGH STREETLB29074

Status: Designated


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Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NT 25814 73584
325814, 673584


George Smith, 1845. Narrow, 4-storey and attic, 3-bay, Scots Jacobean commercial building with corbelled and shouldered wallhead gable. Basket-arched pend to Borthwicks Close to ground floor left. Later frontage to police centre to right. Ornamental bracketed cornice between ground and 1st floor. 1st floor windows corniced with strapwork pediments. Cill course to 2nd floor; ornamental cornices above. Projecting bracketed cills to 3rd floor windows. Bracketed, corbelled-out wallhead attic gable breaking eaves; bipartite segmental-arched window to centre with shouldered hoodmould and needle finial at apex. 6-storey to rear with further corbelled gable to side (W) elevation.

12, 8 and 4-pane timber sash and case windows. Grey slate. Particularly broad axial ashlar stacks. Clay cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

Statement of Special Interest

No 186 and 188 is a fine example of an mid 19th century tenement. The distinctive Scots Jacobean style with its strapwork detailing adds much to the Street's distinctive character. Built as offices for the Edinburgh Courant, one of the first newspapers in Britain (first published 1705) and the Capital's main source of local information at that time. This impressive 4-storey commercial building replaced the 6-storey tenement known as 'The Salamander Land' which survived the 1824 fire and adjoined the Police Chambers in Shepards View of 1829. The building terminates a run of unified tenements between No 126 and No 184 High Street.

The High Street is located at the heart of the Old Town and is a key component of Edinburgh's World Heritage Site designation. Historically the central focus of public, civic and commercial and residential life within the city, the High Street contains many of Edinburgh most distinguished buildings including the St Giles Kirk and Parliament Hall (see separate listings). Its special architectural and historic interest as Edinburgh's primary medieval thoroughfare is outstanding.

List description revised as part of the Edinburgh Holyrood Ward resurvey (2007/08).



1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map (1859). E J MacRae, The Royal Mile (1962) p41. John Gifford et al, Buildings of Scotland - Edinburgh, (1991) p203. Charles McKean, Edinburgh - An Illustrated Architectural Guide (1992) p29.

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 22:20