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 25888 73606
325888, 673606


John Baxter, 1788-90. 3-storey, attic and basement, 3-bay, Classical former Merchants' Hall, now commercial premises with restaurants to ground (2007). Sandstone ashlar, rusticated to ground. Band courses; fluted with rosettes at 2nd storey, bracketed cornice, blocking course. 4 giant fluted Doric pilasters rise from 1st storey. Large round-arched window openings at 1st storey set in over-arches. Central round-arched entrance doorway with 6-panel timber entrance door with flanking segmental-arched openings with decorative multi-pane glazing to fanlight. Doric pilastered doorpiece. Blind balustraded parapet to 1st storey.

Predominantly multi-pane timber sash and case windows to upper storeys.

INTERIOR: (seen 2007). Refurbished 1996. Open-well staircase with timber banister and iron balusters. Large double height room on 1st floor with simple cornicing and replica carved timber fire surround. Other rooms modified.

Statement of Special Interest

Excellent, well proportioned former Merchants' Hall building with considerable streetscape value and fine classical detailing. The fluted Doric pilasters and the rosette features are especially fine and distinguish the building from the other tenement buildings in Hunter Square. The large, high 1st floor room, situated in the position of the original Merchants' Hall is a particularly good internal feature of the building and adds considerably to its character.

The Merchant Company moved to Hanover Street in 1879 and the ground floor was subsequently altered, most significantly in 1894 when the Royal Bank of Scotland moved the entrance door from its central position to one at the side and altered the shop fronts.

The restoration of the building in the 1990s used Baxter's original drawing as a basis for the front elevation.

Hunter Square was formed circa 1786-90 with Blair Street as part of the South Bridge Improvement. John Baxter reduced the size of the Tron Kirk (see separate listing) as part of this scheme and he may have been involved in all of it.

List description revised as part of Edinburgh Holyrood Ward resurvey 2007-08.



John Ainslie, Map of Old and New Town of Edinburgh and Leith with the proposed Docks, 1804. 1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map 1849-53. John Gifford, Colin McWilliam and David Walker, Buildings of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1984 p234. Leaflet courtesy of owner. (as accessed on 08-05-07).

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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Printed: 18/10/2019 22:14