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.


Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NT 26048 73297
326048, 673297


Circa 1790. 4-storey and attic, pair of 6-bay tenements with altered, shops to ground, projecting at nos 12-16. Ashlar to street (W) elevation, rubble to rear and S side elevation with dressed margins to rear. Raised cills, cill course to 1st storey, cornice. Off-centre steps lead to 6-panel timber entrance door with round-arched, architraved and key-stoned doorway. Pair of pedimented, 2-window dormers with gable stacks. Other, small piended dormers. Timber shop front to far left with consoled fascia and central round-arched, Corinthian columned entrance doorway with flanking windows with retractable awnings above. Pair of 2-window bowed bays to rear.

Predominantly 12-pane timber sash and case windows to upper storeys and plate glass to ground. Coped gable and ridge stacks. Grey slates.

Statement of Special Interest

This late 18th century row of tenements is well proportioned with significant streetscape value and has little alteration to the upper storeys. The tenement contains some detailing in the raised cills and the pair of pedimented dormers and is also notable for the relatively small amount of alteration to the rear of the property. The projecting single storey shops to the ground were most likely added in the late 19th century and are a familiar feature of Edinburgh tenements. The Classical style with little detail is typical of Edinburgh tenements built in the late 18th century and 8-16 Nicolson Street forms an important component in character of this part of the city.

This section of Nicolson Street dates from late 18th century. The section of the street immediately to the South of this had been developed not long before on ground belonging to Lady Nicolson. In 1785, the South Bridge Act paved the way for a new bridge to be built as a link between the Old Town and the newly developing area South of the City. This bridge was to join the new Nicolson Street to the North Bridge. Lady Nicolson's old house, which stood close to the site of these tenements was to be demolished in order to make the link as straight as possible. The South Bridge was opened for traffic in 1788 and it is thought that these tenements date form a time shortly afterwards.

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



Alexander Kincaid, A Plan of the City and Suburbs of Edinburgh, 1784. John Ainslie, Map of Old and New Town of Edinburgh and Leith with the proposed Docks, 1804. A J Youngson, The Making of Classical Edinburgh, 1966 pf111. John Gifford, Colin McWilliam and David Walker, Buildings of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1984 p248. Andrew G Fraser, The Building of Old College, 1989 p60.

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: 28/09/2023 22:02