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 25994 73686
325994, 673686


Late 16th century, with later additions and alterations. Long row of ruinous buildings; stepped to steep slope. Rectangular plan; roofless and reduced in height; random rubble with ashlar margins; roll-moulded blocked double doorway dated 1581; also late 17th/early 18th century openings with ashlar margins and stone lintels.

E (NORTH GRAY'S CLOSE) ELEVATION: asymmetrical. 2-storey 2-bay section; roll-moulded doorways; stepped string course above. Single storey 3-bay section; 2 ashlar-margined open doorways; relieving arches; small blocked window to left. Northmost 2-storey 5-bay section; 2 blocked arched doorways (voussoirs); then small low open window and rubble-blocked doorway; 4 blocked windows above.

INTERIOR: evidence of room divisions; hearths and doorways; some remaining timber beams and lintels; remnants of a turnpike stair at S.

Statement of Special Interest

The building plots conform to the mediaeval town plan and, although in a derelict state, are a rare survival. There is a strong link between Thomas Sydserf (1581-1663), successively bishop of Brechin, Galloway and Orkney, and this building or at least the land extending from the High Street. The date of 1581 carved on the facade corresponds to his year of birth and perhaps this is where the association lies. Bishop Sydserf is also said to have resided at Bishop's Land, the substantial dwelling fronting the High Street and certainly a more prominent position for someone of his standing. 2 North Gray's Close was remodelled in the 18th century and again later in the 19th. The structure is now overgrown and filled with detritus.



Gray's Close marked on William Edgar's City and Castle of Edinburgh map of 1742. Edinburgh City Archive, Dean of Guild application by Messrs Hewitt Tanners, for 'proposed workshops', December 1883 (cited but not found). Wilson MEMORIALS OF EDINBURGH Vol II (1891) p45. RCAHMS Inventory Edinburgh No 31 (1951). Edinburgh World Heritage Trust (Edinburgh Old Town Renewal Trust), notes on adjacent proposed Tannery Site development, early 1990s.

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: 15/08/2022 02:10