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 24975 74080
324975, 674080


Circa 1790; attic and rear extension of No 52 by Peter Hamilton, 1857; No 53 modernised internally in earlier 19th century. Mirrored pair of 3-storey basement and attic, 3-bay classical houses. Droved Craigleith sandstone ashlar with polished dressings. Channelled rustication at ground; cill course at 1st floor; simple moulded architraves; cornices at 1st floor. No 52 with cornices at 2nd floor and full attic storey; No 53 with single corniced slate-hung box dormer containing 3 windows, bipartite at centre. Inner bays with tripartite pilastered doorpieces and panelled doors; stylised capitals, fluted friezes with rosettes; 4-arched-pane fanlight to No 52, plate glass to No 53.

Coursed rubble 2-bay rear elevations. Massively extended from left bay of No 52; Venetian window at 1st floor to right; attic windows breaking eaves. No 53 with projecting right bay, tripartite window to left bay at ground and 1st floors; former doorway to right at ground, with plat oversailing basement.

Timber sash and case windows; plate glass to No 52, 12-pane to No 53. Ashlar coped mutual skews (lead covered at centre); dressed stone mutual stacks (reduced at centre); grey slates.

INTERIOR: No 52 massively rebuilt in Jacobethan taste; retains original stair with decorative cast-iron banisters.

No 53 with tripartite screen to inner hall; longitudinal central stair to left with alternate decorative cast-iron banisters; apsidal-ended former Dining Room with full-height recess, panelled dado and black slate chimneypiece. Plain black slate chimneypiece to rear right room, with tripartite window. At 1st floor, former Drawing Room with enriched ceiling (wheat ears in oval), panelled dado, and 19th century plaster panelled walls, rich cornice, and white marble chimneypiece with egg and dart cornice and brass grate in tiled insert with decorative Islamic tiles; pair of double doors, corniced with clasping pilasters; right pair leads to former Rear Drawing Room with cornice en suite and corresponding doorpiece, fluted Cornithian screen and white marble chimneypiece with brass enriched register grate. Upper floors considerably altered; timber stair to attic floor, which has landing opening onto stair with cast-iron banisters. Splayed tunnel to stairlight, enriched with trailing foliage.

RAILINGS: cast-iron spearhead railings.

Statement of Special Interest

A significant surviving part of the original fabric of Edinburgh?s New Town, one of the most important and best preserved examples of urban planning in Britain; Queen Street was built to take advantage of the northern views, and has survived remarkably unaltered to this day.

No 52 was the home of Sir James Young Simpson from 1845-70. No 53 was for a time the home of Christopher North.



RCAHMS INVENTORY no 132. MacRae Her 38. A J Youngson THE MAKING OF CLASSICAL EDINBURGH (1966) pp79, 92. Dean of Guild plans 21 May 1858.

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: 24/01/2022 04:23