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.


Group Category Details
Date Added
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NT 25025 73845
325025, 673845


Built by 1780; shopfront by Thomas Purves Marwick 1892, interior rebuilt and extended by Thomas Purves Marwick, 1899; renovation Covell Matthews 1966-67. 3-storey and attic, 4-bay former tenement on corner site with double height public bar at ground. Coursed sandstone rubble. Architraved windows to front. 6-bay barfront at ground with panelled Corinthian consoles supporting corniced fascia; doors to outer bays; 5-bay return; 1st floor windows corniced. 3 fine piend-roofed bowed dormers. Wrought-iron brackets support sign and armoured helmet.

Fixed stained glass windows to 1st floor (bar); otherwise 12-pane and plate glass timber sash and case. Ashlar coped skews; brick stack to gable, rendered to E; grey slates.

INTERIOR: fine late Victorian interior decorative scheme. Lobbies with two-leaf timber-panelled doors (asymmetrically divided with etched glass to left-hand doors) and open finialled balustrade above in interior. Double height bar with embossed Minton tiling to walls to first floor under cills; deep cornice with scrolled brackets and Jacobean compartmented ceiling. Roughly square timber-panelled island counter with pilasters and scrolled brackets; match-strikers at upper edge; superstructure at sides and rear on slender columns; glazed timber partitions. Gantry with corbelled bowed central section and carved strapwork decoration above cornice. Large mirror advertising Drybrough's Pale Ale to right wall.

Statement of Special Interest

A Group with 138-150 (even nos) Rose Street as 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.

The Kenilworth Bar has a well-detailed late Victorian timber front and a very fine interior with striking embossed decorative tiling running high up the walls and an interesting Jacobean-revival style gantry. The large mirror advertising Drybrough's Ale is a fine example of a what was called a mirror showcard. Advertisement mirrors like this were widely distributed to pubs by brewers, distillers and wholesalers in the late Victorian period but many have since been destroyed.

Dean of Guild drawings suggest that Thomas Purves Marwick was responsible for the wooden front to the bar in 1892 and that the interior of that date may have been designed by Peter L B Henderson who made some alterations in 1893. The earlier layout at the front of the bar is similar to what survives today and parts of it may actually have been reused when it was rebuilt and extended by Marwick in 1899-1900. At that time Marwick created the island bar layout and extended the bar area into the adjacent property to the E with offices and extra rooms. The flat above the pub was also acquired and incorporated into the space below thus creating the impressive double height interior.

Thomas Purves Marwick (1854-1927) was the founder of the dynasty of Marwicks of which several generations were successful architects and whose clients included the National Bank and St Cuthbert's Co-operative Society. Thomas Purves Marwick was a competent designer in a variety of styles although particularly adept at the Free Renaissance and neo-Baroque. It is possible that the neo-Jaocobean style used here was dictated by the fact that Henderson had used it on the earlier public house some of which was perhaps re-used in the rebuilding. Henderson favoured the Jacobean in several of his interiors in the 1890s - such as the Central Bar at Leith - and this may have influenced Marwick's use of it in his rebuilding.

The client for the pub was Peter Fisher. Fisher had owned the property from at least 1884. From the mid-1870s he ran two other premises selling wines and spirits in South Richmond Street and West Richmond Street. Before the 1880s the property in Rose Street was purely domestic.

Though the exterior of the bar is unchanged, the interior, which had been altered in the earlier 20th century, was restored and parts carefully reinstated in 1966-67 by Covell Matthews who re-created the island bar layout. The modern wing to the rear was part of the redevelopment of Debenhams next door (see separate listing). Category changed from B to A in 2008 as part of Thematic Review of Heritage Pubs.



John Ainslie, Map of Edinburgh (1780). Edinburgh Post Office Directories 1870 - 1900. City Archives, Dean of Guild Drawings dated 23 March 1892, 1893 and March 1899, March 1900, August 1966, 4 November 1966. A J Youngson, The Making of Classical Edinburgh (1966), pp82 & 92. Rudolph Kenna and Anthony Mooney, People's Palaces: Victorian and Edwardian Pubs in Scotland (1983). John Gifford, Colin McWilliam and David Walker, The Buildings of Scotland Edinburgh (1988) p322. Michael Slaughter (Ed.), Scotland's True Heritage Pubs: Pub Interiors of Special Historic Interest (2007), pp46-47.

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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