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 25555 74185
325555, 674185


William Chambers, 1770-2; refaced and Telling room added by David Bryce, 1846; Free Tolbooth Church built to rear by David Bryce, 1858; internal alterations by Dick Peddie and Walker Todd, 1929, LA Jamieson, 1932. 3-storey basement and attic, 5-bay Italian Renaissance terraced office. Polished cream sandstone ashlar. Regular fenestration, moulded architraves. At ground, open pedimented Ionic porch to inner right bay; flanked by further doors; windows to 2 left bays with bracketed cills and panelled aprons. At 1st floor, consoled ashlar balcony and balustrade; windows with consoled pediments. Cill course at 2nd floor. Modillioned cornice and balustraded parapet, largely concealing pair of early bowed dormers.

Extends back to North St Andrews Lane with stepped pyramidal composition; squared snecked and stugged sandstone. Large flat-arched entrance at ground now filled-in as window.

Timber sash and case multi-pane windows. Ashlar coped mutual skews; rendered mutual stacks; grey slates.

INTERIOR: 2 distinct blocks, front and rear. Left door gives access directly into front room with dentilled cornice; centre door gives access to main stair and banking hall at rear; right door gives separate access to Actuaries? premises at rear (above banking hall); stair with cast-iron lattice work banister. Former Banking Hall delineated by 2 rows of columns and piers with stylised Greek capitals, trabeated ceiling, 5-light window to rear. Stair with plain square cast-iron banisters, barrel-vaulted cupola with modillioned cornice. At 1st floor, 2- and 3-bay rooms, latter with Greek white marble chimneypiece, ceiling rose and plain double doors to large rear room with tripartite window, panelled dado, matching chimneypiece and ceiling rose, and glazed entrance screen; entrance lobby to rear premises. At 2nd floor, sundry plain chimneypieces, marble, slate and timber; timber stair to attic flat. Panelled lobby to Actuaries? Hall at rear; Hall lined with bookcases, dais at far end, lit from side windows; war memorial with linenfold panelling; simple trabeated ceiling. Meeting room beyond with chimneybreast flanked by Corinthian pilasters, chimneypiece stolen.

RAILINGS: fine cast-iron star motif railings.

Statement of Special Interest

Built with Nos 23-26 by ?the joint purses of Sir John Whitefoord, Sir Robert Murray and Gilbert Meason?. Chambers designed Meason?s house at No 26, so presumably the others as well. Transformed by Bryce for the Exchange Bank of Scotland; originally with 2 doors, the 3rd being added to provide access to the Free Tolbooth Church. A Group with Nos 21-26 St Andrew Square as part of Edinburgh?s New Town, one of the most important and best preserved examples of urban planning in Britain.



Ainslie?s Map of 1780. BUILDING CHRONICLE August 1856, March 1857. BUILDER 27 May 1876. Gifford, McWilliam and Walker EDINBURGH (1988) pp323-4. A J Youngson THE MAKING OF CLASSICAL EDINBURGH (1966) pp72-92. Valerie Fiddes and Alistair Rowan MR DAVID BRYCE 1803-1876 (1976) pp94,109. Dean of Guild plans 25 June, 5 August 1846. NLS MS4078.

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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