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
100000019 - See Notes
Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NT 25990 74021
325990, 674021


Archibald Eliot and Joseph Kay, 1815-19. 3-storey with attic storeys at outer 3 bays, 9-bay symmetrical Classical former Post Office, (currently being converted into flats (2007

. 5-bays to E and W elevations, falling to 8 storeys at W. Ashlar. Base course, band courses, deep cornice. Round-arched openings to ground. Recessed central 3-bays with fluted Ionic diastyle in antis portico rising through 1st and 2nd storey. Balustraded parapet to central 3 bays with central wallhead panel. Giant Corinthian style pilasters divide outer bays.

E and W elevations with advanced central 3 bays, separated by giant Corinthian pilasters. Modern extension to rear (S).

Predominantly 12-pane and 6-over 9-pane timber sash and case windows to upper storeys. Grey slates to piended roofs to outer bays.

INTERIOR: undergoing conversion from offices to flats (2007).

Statement of Special Interest

Part of an 'A' Group with Nos 6-20 Waterloo Place, Nos 1-29 Waterloo Place, Waverleygate, Regent Bridge, Register House, Balmoral Hoel and 5-43 Leith Street.

This is a major example of the Greek Revival work of Archibald Eliot, one of Edinburgh's leading architects in the early 19th century. The building adjoins the single open arch of Regent Bridge to the West and the grandeur of the design contributes significantly to character of the area. The building was built as the general post office, until the premises became too small and a larger one was erected at the corner of the North Bridge, now called Waverleygate (see separate listing). This building was then used as a hotel and government offices and it was gutted by fire in the 1950s. It is currently undergoing conversion to flats (2007).

A plan to form an access to Calton Hill from the east end of Princes Street had been suggested as early as 1790 (probably by John Paterson, Robert Adam's clerk of works). At the time, however, it proved to be impractical due to the difficulties of gaining permission to disturb the Calton Burying Ground (see separate listing) and the expense involved in acquiring and demolishing the properties which stood on the proposed new route. Finally, in 1813 and 1814, Acts were introduced which allowed for the construction of the new bridge and road over the Low Calton ravine and permitted the acquisition of the necessary properties and the intersection of the Calton Burying Ground. Archibald Eliot's design for the bridge and the accompanying houses and offices was approved in 1815, although it was modified to include Robert Stevenson's ideas that the bridge should be open 'for the sake of the views'. The contract for the bridge was signed in the summer of 1816, and construction began. Feuing of the building plots began in July 1817, and later in the year a Mr Peter Lorimer bought all the lots. This ensured the consistent and faithful execution of Eliot's scheme.

Archibald Eliot (1760-1823) was one of the leading architects in early 19th century Scotland. His works included public buildings and private commissions throughout the country. He designed in both the Classical and Gothic styles.

References from previous list description: MacRae Her 39; Georgian Edinburgh; APSD.

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



John Wood, Plan of the City of Edinburgh, 1823. NLS. 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey Map, (1876-9). Gifford, Colin McWilliam and David Walker, The Buildings of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1984. p442-3. A J Youngson, The Making of Classical Edinburgh, 1966 pf 136.

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.

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