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 25857 74328
325857, 674328


1795. 3-storey, attic and basement, 5-bay terraced classical house. Broached ashlar sandstone. Band courses between basement and principal floor, and 1st and 2nd floors; frieze at impost level at principal floor; cill course at 1st floor, broken with lowered cills except in bay to outer right; mutuled cornice and blocking course at 2nd floor. Projecting cills at 2nd floor. Doric pilasters flanking bays at principal floor. Ashlar steps and entrance platts oversailing basement.

N (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: arcaded principal floor, with round-arched doorpieces comprising 9-panel timber doors and radial semicircular fanlights, at centre and in bay to outer right at principal floor. Windows in round-arched recesses in remaining bays at principal floor; regular fenestration to floors above; irregular fenestration to basement. Flagged basement area.

W ELEVATION: adjoining terrace, see separate listing (45 York Place).

E ELEVATION: adjoining terrace, see separate listing (51 York Place).

S (REAR) ELEVATION: not seen, 1998.

Predominantly plate glass timber sash and case windows. Grey slate M-roof. 2-tier continuous dormers, spanning 4 bays; vertically-boarded top tier, with modern timber and metal railing balustrade over lower tier. Cast-iron rainwater goods. Broached ashlar ridge stacks; coped, with circular cans. Coped skews.

RAILINGS: ashlar copes surmounted by cast-iron railings with spear-headed and urn finials.

Statement of Special Interest

Part of the Edinburgh New Town A Group, a significant surviving part of one of the most important and best preserved examples of urban planning in Britain. Feuing in York Place began in 1793, after Lord Alva sold land to the north east of St Andrew Square to the city.

47 York Place was the home of the great portrait and landscape painter Alexander Nasmyth (1758-1840), and was the birthplace of his son James Nasmyth (1809-90) who invented the steam hammer, in 1839. Alexander Nasmyth set up a school of art at York Place, where his daughters helped him with teaching and organising sketching trips, becoming notable painters themselves, as did his son Patrick (1787-1831) who later painted in England, being called 'the English Hobbema'. The 2-storied attic contained 'a noble and commodious room. There he held his class... A splendid prospect was seen from the upper windows; and especially from the Belvidere [sic], which he had constructed on the summit of the roof. It extended from Stirling in the west to the Bass in the east'.



Smiles, JAMES NASMYTH, ENGINEER, AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY (1883); Gifford, McWilliam and Walker, EDINBURGH (1984), pp332-3; Cooksey, ALEXANDER NASMYTH (1991); McKean, EDINBURGH (1992), pp109-110; MacRae Heritors 19 and 38.

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: 02/07/2022 20:29