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 26142 73683
326142, 673683


Late 18th century. Symmetrical, 5-storey 7-bay tenement with commercial premises and public house to ground. Situated on sloping site with wide central stairwell bay with rebuilt wallhead chimney. Coursed, squared rubble with ashlar margins, raised quoins and cills. Partial base course. Central 6-panel timber entrance door to close. Pair of shops to left with timber and glass entrance doors with rectangular fanlights above.

To right, 1891 public house frontage by R Thornton-Sheills & Thomson, with segmental-arched openings. Windows with panelled stallrisers and slender barley-sugar twist mullions. Decorative carved panels. Timber fascia. Dentilled cornice, Decorative carving to spandrels. 8-panel timber entrance doors. Carved Bacchus head consoles.

Predominantly 12-pane timber sash and case windows to upper floors, plate glass to ground. Gable stacks. Slate roof.

Statement of Special Interest

This is a good example of a late 18th century tenement, which survives from the old St Mary's Wynd, previously situated on this site. The design is unusual in having a particularly wide central stairwell. The detailing is simple and typical of the style at the time. The pub frontage at No 3-5 is particularly well-detailed, with a good quality carved design, including figurehead consoles depicting Bacchus, The God of Wine and it is a rare and notable Victorian survivor.

St Mary's Street was formed as part of the first wave of sanitary improvements within the Old Town of Edinburgh. Living conditions in the Old Town declined during the course of the early 19th century as the wealthier residents moved to the more respectable New Town. By 1850, the area had one of the worst slums on Europe. The Town Council decided to begin a Sanitary Improvement Scheme and instituted the 1867 Edinburgh Improvement Act. This involved the large-scale clearance, on health grounds, of 34 selected areas of the Old Town, including the Eastern side of the old St Mary's Wynd. This tenement, situated on the Western side of the road, survived these clearances.

R Thornton Sheills and Thomson were in partnership from around 1877-1896. Thomson practised in Edinburgh before these times when his output was mainly churches and tenement buildings in and around Edinburgh.

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



John Ainslie, Map of Old and New Town of Edinburgh and Leith with the proposed Docks, 1804. John Gifford, Colin McWilliam and David Walker, The Buildings of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1984. p233. L Rosenburg & J Johnson, Conservative Surgery in Old Edinburgh, 1880-1940 in B Edwards & P Jenkins (eds) Edinburgh, The Making of A Capital City, 2005, pf131.

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: 08/12/2021 23:04