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
East Lothian
Planning Authority
East Lothian
NT 51696 73873
351696, 673873


Predominantly 18th century classical hotel building with possible earlier fabric dating to the 16th century; early 19th century castellated tower additions; further 19th and early 20th century alterations; late 20th century extensions to side and rear. 4-storey, complex S-plan layout with projecting round tower prominently sited to the head of the High Street and wrapping around a separate corner building to form single bay elevation to side with Venetian window. Mock painted bull-faced stucco render to main section with smooth rendered painted quoins, smooth painted render elsewhere with projecting cills.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: 7-bay principal (E) elevation facing High Street with large tapering crenellated tower off-set centre and smaller tower to centre left section along Brown Street Lane. Small squared entrance porch to tower re-entrant angle with additional windows to ground and first floor right. Crenulated capped tower with dentilled cornice and pointed arched windows with decorative trefoil astragals. Raised, stone-patterned render to main section with smooth raised quoins smooth painted render elsewhere. Bowed window bays to rear. Two large 2 storey late 20th century extensions, one to N of principal elevation extending to the rear (W) and one to SE rear corner with rounded stair tower together forming a U-plan courtyard to rear (Hardgate).

Predominantly 4 and 12-pane glazing pattern in timber sash and case windows. 6-panel timber entrance door. Slated roofs, pantiles to 20th C sections. Large rendered stacks and one reconstructed ashlar stone stack.

INTERIOR (not seen 2013): ballroom and anteroom designed ensuite with plain Grecian plasterwork of circa 1820. Curved coffered ceiling.

Statement of Special Interest

The George Hotel is a large hotel and former coaching inn with a crenulated tower prominently sited to the E end of Haddington High Street and making a very strong contribution to the streetscape of the town. The current form of the building is largely 18th century although it is believed to have earlier fabric as a building is known to have been on the site in the 16th century.

The building has undergone changes over such an extended period. It was a simple elevation until the early 19th century when the tower was added with the crenulations possible being of a slightly later date. The assembly room section to the S side elevation was added in 1822 incorporating the large tripartite pedimented and arched ballroom window. The bullfaced stucco treatment was added to the principal elevation in the mid 20th century, a practice that was common in East Lothian at the time. The hotel is thought to have a 16th century core as it lies in the heart of the medieval burgh town. In 1764 the hotel was owned by a James Fairbain. It was the original Old Post House and also at some time called The George and Dragon. The hotel was one of the grandest buildings in the town in the 18th century when it boasted piped water to its kitchens. At some point the 20th century it was called the Castle Hotel.

The hotel was a large staging post establishment and could cater for 23 horses and 4 carriages. The former stables for the coaching inn lay to the N of the site returning to the rear to form a courtyard to the rear to Hardgate. These buildings were in a derelict state and demolished circa 1991 to be replaced with a development of a range of flats and storage accommodation.

The 1853 Ordnance Survey Town Plan shows a courtyard to the rear of the hotel enclosed by buildings on Hardgate. The plan names the building the George Inn and marks a boiler to the rear as well as a section of "ruins" suggesting there were much older buildings on the site. The 1893 Town Plan shows the courtyard infilled by a large building which is no longer evident along with the former buildings on Hardgate which were demolished after 1950. It is clear the rear of the site has undergone many changes over time.

High Street is a mixed Georgian street of three and four storeys with earlier fabric evident to some of the houses. The hotel is sited to the head of the street, off centre and wrapped around the corner.

In 1995 a painted panel was discovered and thought to be by the artist "Warrender" between 1720 to 1740, but this is not verified.

Statutory address and list description updated 2013.



1st Edition Ordnance Survey map (1852). C McWilliam, "Buildings of Scotland, Lothian" (1978) p242. D Dick "Street Biographies of the Royal Burgh of Haddington" (1997) p136. "Haddington Royal Burgh, A History and Guide" (1997) p61.

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


There are no images available for this record, you may want to check Canmore for images relating to 91 HIGH STREET, THE GEORGE HOTEL

There are no images available for this record.

Search Canmore

Printed: 02/06/2023 18:58