Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing 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.


Status: Designated


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Group Category Details
Date Added
Local Authority
West Lothian
Planning Authority
West Lothian
NT 219 77204
300219, 677204


Burgh Halls comprising town house and old county hall, merged 1962, see also Kirkgate, Burgh Halls (former Old County Hall) listed separately.

Town house: John Smith, 1668-1670; restored after fire by Thomas Brown,1848; entrance steps replaced by iron loggia, 1810; steps restored by W Scott, 1906, interior alterations by Rowand Anderson, Kininmonth and Paul, 1962-1963. 2-storey and raised basement, 7-bay, rectangular-plan classical town-house with 6-stage tower at rear. Coursed, cream Kingscavil sandstone, ashlar dressings calcinated due to fire (restored in places) and ashlar to entrance facade. Cill course at 1st and 2nd floors, eaves course, cornice, blocking course. Lugged architraves and pediments to windows and (slightly larger) to doorcase at principal floor. Crown, fleur-de-lis, thistle, and rose in tympani; burgh crest of black greyhound chained to oak tree in entrance tympanum.

S (entrance) elevation: grand double ashlar staircase up to principal floor; stairs with base course, rusticated quoins, balusters and dies, 4 wrought-iron lamp standards; central doorpiece at ground with moulded architrave, cornice flanked by stairs; main entrance flanked by windows 1st; frieze over inscribed 'Destroyed by fire 1847 Restored 1848 Adam Dawson of Bonnytown Provost'.

W (side) elevation: 2-bay. Former entrance to prison at street level, later Fire Station, now blocked as windows, retains former Fire Station sign. Principal floor window left blocked.

E (side) elevation: 2-bay, (single-storey Masonic Hall abutting); window to each bay of principal and 1st floor.

N (rear) elevation: central tower flanked by 3 bays to right, left bays blocked by County Hall. To right, basement round-arched opening now blocked, restored windows at 1st, calcinated above.

Tower: 6-stage; coursed rubble, upper 3 stages coursed and squared; string courses dividing. N facade; square-headed windows to 3rd stage, round-headed in upper stages, clock face to S, E, and W facades. Blocked-up door at 2nd stage of return to right inscribed 'doorway to debtors prison struck out 1792 built up 1812'. Balustraded parapet. Louvred ventilator to roof.

12-pane glazing pattern in sash and case windows. Piended grey slate roof.

Interior: barrel-vaulted basement to left. Good chimneypieces 1st and 2nd floors.

Statement of Special Interest

A Group with former Old County Hall listed separately. In 1650 the old town house was demolished by Cromwell. In November 1667 designs by John Mylne, Master Mason to Kings Charles I and II, for a new town house were approved (facsimiles of original plans and contract in Master Masons). Following his death in December of that year, a new design by John Smith was approved in January 1668. In April 1670 a contract was draw up between the Magistrates of Linlithgow and James Young to quarry stone from Kingscavil for the town house.

The town house illustrated in 'Theatrum Scotiae' is depicted with a staircase to the main entrance at principal floor, a flat roof and balustraded parapet, and the tower surmounted by a steeple and weathervane, added in 1678. The staircase was replaced in 1810 by a iron loggia to give more market accommodation. The town house in 1845 (New Statistical Account) contained the jail, sheriff court-house and town-hall. In 1847 the building was badly damaged by fire and the front was renewed by Thomas Brown. A pitched roof replaced the former flat roof; the balustraded parapet and tower spire were not replaced. In 1857 the clock was erected on the tower by MacKenzie of Glasgow. In 1906 W. Scott replaced the loggia with the present stair. A 1966 photograph of the town house shows a wallhead chimneystack to the W elevation, since removed.

In 1962 the town-house and old county buildings adjoining on the N facade were altered, both buildings converted into a suite of halls for the use of the Burgh.



Slezer, THEATRUM SCOTIAE (1693). NEW STATISTICAL ACCOUNT OF SCOTLAND (Vol 5) p183. George Waldie, A HISTORY OF THE TOWN AND PALACE OF LINLITHGOW (Linlithgow 1879) pp110-113. Francis A Groome, ORDNANCE GAZETEER OF SCOTLAND Vol V (1884). Rev Robert Mylne, MASTER MASONS (Edinburgh 1893) pp240-242. Angus McDonald, LINLITHGOW IN PICTURES (1932). Howard Colvin, A BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF BRITISH ARCHITECTS 1600-1840 (London 1978) p759. C McWilliam, LOTHIAN p291 (1978). LINLITHGOW HERITAGE TRAIL ed Bruce Jamieson. LINLITHGOW, A BRIEF ARCHITECTURAL AND HISTORICAL GUIDE (Linlithgow Civic Trust 1990.

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. 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: 29/05/2020 00:31