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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Date Added
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NO 71370 57674
371370, 757674


J Lindsay Grant, 1905. Large 2-storey, asymmetrical plan public library building. Free Renaissance and Scots Baronial. Red sandstone, fine droved ashlar to front, bull-faced to rear, ashlar dressings. Deep, coped base course, cornice at eaves. Architraved margins, stone mullions and transoms, splayed and moulded arrises on principal elevations, lugged and battered cills on ground floor.

E (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: main 5-bay block to right, single bay gabled entrance section to centre, octagonal corner tower to left and set back. Main block; centre bay advanced, quoins, 8-light window at ground, carved panel above inscribed 'Public Library' framed by festoons, 2 bays flanking with 4-light windows, keystoned and pedimented heads. 12-light window to centre at 1st floor, bordered by swags, 2 bays flanking with 6-light windows. Pedimented wallhead to centre, carved armorial panel in tympanum. Entrance bay; set back, large round-arch doorpiece, framed by Ionic pilasters supporting dentil cornice and pediment, carving in tympanum representing Burgh Arms, doorpiece slightly advanced in segmentally corniced projection, arch glazed with lead lights and stained glass, 2-leaf panelled and glazed inner doors. 8-light window at 1st floor, blinded and pedimented slit window in gablehead. Corner tower to left; set in re-entrant angle, 2 faces exposed, slit windows at ground, single windows at 1st floor, bordered by swags.

S ELEVATION: 3 gable ends with exposed basement on falling ground to left (W). Bay to right; 4-light window to basement, large 16-light window lighting staircase at ground and 1st floors. Bay to centre; 3-light window to basement and 12-light window at ground floor in canted bay, balustrade. 6-light window at 1st floor, slit window to left, 2 slit windows off-set to right, 3-light window in gable, round-arch panel in gablehead, pedimented at apex. Corbelled round-section tower in re-entrant angle at 1st floor, to left, slit window, lead covered ogee roof. 5-step flight to lugged and architraved doorway in return beneath tower. Bay to left; advanced, splayed corner to right with window at basement and ground floor, window to left lighting stair case, corbelled 1st floor Venetian window to centre.

N ELEVATION: 2 storey gable ended section to left, single storey section to right, set back to extreme right. 2-storey section, 2 4-light windows at ground, small single window to right, 12-light canted window at 1st floor, set in deep moulded architrave, corniced head with brackets and swags, blinded and pedimented slit window in gablehead. 2-bay single storey section to right; bull-faced sandstone, 2 6-light windows with small carved pediments above heads (see Notes). Bay to right; set back, 2 4-light windows.

W ELEVATION: 2-storey section to right advanced, that to left with advanced single storey section, 2-storey section set back forming L-plan. That to right; 2 bipartites and 1 single window in basement, window above, 6-light window to left at ground, 4-light window to centre, corbelled and canted 3-light oriel window to centre at 1st floor and breaking eaves, parapet. Single windows flanking with gable heads breaking eaves. N facing elevation; 1st floor above flat roof, 2 bipartite windows and single window to left at 1st floor, single window in gablehead. Flat-roofed single storey section to left; canted and advanced, stone coped parapet wallhead, 10-light window to centre, 6-light window to right, 8-light window in return to N. 2-storey block set back; 12-light window to centre, small window to right.

Leaded lights to High Street elevations and public rooms, timber sash and case windows to private rooms with 4 and 6-pane upper lights and plate glass lower lights. Graded, grey slate pitched roofs, decorative terracotta ridge tiles, corniced ashlar gablehead stack to SE, breaking pitch to S and on gablehead to NW. Large painted bellcote to centre of E ridge, square decorated base. 4 round-arch louvred openings with keystones, paired Doric corner columns, open pediments, corniced lead domed roof with mast and ball finial. Deep stone skews, scroll skew putts to High Street elevation, stone ball finials to N and above entrance. Lead cap to octagonal tower roof and ornate wrought-iron weather vane. Mast and ball finial to ogee roof of round section tower.

INTERIOR: excellent, largely intact interior, re-furbished circa 1980 with only limited alterations. Hexagonal entrance hall, black and white marble floor. Originally Ladies, Children's, Reading, Reference, Lending and Workrooms on ground floor. Arched colonnade ground floor, timber Ionic pilasters in pitch pine, some arches glazed with glazed doors as access to rooms. Plasterwork and corniced ceilings intact. Part glazed tile walls below dado, green in public rooms, red in hall and staircase. Timber panelled desk. Main staircase; stone steps, ornate heavy oak balustrade, Mosaic floor on 1st floor landing. Timber panelled internal doors, glazed to Recreation Room on 1st floor, barrel vaulted ceiling. Window on staircase with stained glass upper lights depicting the arms of the Burgh, 2 mermaids supported by 2 wreaths of roses, below which are the mottos "The Sea Enriches" and "The Rose Adorns". 1st floor Librarian's flat converted into offices. Arts and crafts style brass window furniture survives.

BOUNDARY WALLS: stone dwarf wall to High Street elevation, coped boundary walls to garden at rear.

Statement of Special Interest

Built on site of 1688 mansion once used as an Episcopalian meeting house, two carved stones from which are incorporated above windows on N elevation, now much eroded. Dr Andrew Carnegie, in 1902, promised ?7,500 for the erection of a library. Architect decided by competition, won by J Lindsay Grant on the 24.4.1903. L Grant was born and educated in Edinburgh. Originally trained as an engineer he then studied architecture under Hippolyte J Blanc and R Rowand Anderson amongst others. The Reading Rooms were opened on 5.7.1905 and the Library on 19.10.1905. The carving above the entrance was executed by Messrs. Earp, Hobbs and Millar of London and Manchester. The Mason was J A Ford. The cost exceeded ?7,500 and the building was originally known as the "Carnegie Free Library". The design included low pressure hot water heating and two electric fan ventilators, one above the Lending Library and one above the Recreation Room. They allowed for a change of air every 15 mins. A ventilator duct of 3'6" diameter exhausted through the fleche.



Edward Pinnington, MONTROSE PUBLIC LIBRARY, 1905.

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.

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Printed: 23/05/2019 22:10