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
Local Authority
Scottish Borders
Planning Authority
Scottish Borders
NT 25259 40443
325259, 640443


John Paris, 1857-9; extensive remodelling, rear hall added; E extension George Washington Browne, 1911; incorporating fagments of late 16th/early17th century fabric. Large 3- and 2-storey complex of civic institution with large frontage to High street and quadrangle with hall to rear. Cream harl with Caen sandstone dressings. Chamfered reveals, ashlar mullions and transoms.

N (HIGH STREET) ELEVATION: 6-bay asymmetrical building with 5-bay extension (1911) to E. Gabled bay to outer left with single windows. Next bay recessed with ground floor infill of 5-light transomed window with stepped blocking course; single windows above, 2nd floor window breaking eaves in gabled dormer-head with blank panel. 3 centre bays with regular fenestration , 2nd floor windows breaking eaves as above; at ground floor broad hood-moulded segmental-arched pend opening flanked by hoodmoulded window to left and single storey bay window with tripartite transom window and stepped blocking course to right; 3 timber dormers; corbelled corner turret with fishscale slating to roof to outer right. Bay to outer right with square projecting tower with single windows and ogival roof over stone bracketted eaves. 1911 extension with shops at ground floor; 1st floor with bipartite transomed windows divided by shallow stone buttresses, crenellated parapet with empty stone niches, mock canon spouts and small bartizan to outer right. Recessed, blank 2nd floor.

S (REAR) ELEVATION: 2 bays to right advanced with cahmfered corner detail surmounted by small turret. Irregular fenestration. Segmetal-arched pend opening with doorway inside, hoodmoulded over inscription 'Chambers Institution'.

E (COURTYARD) ELEVATION: single storey and attic with tall central grooved crowstepped wallhead stack. Small single storey bay window to outer right; 2 large single storey projecting bays with tall parapets and 4-light transomed windows. 2 carved panels set in wall. 7 slanting attic windows with arched heads.

HALL (S COURTYARD) ELEVATION: 5-bay hall with elaborate projecting ashlar entrance to outer right, roll-moulded doorway surmounted by extensively carved foliate and armorial panel; 5-sided turret with swept pyramidal roof set in re-entrant angle with E range above. Ground floor of hall obscured by single storey timber lean-to addition (formerly open loggia). 4 tall segmental-arched keystoned windows above. gable elevations of hall with large semi-circular windows with scrolled hoodmould and radial astragals.

W COURTYARD: war memorial (listed seperately).

Timber sash amd case windows, mostly 2-pane upper sashes and 4-pane lower sashes, some 12-pane glazing, some leaded lights. Slate roofs with metal flashings. Moulded gutterheads.

INTERIOR: interior features include picture gallery with coved, ribbed ceiling with central skylight; long gallery in roof space with braced panelled roof housing 62ft section cast of the Elgin marbles and a complete facsimile of the 'Triumph of Alexander' frieze by the Danish sculptor Bertil Thorvaldsen (1770-1844) and a further galleried exhibition room with timber panelling.

Statement of Special Interest

William Chambers of Dictionary fame, a native of peebles, gave the Institution to the burgh with the purpose of 'social improvement'. It contained a library, reading room art gallery and museum. Before its extensive remodelling the Chambers Institution was known as 'Queensberry Lodging' or 'Dean's House' and the central portion of today's building probably dates from the 16th or 17th century. But only the thickness of the walls and the part vaulted basement of the

central block indicate any antiquity.



RCAHMS INVENTORY No 540. CHAMBERS INSTITUTION PEEBLES, pamphlet compiled and published by Sheila Scott, Peebles, n.d., held at Edinburgh City Library. Charles Strang BERWICK AND BORDERS

RIAS Guide 1994 pp230-31. W Chambers HISTORY OF PEEBLESSHIRE Edinburgh 1864 pp280-83.

About Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). 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 only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing and if a number or name is missing from a listing address it may still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing can also cover structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. 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 Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. 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 current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority advises on the need for listed building consent and they also decide what a listing covers. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at


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Printed: 25/03/2019 22:11