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
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Perth And Kinross
Planning Authority
Perth And Kinross
NO 11471 23915
311471, 723915


William Butterfield, 1849, with various later alterations including 1901-1911, JL & FL Pearson (see Notes). Important Gothic cathedral with exceptionally fine interior components. Buttressed and crocketted with transept crossing and clerestorey, with 1908-11 FL Pearson Lady Chapel, Chapterhouse and vestries to SE, linking to 1936 Tarbolton & Ochterlony former school (currently day centre, 2009). Situated on corner site. Squared and stugged sandstone with contrasting smooth margins. High base course, hoodmoulding, decorative parapet. Pilaster buttresses at clerestory breaking eaves. Pointed arched lancet, 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-light Gothic tracery windows. Some rose tracery windows to gables. Tall, spired fleche with open bellcote to crossing.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: EAST ELEVATION (KINNOULL STREET): buttressed, with large 5-light tracery window with small circular window above and Celtic cross to gable apex. Ornate octagonal crocketted clasping corner pinnacles.

To left: lower polygonal-apsed Lady chapel with crocketted finials and trefoil openings piercing parapet. Single-storey vestry corridor links to gabled chapterhouse to left and 1936 extension to far left.

NORTH ELEVATION (ATHOLL STREET): with pointed-arched doorway with central stone mullion and pair of boarded timber entrance doors with decorative metal hinges. Decorative carving to tympanum.

Predominantly stained glass windows or small, leaded glass panes. Grey slates and some leaded roofs.

INTERIOR: (seen 2009). Fine interior decorative scheme. Steeply pitched ceiling with elaborate timber work. Timber wagon roof over chancel. Pointed arches to nave with quatrefoil-plan piers. Crocketted and finialled stone arcaded sedilia to sanctuary walls at E. Rood beam, 1924 Sir Ninian Comper with Crucifixion scene. High altar baldacchino by F L Pearson with statues of saints and biblical scenes. Many stained glass windows.

Lady Chapel with timber vaulted ceiling.

Statement of Special Interest

Place of Worship in use as such. Consecrated in 1850, this was the first cathedral begun in Britain after the Reformation and is important both architecturally and historically. It was begun by the renowned ecclesiastical architect William Butterfield and has undergone a number of alterations and additions. The exterior of the building is Gothic in style and it is an important part of the streetscape in Perth. The interior has a fine ceiling and a number of important and distinctive features.

The building has had a number of building phases, beginning with Butterfield's work in 1849. Only one complete bay of the nave and the three bays of the aisle walls were built at this time. The nave was completed in 1888-90. In 1901-1911, extensive alterations were carried out by FL and JL Pearson. The West end was built and the East end recast with similar octagonal pinnacles. The Lady Chapel was added in 1908-11. Alterations were also made at this time to the interior with new choir stalls, pulpit and high altar, amongst others and including the elaborate baldacchino. John Ninian Comper was one of the most distinguished Gothic church architects of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and he designed a rood screen for the cathedral in 1924. This was removed circa 1985, leaving the beam. The Butterfield reredos is now divided between the vestries. There are a number of high quality stained glass windows.

In 1936, the Edinburgh architects Tarbolton & Ochterlony built a school, adjoining the cathedral to the South. This is now a day centre and offices (2009) and is linked to the cathedral.

William Butterfield (1814-1900) was a major British architect of the 19th century of international repute, whose work is predominantly ecclesiastical. His work is found mainly in England and includes All Saints Margaret Street in London and Keble College in Oxford. In Scotland, he was responsible for the Cathedral of the Isles on the Isle of Cumbrae (see separate listing).

JL and FL Pearson were father and son architects, based in London. John Loughborough Pearson was the architect of Truro Cathedral.

List description updated as part of Perth Burgh Resurvey 2010.



1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map, 1860. John Gifford, Buildings of Scotland: Perth and Kinross, 2007, pf588. Other information courtesy of cathedral staff.

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.

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