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.

Aultbea House (Former Surgeon's House) HMP Perth, 3 Edinburgh Road, PerthLB39328

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Perth And Kinross
Planning Authority
Perth And Kinross
NO 11724 22438
311724, 722438


Built in 1810-12, it is a 3-bay two storey house constructed of roughly squared and coursed whinstone with cream ashlar margins and quoins. There is a simple pilastered doorpiece and bracketed overhanging eaves and a piended slated roof. There is 12-pane glazing to the timber sash and case windows.

Statement of Special Interest

The site of HMP Perth has its origins as The Depôt, Scotland's principal place of internment for French prisoners or war. Designed by Robert Reid as a military prison in 1810-12, it was later chosen as the site for the General Prison for Scotland. Aultbea House is a rare surviving building from Reid's Camp which was reused as the Surgeon's House in Thomas Brown's reworking of the site to form the General Prison at Perth in the 1840s. The Depôt was unique – it was the sole purpose-built site of this scale and type constructed in Scotland. Buildings surviving from this period are therefore exceptionally rare and they tell us much about military architecture and design of the period. The site has been redeveloped since the 1980s and continues in use as a prison, HMP Perth.

The Napoleonic Wars (1803-15) where Britain and France were at war was the reason that the Perth Depôt for French prisoners of war was built. Large numbers of French prisoners were interned in the south of England but this was considered too great a risk for the security of the English ports and it was decided that a number of prisoners should be transferred to Scotland. Built to hold 7,000 men it was designed by Robert Reid (1774-1856; architect and surveyor to the King in Scotland from 1808-40) in 1810-12 as a military prison. The pair of former guardrooms and the former Surgeon's House are the principal survivors on the site of the former prisoner of war complex.

Category changed from B to A, statutory address, listed building record revised in 2015 as part of the Scottish Prison Service Listing Review 2014-15. Previously listed as 'Former Governor's House, 5 North Square'.



Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland: CANMORE ID 244662

Ordnance Survey (surveyed 1860, published 1863) Large scale town plan, Perth XCVIII.9.4. Scale 1:500. London: Ordnance Survey. [accessed 12/02/2015]

Joy Cameron (1983) Prisons and Punishment in Scotland Edinburgh: Canongate

John Gifford (2007) Perth and Kinross: The Buildings of Scotland New Haven and London: Yale University Press p.605-608.

Dictionary of Scottish Architects. Thomas Brown II at [accessed 12/02/2015]

National Records of Scotland, Architectural Drawings of Perth Prison, RHP9270.

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: 17/02/2019 15:35