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


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Date Added
Local Authority
Perth And Kinross
Planning Authority
Perth And Kinross
NO 12059 23328
312059, 723328


John Young, 1879-1881; museum extended 1895, George Penrose Kennedy Young of John Young and Son; N end demolished after fire 1987 (see Notes). Well-detailed long range of tall 2-storey and attic, Flemish Renaissance (now, 2008) domestic and business premises with distinctive roof treatment, overlooking River Tay to E and Greyfriars Burial Ground to W. Stugged ashlar, base course, continuous ground floor hoodmould over round arched openings, dividing cill course, eaves cornice and quatrefoil pierced parapet. Segmental arched 1st floor windows, carved doorpieces, engaged columns with carved capitals, crowstepped gabled dormerheads and nepus gables articulate principal entrance bays. Some stone transoms and mullions. Raked cills, label stops, some with animal heads. Deep-set, single and 2-leaf, panelled and cross-braced timber doors under semicircular plate glass fanlights.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: CENTRE BLOCK (FORMER MUSEUM): symmetrical 9-bay centre block (bays grouped 2-5-2) with dominant outer towers. Centre bay with steeply-gabled projecting stone doorpiece with Masonic compass in mandorla on tympanum (see Notes) and carved capitals of small animals peering out of foliage, timber door with brass letterbox marked 'MUSEUM' and round arched dormerheaded attic window. Tower to right also with steeply-gabled doorpiece similar to above, machicolated nepus gable with square-headed window under stepped hoodmould and flanking corbelled 2-stage angle turrets. Tower to left piercing roofline above 1st floor and incorporating 2 windows at ground, corbelled tripartite oriel window at 1st floor, single window and gunloop above, and paired stack to left.

NOS 68 AND 70 (LEFT OF CENTRE): 5 asymmetrical bays (grouped 2-3) immediately to left of centre block comprising slightly projecting 2-storey and attic gabled bays at left with window and door below corbelled, tripartite oriel window and glazed arrowslit in gablehead; bays to right with centre window and flanking doors below regular fenestration, small later dormer to right behind parapet, both ground floor windows bipartite with decorative astragals.

NOS 72 AND 62, 64 (FLANKING OUTER BLOCKS): symmetrically disposed outer bays. Each block with regular fenestration flanking centre entrance bay. 5 bays to No 72 (grouped 2-1-2) at left (S) with arrowslit in stepped and shouldered nepus gable flanked by later set-back dormer windows. 9 bays to Nos 62 and 64 (grouped 4-1-4) at right (N) with columned doorpiece and round headed window below trefoil detail in crowstepped dormerhead. Door to outer right bay.

Plate glass glazing in timber sash and case windows. Grey slates. Coped ashlar stacks with some cans, ashlar-coped skews and gablet crowsteps. Cast iron downpipes with decorative rainwater hoppers and fixings.

Statement of Special Interest

Overlooking the west bank of the River Tay with Kinnoull hill beyond, on a principal Perth thoroughfare, this fine run of high quality later 19th century Flemish Renaissance-inspired architecture is centred around the former Perthshire Natural History Museum, which opened in 1883. An imposing and well-preserved example, by important local architect John Young, the building retains much of its original gravitas and contributes significantly to the streetscape. Built as Moncrieff Natural History Museum, Opera House, studio and boys and girls hall, with Museum at centre. The museum extension was carried out by George Penrose Kennedy Young (born 1858) who was taken into partnership with his father in 1885. Early photographs show the museum interior with a galleried hall incorporating ornate cast iron balustrades and an arcaded top stage with glazed roof. Perthshire Natural History Museum was built for the Perthshire Society of Natural Science, in memory of Sir Thomas Moncrieffe, past president of the Society. The building and collections were given to the Town Council in 1902, and the Tay Street museum was closed in 1934 when the collections were moved to the new Art Gallery and Museum in George Street. The Tay Street museum was subsequently used as a Masonic Hall, hence the Masonic insignia carved on the doorpiece.

John Young travelled widely looking at Opera Houses to inform his design for Perth Opera House. The opening concert was Handel's Messiah, but the company folded after only ten years and the building became a Baptist Church some time around 1893. It continued as such until 1984 when it was destroyed by fire.

Formerly listed as Tay Street 56-72 and 2-6 Canal Street (Baptist Church). 56, 58 and 60 Tay Street and 2-6 Canal Street were all destroyed by fire in 1984 and the site is now occupied by Quayside Court and No 60 Tay Street, 4-storey housing by Ian Burke Associates built in 1987.

List description and statutory address updated at resurvey (2009).



John Gifford, Buildings of Scotland - Perth and Kinross (2007), pp639, 641. Dictionary of Scottish Architects [accessed 27.06.08]. [accessed 31.03.08].

Further information courtesy of Rhoda Fothergill, local historian.

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.

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