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.


Group Category Details
100000020 - (see Notes)
Date Added
Local Authority
Dumfries And Galloway
Planning Authority
Dumfries And Galloway
NS 78193 9873
278193, 609873


Mid-18th century. 2-storey 3-bay house incorporating rare bow window to right forming Post Office. Coursed painted rubble with raised base course. Plain raised surrounds with cornice to bowed shop window. Main entrance door to centre with further door to post office to right (NW).

OUTBUILDINGS: various later outbuildings to rear (SW) including former mailroom in mid 18th century 2-storey block. Smaller single storey ranges to rear probably mid 19th century.

Pitched roof; grey slates. Later plate glass in timber sash and case windows with small pane glazing to bowed shopfront. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

Statement of Special Interest

Sanquhar Post Office forms a B-group with 35, 37 High Street, 14-24 High Street and 28-34 High Street (see separate listings). Sanquhar Post Office is a good example of a mid eighteenth century house incorporating a Post Office with a rare example of a bow-fronted shop window. The Post Office is accepted as being the oldest in the world still to be in operation having been founded in 1712.

Bow-fronted shops began to be developed from the mid eighteenth century onwards alongside the rise of more formal shop fascias. They offered superior display space and more light and also made a clear statement that the building in question was a shop of some form and was open for business. Bow fronts were adopted across Scotland by the later eighteenth century and the insertion of the bow front on the Sanquhar Post Office is likely to date from this period. Few examples of bow-fronted shops survive in Scotland, the most notable comparisons to this example being found at 513 Lawnmarket Edinburgh and 8 South Street in Perth (see separate listings).

The Post Office is thought to have been in operation continuously since 1712 when it formed a stopping point for mail runners operating a cross border postal service for local gentry known as the 'Nithsdale cross-post'. The long association of the building as a Post Office has been recognised by the Royal Mail with outgoing mail uniquely franked with 'Sanquhar Dumfriesshire 1712' instead of the days date.

List description updated 2009.



J Gifford, The Buildings of Scotland: Dumfries and Galloway (1996) p. 517; Scotsman Newspaper, 28th September 2005; British postal Museum and Archive, Design proof for Sanquhar Post office date stamp - ref: POST 55/369, 1986; Pollock and McLean Sales particulars, Ref: FC20784, 2009.

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.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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