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
Planning Authority
NS 79310 93694
279310, 693694


Harry Livingstone, master mason and John Christie Wright, from draft design by Sir William Bruce of Kinross, 1703-5. Gideon Gray, N front extension eastwards by 3 bays, 1785 (See Notes). Richard Crichton, courthouse and jail added to S, 1806-1811. Richard Murphy Architects, 1999-2001, converted to music focused art venue with courtroom as theatre, robing room as bar and old council chamber as restaurant. Shallow U-plan, classical tolbooth with tower, sandstone ashlar. Graded grey slates.

N (BROAD STREET) ELEVATION: 3-storey, 6-bay, ashlar, base course, cill band at 1st and 2nd, eaves band, lugged and moulded architraves to windows. Entrance to right at ground with 6-pane fanlight, windows in each bay to left, regular fenestration above.

Timber sash and case with 12-pane glazing, grey slates, gablehead stack and ridge stack.

NW (TOWER) ELEVATION: 6-stage tower, ashlar with projecting quoins, rubble to W at ground. String course at 1st and 2nd stage (extended from cill band in bays to left). Round-headed arch with decorative surround to N at ground gives access to wide stair leading to 1st floor, empty round-headed niche immediately above set within moulded rectangular surround. Window above with moulded surround, windows in 2 stages above. Timber clock-face in square moulded stone frame in each face of tower below parapet. At final stage moulded cornice with an iron railed parapet enclosing timber belfry with crested swept leaded ogival roof. Louvered opening in each side of belfry, 4 lucarnes to roof, weathercock finial.

W (JAIL WYND) ELEVATION: 8-bay (grouped 3-3-2), 3-storey, ashlar with rubble in 3 bays to left. 3 Windows at ground to left with regular fenestration above. 3 bays to right raised, cill band at 1st, new (2001) entrance in vault and small openings at ground, large windows in each bay above with semicircular windows at 2nd all set in recessed round-arched panels. 2 bays to right raised again forming gable of St John Street elevation. Recessed entrance to left at ground in arched doorpiece, window in each floor above, window to centre at top floor.

Timber sash and case with 12-pane glazing in outer sections, 24-pane glazing to centre.

S (ST JOHN STREET) ELEVATION: 3-storey, 4-bay (5 at ground). Ashlar. Base course, cill band at 1st, string course below eaves, eaves band, projecting cills. 2-leaf door to centre at ground set in recessed round-arched opening, multi-pane semicircular fanlight. Windows in outer bays set in recessed round-arched panels. Regular fenestration above.

Timber sash and case with 12-pane glazing.

INTERIOR: substantial 18th and 19th century interior decoration retained, including following. Ground floor with narrow, vaulted strong room, with cupboards closed with iron doors; small vaulted cell. Tower stair with quadripartite plaster vault and boarded inner door in round-arched, roll-moulded surround. Westmost main room with early 18th century interior scheme, panelled with roll-moulded stone chimneypiece, painted landscape overmantel, framed by fluted Ionic pilasters. E room with panelled dado, chimneypiece and late 18th century scheme. Early 19th century stair to 2nd floor. Small room in tower with roll-moulded chimneypiece. 1st floor courtrom in early 19th century addition lit by 3 tall windows in round-arched recesses; Gibbsian door surround, circa 1865. Ground floor of court house with vaulted rooms (guard house and cells). High coved ceiling to 1st floor justiciary court room. 2 further cells in attic.

Statement of Special Interest

An exceptionally good example of the burgh tolbooth type, rich with detail and historic interest, as described further in TOLBOOTHS AND TOWN-HOUSES. Now converted to Arts Venue.

List description updated as part of the Theatres Thematic Study, 2010.



RCAHMS INVENTORY No 232, C McKean, STIRLING AND THE TROSSACHS (RIAS 1994), p25. TOLBOOTHS AND TOWN-HOUSES, CIVIC ARCHITECTURE IN SCOTLAND TO 1833, RCAHMS (1996). G Stell, 'The Earliest Tolbooths: a preliminary account' PSAS III (1981) pp445-53, notably pp452-3. [accessed 09-04-09].

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. 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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Printed: 29/05/2020 02:13