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.

EDINBURGH CASTLE, PORTCULLIS GATE AND ARGYLE TOWERLB48227

Status: Designated

Documents

There are no additional online documents for this record.

Summary

Category
A
Group Category Details
100000019 - see notes
Date Added
14/12/1970
Local Authority
Edinburgh
Planning Authority
Edinburgh
Burgh
Edinburgh
NGR
NT 25177 73522
Coordinates
325177, 673522

Description

1577-84, possibly incorporating earlier fabric, and Hippolyte Jean Blanc, 1886-7. 16th century entrance tower with barrel-vaulted passage; upper work by Blanc with chequer-set machicolations, coped parapet and crenellated bartizans to NE. Squared rubble to lower section, ashlar to upper. Roll-moulded segmental-arched vaulted entrance flanked by 2 tiers of slim pilasters linked by hoodmould. Moulded string course beneath pedimented Ionic-columned aedicule containing heraldic shield with royal arms (1887); mullets and hearts alternate with tryglyphs to entablature; flanked by carved seated lions. Heavy studded timber boarded door Stone slabs to pitched roof of vaulted room above; timber studded door in round-arched roll-moulded entrance to upper room (accessed from top of Lang Steps), lit by narrow windows; stone slabs to semicircular section adjoining gable.

INTERIOR: ribbed vaulted ceiling. Segmental-arched recesses with stone window seats.

Pyramidally-coped stacks. Cast-iron downpipes with date (1887) and decorative hoppers (lion rampant).

Statement of Special Interest

The A Group comprises Batteries, Foog's Gate, Gatehouse, Governor's House, Great Hall, Lang Stairs, Military Prison, National War Museum, New Barracks, Old Guardhouse, Palace Block, Portcullis Gate, St Margaret's Chapel, Scottish National War Memorial, Telephone Kiosks, United Services Museum and Vaults, all within Edinburgh Castle, and in the Care of Historic Scotland. Built on the instructions of Regent Morton to replace the Constable's Tower, destroyed in siege of 1573 (mullets and hearts are armorial devices of the Douglas family). William McDowell (Master of Work) was paid for construction of the 'inner yet' in 1577. Further work to protect the portcullis was carried out under the direction of William Schaw in 1584, adding 2 upper storeys. Blanc's work, 'in the style of David II,' was paid for by the publisher William Nelson, who hoped that the Honours of Scotland would be housed in the upper room. This upper section is known as the Argyle Tower because the 9th Earl of Argyle was thought to have been imprisoned in a chamber above the Portcullis Gate before his execution in 1685.

References

Bibliography

Grant OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH (1885) ill pp51 and 65. MacGibbon and Ross CASTELLATED AND DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE OF SCOTLAND (1887) vol 1 pp445-63, fig 394. RCAHMS INVENTORY EDINBURGH (1951) pp 1-25. Gifford, McWilliam and Walker EDINBURGH (1984) p 90-91. MacIvor EDINBURGH CASTLE (1993)

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Edinburgh Castle

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Printed: 22/07/2019 00:24