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.


Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NT 26253 72485
326253, 672485


David McArthy, 1909-1916; later additions to rear. 11-bay Edwardian Baroque college building; substantial later additions of 7-storey and basement laboratory tower (Block D) to NW and 4-storey, rectangular-plan animal treatment facility (Block B) to SE by Alan Reiach, Eric Hall and Partners, 1969-1971 (T A Jamieson, project architect; Blyth & Blyth, structural engineers), in New Brutalist style.

1909-1916 COLLEGE BUILDING: 11-bays. 3-storey and basement 3-bay centre pavilion with 2-storey and basement 3-bay wings linked to pedimented single bay outer pavilions. Pink ashlar. Balustraded parapet. Projecting central pavilion with channelled pilasters to corners and mullioned and transomed tripartite windows; entrance and Venetian window to 1st floor flanked by giant Ionic columns bearing segmental pediment; bowed steps to 2-leaf glazed timber-panelled door with sunburst fanlight in blocked round-arched surround with segmental pediment and blocked flanking columns on pedestals. Linking bays divided by giant Ionic columns. Channelled pilaster strips to pedimented outer bays; tripartitie windows with Ionic colonnettes bearing segmental pediments at 1st floor. Stone balustrade to basement area at central pavilion, cast-iron railings to outer wings.

INTERIOR: glazed vestibule (bevelled glass) with 2-leaf timber-panelled glazed door with broken pediment, leading to timber-panelled stair hall. Ionic-columned Imperial staircase with turned balusters and moulded timber handrail; stained glass Venetian window with memorial to William Dick.

Modern glazing.

BLOCK D (1967-1971): 7-storey and basement, square-plan laboratory tower, with chamfered corners, sunken lecture theatre wing on its south-east and a single-storey link to 1916 building to S. Reinforced concrete construction with brick and blockwork infill. Pre-cast concrete spandrel panels, ribs and 'Derbyshire Spar' aggregate panels; compound-coated slate-grey steel (Galbestos) ribbed panels; ceramic facing tiles. Red-coloured tiles to ground and 1st floors. Windows set in reddish pre-cast spandrel panels, continuing on the chamfered corners. Bays articulated by vertical smooth white ribs. Limited fenestration to 6th floor, mostly clad in ribbed compound panels, similar to fascia of link to original building. Interior: laboratories completely refurbished and the remaining original features.

BLOCK B (1967-1971): 4-storey, rectangular-plan extension forming SE wing to original building, enclosing courtyard. Adjoining 1916 building at 3rd and 4th floors with pend entrance to courtyard below.

Enclosed steel bridge links at 1st floor adjoining earlier courtyard buildings to rear. Reinforced concrete construction with brick and blockwork infill. Red-tinted aggregate panels with facing tiles to lower storeys. The stair tower has opaque panels of moulded glass, its sides clad in the reddish ceramic tiles. S (principal) elevation: external stair leading to 1st floor entrance, glazed doors with row of windows set in a timber frame. Continuous bands of timber-framed windows to 2nd and 3rd floors. N (courtyard) elevation: fenestration similar to S, with ground floor windows and a projecting glazed stair. Pend fitted with wrought-iron gates. Interior: plain interiors with some hardwood detailing; relatively unchanged from original. Linking bridge is a later addition.

Statement of Special Interest

The Veterinary College was founded by William Dick (1793-1866), an Aberdeenshire farrier's son, who studied anatomy in Edinburgh, went to the London Veterinary College in 1817, and returned to set up his own veterinary college in Edinburgh. The original premises were on the site of Dick's forge in Clyde Street; the statue of a recumbent horse (by John Rhynd, 1883) in Summerhall Place formerly crowned the building in Clyde Street. Among Dick's students were the founders of veterinary schools in Canada, the USA, Australia and Ireland. The design of the building is significant for the expanse of fenestration appropriate to its function. The College became a faculty of the University of Edinburgh in 1964. Block D is a significant work of late Scottish Modernism, acting as a landmark, rising up at the east end of the Meadows and marks the edge of the University area. It appears to be engaged in a skyline dialogue with the twin towers of George Square. Of these, the Appleton Tower was also by Reiach's practice. Although the red sandstone of the 1916 building may have determined the colour of the cladding slabs, there is no other local precedent informing its striking appearance. The main influence on the building form is the Economist building, in London, by Alison and Peter Smithson (1964). Block B, which is more overtly functional, may also be influenced by the Smithson's sense of rectilinear formality. Its fittings are typical of Scottish institutional buildings of the period.



Dean of Guild 26th December 1912 and 27th February 1913. C H Stewart, THE PAST HUNDRED YEARS: THE BUILDINGS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH (1973) p35. J Gifford, C McWilliam, D Walker, BUILDINGS OF SCOTLAND: EDINBURGH (1984) p243

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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