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
ND 36386 50976
336386, 950976


Circa 1820 with mid 20th century addition. 3-storey, 6-bay, curved tenement (now offices) with concave front elevation. Contrasting coursed dark whinstone and light sandstone dressings. Base course, cill course to 1st and 2nd floors, cornice with plain blocking course above. Regular fenestration.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: near symmetrical N (principal) elevations with 2 doors at ground floor. Convex S elevation with diagonal elevation to SW. Modern addition to E extends Southwards. Curved roof; 2 shallow pyramid roofs and 2 outer half-pyramid roofs with gable wallheads.

Altered openings and replacement plate glass glazing to ground floor. Plate glass timber sash and case windows at 1st and 2nd floors of principal elevation. Grey slate. Raised stone stacks to centre of pyramid roofs; and to gableheads.

Statement of Special Interest

An interesting building due to its curved plan form, the building facilitates the widening of the High Street where the street curves, opening up a public space that formerly contained the market cross.

The building is referred to as Stafford Place in the 1851 Census Return (but not in the 1841 Census) with a draper, grocer and printing works at the ground floor. Family members are mentioned so it is likely that they were accommodated in the upper floors. The Eastern section of the building was formerly the site of the Northern Ensign Newspaper Offices and Printing Works and the owner, William Rae, later purchased the other 2 properties (1883-1884 Valuation Roll). The paper was printed from 1850-1921. When publication ceased, the property was bought by the corn merchant Miller family who then sold it to Caithness County Council in 1965. The council continue to use the building council offices (2001). Alexander Bain, inventor of the fax machine and the electric clock, served part of his apprenticeship as a clockmaker in this building in 1829-30.



1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map, 1872. Census Return, 1851. Valuation Roll 1883-1884. Sasine Abridgement, 1965. Valuation Roll 1965-1966. J Gifford, Buildings of Scotland; Highlands and Islands, (1992), p144. E Beaton, Caithness; An Illustrated Architectural Guide, (1996), p33.

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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Printed: 08/12/2023 23:35