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
NT 27072 74330
327072, 674330


Robert Wilson, 1880 and 1894 with later additions. Asymmetrical 2-storey (3 storeys to rear) school building the gothic detailing to N; later, plainer 3-storey T-plan school building to S with original swimming pool; 2-storey polygonal janitor's house to SW. Squared and snecked stugged sandstone with polished dressings.

ORIGINAL (1880) BUILDING: five 2- and 3-bay sections, stepped in plan. Cream sandstone. Advanced basecourse; string course passing over down-pipes; eaves cornice. Chamfered corners to all openings; pointed arches to all ground floor openings to N and all 1st floor openings to S.

N (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: 3-bay entrance block to outer left: timber panelled door to right with plate glass fanlight; School Board carved roundel in gablet breaking eaves. Advanced 3-bay gabled section with 2-bay returns to right; triple lancet windows to 1st floor. Regular fenestration to other sections. Block to outer right obscured at ground by gabled single-storey early twentieth century extension.

S ELEVATION: 3-storey, with 4-storey block to outer right. Playsheds to ground of 2 centre blocks; bays divided by cast-iron columns. Gablet-headed dormers breaking eaves to upper floor. Advanced 3-bay gable to penultimate right, lancet windows to upper floor. Corbelled bracket at gable-head for bell-gable. Ground floor to outer right obscured by modern extension.

Predominantly 6-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows. Grey slate. Stone skews with kneelered skewputts. Polygonal, shouldered stacks without cans.

LATER (1894) BLOCK: red sandstone.

SW (FRONT) ELEVATION: 4 bays with 2 forward-facing finialled gables to centre. Bipartite windows to outer left; segmental-arched dormer-head breaking eaves to 2nd floor. Arched window flanked by rectangular windows to 2nd floor of centre-left bay. Regular fenestration elsewhere.

OTHER ELEVATIONS: fairly regular fenestration to other elevations. Some bipartite windows; single dormers breaking eaves to NE and NW. Tall chimney and modern ground-floor extensions to NE.

Small-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows. Graded grey slates; ashlar coped skews. Corniced stacks with circular cans. Cast-iron down-pipes.

INTERIORS: plain classrooms with simple moulded cornice to ceilings and some boarded timber panelling. SWIMMING POOL: in basement of 1894 building. Steel girder ceiling; some white tiles to dado, painted brick above. Fairly modern tiles to pool. Communal sunken tiled shower adjacent to NW. Original changing cubicles to SW with hooks and benches.

JANITOR'S HOUSE: eaves course, string course passing over down pipes, base course. Timber panelled door. Regular fenestration, gablet headed dormers with modern glazing. Grey slates. Tall shouldered stacks. Cast-iron down-pipes.

BOUNDARY WALLS, RAILINGS, AND GATEPIERS: random rubble boundary wall, coped ashlar gate piers, plain cast-iron gates and railings.

Statement of Special Interest

The Scottish School Boards were established following the 1872 Education Act (Scotland) which made it compulsory for all children between the ages of 5 and 13 to receive an education. This necessitated the building of a number of new schools in Edinburgh, and between 1872 and 1889 twenty new schools were built. The Board architect was Robert Wilson who designed these early schools in a simple gothic style that included a number of uniform features: multi-gabled building with stepped plan, belfry, pointed openings with chamfered corners, shouldered chimney stacks, and a circular relief, to the design of William Brodie, depicting a female (Education) assisting a child with a task with a globe nearby. The earlier block at Abbeyhill contains all these features. The second building, also designed by Wilson is plainer, but demonstrates important changes in the curriculum. It contained a classroom for practical cookery and manual tuition, and a small swimming pool - the second of four to be built in Edinburgh schools during the 1890s (the other 3 were at Sciennes, Bruntsfield and Broughton). The pool has lost its original tiles, but is still used by a number of Edinburgh schools. It is interesting to note that the pool has always been heated.



Dean of Guild Drawings, early 1880 and 2nd August 1894. THE BUILDER, Jan 27th, 1894, p75 (notice of intention to build second block). 1880 block appears on 1896 OS map. James Grant OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH, Vol III, p128. W.M. Stephen, FABRIC & FUNCTION: A CENTURY OF SCHOOL BUILDING IN EDINBURGH.

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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