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

90, 92 and 94 (Former Guildry Buildings), High Street, ArbroathLB21173

Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NO 64332 40916
364332, 740916


William Scott, 1880-81 (dated 1881). 3-storey, 3-bay, symmetrical, Renaissance, former guild hall. Ashlar with channelled quoins and scrolled, bracketed cills. Round arched tripartite windows at first floor with pilastered and keystoned surrounds. Shallow arched tripartite windows at second floor. Deep modillioned cornice. Parapet with carved wheel motif and triangular pediment at centre with round window. Central entrance with pilastered and corniced doorpiece incorporating shell niche with bust to keystone above door. Central round arched first floor window flanked by channelled pilasters supporting carved semi-circular pediment. Above is a shallow arched niche with figurative sculpture of Arbroath Guildry Incorporation crest and inscription 'Founded A.D. 1725 Rebuilt 1881'. Altered ground floor shops flanking entrance door.

Plate glass in timber sash and case windows. Corniced ashlar stacks and clay cans.

The interior, seen in 2014, has been modified for use as court house, including witness accommodation and a jury room. There is a decorative coombed plaster ceiling (substantially repaired circa 2000) to the first floor former guildry meeting room (now courtroom). Timber panelled window architraves and panelled timber doors. Curved stone staircase to rear.

Statement of Special Interest

Designed by William Smith, an Arbroath architect and builder, in 1880-1, as a guild hall, No. 90-94 High Street, Arbroath is a rare and good surviving example of a purpose built guild hall. Purpose built guild halls are a rare building type as many guilds would have had meeting rooms in other buildings, such as that at Montrose which had a hall in the town house. No. 90-94 High Street has significant streetscape presence in Arbroath town centre because of its symmetrical design and wealth of good stonework detailing to the principal elevation. This detailing includes a decorative doorpiece, pilastered and keystoned windows and a sculpture panel of the Arbroath Guildry Incorporation's crest, which indicates the building's original function.

The Arbroath Guildry was incorporated in 1725 as a result of a agreement made by the Town Council with the town's merchants regarding the building of a new harbour to improve trade. At that time, the Guildry comprised the town's principal merchants as well as other prominent citizens who became members so their subscriptions could help with the harbour costs. Circa 1780 a guild hall (or guildry building), with a meeting room and a variety of offices, was constructed on the High Street site. This building was also used by burgh officials until a new town house (see separate listing) was completed in 1808. In 1880-1 the Guildry building was rebuilt by William Scott following a fire.

William Scott (circa 1831-1884) was initially a builder and later architect in Arbroath. He was Inspector of Harbour Works and architect to the School Board and in the capacity he was responsible for a number of schools in Arbroath.

In 2000 the Scottish Court Service purchased the guildry building and connected it internally to the adjacent 1808 former town house. As part of this renovation work the interior of the guildry building was substantially refurbished to provide an additional courtroom, and increase witness, sheriff, jury and office accommodation. The ceiling in courtroom 2 has been substantially repaired, having been covered by a suspended ceiling and when uncovered it was found to be badly damaged. Etched glass panels were relocated to the former town house at this time. The building reopened in June 2001.

Re-categorised from a 'B for Group' listing to a category C(S) listing in 2006 as part of the phasing out of the 'B for Group' category. Category C(S) subsequently revised to category C on 3 September 2012. Statutory address and listed building record revised as part of the Scottish Courts Listing Review 2014-15. Previously listed as 'Nos. 90, 92 and 94, High Street, Guildry Buildings'.



New Statistical Account (1833) Account of 1834-45: Arbroath, County of Forfar

vol.11 p.81.

Wood, John (1822) Plan of the Town of Arbroath from actual survey. Edinburgh: T. Brown.

Dundee Courier (11 October 1980).

Dundee Evening Telegraph (7 December 1880) Arbroath: New Guildry Buildings.

Arbroath Guildry at [accessed 6 January 2015].

Gifford, J (2012) The Buildings of Scotland: Dundee and Angus. Edinburgh: Yale. p.326.

Dictionary of Scottish Architects. Guildry Buildings at [accessed 22 January 2015].

Further information courtesy of Scottish Courts Service (2014).

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.

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Nos. 90, 92 and 94 High Street (Former Guildry Buildings) Arbroath, principal elevation, looking west, during daytime on an overcast day.
Interior of courtroom two, (Former Guildry meeting room).

Printed: 01/12/2022 16:51