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
NO 39983 30352
339983, 730352


Alexander McCulloch and George Jamieson, 1890 (reconstructed 1926 after fire in 1921 ' see Notes). 2-storey, 5-bay, symmetrical, classically-detailed gymnasium. Cream sandstone ashlar. Base course, cill courses to ground and first floor; band course over ground floor lintel; eaves course. Centre and outer bays slightly advanced.

N (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: 2-leaf panelled door with round-headed leaded fanlight to centre within pilastered tripartite doorpiece; round-headed sidelights with small rectangular lights above. Segmental pediment with relief sculpture to tympanum. Large tripartite window above. Tripartites to recessed bays; rounded-headed at 1st floor. Bipartites at ground and 1st floor outer bays. Outer lights of 1st floor centre tripartite keystoned and moulded to top, flanking tripartites keystoned and round-headed, outer bays keystoned with moulded round-headed tripartites.

6-pane timber glazing to ground floor with single top-hoppers, 6-pane top-hopper to 1st floor (12-pane to centre window). Slate roof. Ashlar-coped skews with skewblocks, brick-coped end stack to left. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: the original interior was destroyed in the fire of 1921. 1926 reconstruction includes twin stair to main entrance hall and simple timber panelling.

Statement of Special Interest

Despite later alterations, the facade of this public building is well detailed, including a particularly distinctive carved pediment above the entrance. Built by private subscription at a cost of 2500 pounds, the original imposing tower to the central section of the building, the flanking French roofs and original interiors were all destroyed by fire in 1921. A new building and interior was constructed behind the surviving elements of the principal elevation. Re-opening in 1927, the Ward Road Gymnasium retains its original use as a gymnasium and recreation hall.

The carved stone pediment above the entrance depicts the crowned figure of Mother Dundee seated between two reclining males wearing loose-fitting sporting attire. One carries a dumbbell and the other holds indian clubs, representing the increasing value of gymnastics and physical activity by the late 19th Century.

The original 19th century promotional leaflet for the gym noted that 'leading citizens of Dundee, conceived that a need existed for providing an institution where physical training on the most approved principles could be efficiently given. It has long been felt that sufficient attention has not been devoted to this branch of education and the Committee of Management hope that the youth of the city, and even those of more mature years, will take the opportunity of enjoying healthy exercises which have now been brought within the reach of all'.

Change of Category from B to C and list description updated as part of the sporting buildings thematic study (2012-13).



Evident on 2nd Editiion Ordnance Survey Map (1898). J Gifford, The Buildings Of Scotland - Dundee and Angus (2012) p139-40.

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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