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.


Group Category Details
100000019 - See Notes
Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NT 25647 73553
325647, 673553


J McIntyre Henry, 1900-1904. 3-storey and basement, 13- x 3- x 6-bay, Edwardian Palladian former County buildings on key, sloping, city centre site, with 3-storey basement at N and abutting Signet Library (see separate listing) at NE. Elevations to N (3-bay, High Street), E (10-bay, Parliament Square) and W (13-bay, George IV Bridge). Ashlar, with channelled rustication to ground. Moulded base course, cornice to ground, band courses, deep dentilled cornice and balustraded parapet with plain panels. Angle Ionic pilasters. 1st storey windows with pedimented Gibbsian surrounds, alternate segmental-arched pediments and balustraded aprons. Raised architraves to 2nd storey windows. Some Venetian windows.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: principle elevation to W with off-centre, 3-bay advanced pedimented fluted Ionic portico to 1st and 2nd floors with balustraded balcony. Central advanced entrance porch with blocked double-Doric columned doorpiece with Doric frieze and segmental-arched pediment with carved tympanum. Round-arched key-stoned doorway with recessed glass and timber swing doors. Slightly advanced, central pedimented section to N.

E elevation with off-centre, advanced 3-bay section with Venetian windows to 1st storey, separated by engaged, double Ionic-columns and with finely carved decorative frieze above (see Notes).

Predominantly 6- over 9-pane timber windows and 6-over 6-pane to top storey. Multi-pane sash and case to Venetian windows. Predominantly flat-roof with later air-vents and rooflights.

INTERIOR: (seen 2007). Lavishly decorated interior with many original features. Marble-pilastered entrance hall with timber columned screen. Wide stair with decorative metal balustrade and timber handrail leading to square, marble-floored upper hall with central viewing well and round-arched arcading with marble Ionic columns and pilasters. Coved ceiling with decorative carved frieze with Classical figures. Large barrel-vaulted room with richly decorative plasterwork to ceiling and dentilled cornice. Corniced walnut panelling with Corinthian pilasters and pedimented doorpiece. Windows with fluted Corinthian pilaster architraves. Other rooms with timber panelling, timber fire surrounds and overmantels. 6-panel timber doors throughout.

BALUSTRADE: low wall to E, S, and W with stone, vase-shaped balusters and stone coping.

Statement of Special Interest

A Group with Nos 2-11 Parliament Square, Advocates' Library, Signet Library, Parliament Hall, 1 Parliament Square, St Giles High Kirk, Charles II Statue, City Chambers, Alexander and Bucephalus Statue, Queensberry Memorial and the Market Cross.

Lothian Chambers is a distinctive, richly decorated key building situated in a prominent site in the city. Richly embellished, externally and internally, it is particularly notable for its pedimented entrance porticos and Gibbsian motifs in the window architraves and door surrounds. Situated at the junction of the High Street, George IV Bridge and Parliament Square, Lothian Chambers is a significant part of the streetscape at the heart of the Old Town. The assured decoration accords with its function as a major civic building. Of particular interest is the lavish Edwardian interior with its abundance of marble, fine plaster and timberwork. The romantic foliate and figurative iron balustrade to the principal staircase is particularly evocative of the period and of exceptional high quality.

The frieze to the E elevation was carved by W Birnie Rhind, a prolific architectural sculptor and has high reliefs depicting Agriculture, Mining and Fishing. The decorative plasterwork to the interior is by A Hunter.

James McIntyre Henry (1852-1929) practised in Edinburgh and had commissions mostly in Edinburgh and the Lothians. His output included public buildings, churches and private houses.

Currently Registrars' Office (2007).

References from previous list description: Academy Architecture 1900 1 and 1905 1

List description revised as part of Edinburgh Holyrood Ward resurvey 2007-08.



Ordnance Survey Map (1905-6). John Gifford, Colin McWilliam and David Walker, The Buildings of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1984. p183.

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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