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 25965 74041
325965, 674041


Archibald Elliot, with Robert Stevenson, 1815-19. Single semicircular-span bridge over Calton Road surmounted by classical screens on either side of Waterloo Place. Droved ashlar with polished voussoirs and polished ashlar to screens. Impost course; archivolt; band course; crowning cornice.

Pair of screens to Waterloo Place with base course, entablature and blocking course. Central semicircular arch with console keystone and archivolt, framed by engaged Corinthian columns; flanking to right and left, lower Ionic colonnade; flanked at outer right and left by advanced section of wall with central blind niche, recessed panel above.

RAILINGS: spear-head finialled cast iron railings set on ashlar copes, running full length of Waterloo Place elevations.

Statement of Special Interest

A Group with Nos 6-20 Waterloo Place, Nos 1-29 Waterloo Place. Waverleygate, Register House and Balmoral Hotel.

The Regent Bridge is of great significance, both as an outstanding feat of civil engineering and as an important architectural element of the Waterloo Place scheme. The bridge, 50 feet high, was the first to span the deep ravine known as Low Calton, enabling the construction of a new access road from Princes Street to the east. The scheme as a whole forms the critical element of the vista up Princes Street towards Calton Hill and the east and creates an impressive entry to Princes Street from the east. The 'triumphal arch' form of the screens is significant as they commemorate the Battle of Waterloo. Their Ionic colonnades also link stylistically to the classical facades of Waterloo Place. Regent Bridge is a major example of the Greek Revival work of Archibald Elliot, one of Edinburgh's leading architects in the early 19th century. On the screen to the North of Waterloo Place is an inscribed panel which reads, 'COMMMENCED IN THE EVER MEMORABLE YEAR 1815. SIR JOHN MAJORIBANKS OF LEES, BARONET, M.P., LORD PROVOST OF THE CITY. ARCHIBALD ELLIOT, ARCHITECT'. Above, is 'THE REGENTS BRIDGE'

The screen to the South of Waterloo Place is inscribed with 'OPENED AUGUST 18TH 1819 FOR THE ENTRY OF HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE LEOPOLD OF SAXE COBURG'.

A plan to form an access to Calton Hill from the east end of Princes Street had been suggested as early as 1790. However, at the time it was thought to be impractical due to the difficulties of gaining permission to disturb the Calton Burying Ground and the expense involved in acquiring and demolishing the properties which stood on the new route. By 1813, two major new developments made the new route a viable necessity. Firstly, in 1811-12, plans had begun to be formed for the construction of the New Town to the east, the centre piece of which was to be a development on the east side of Calton Hill. Secondly, in 1814, an Act was passed which designated the south slopes of Calton Hill as the location of the new national gaol. Access to Calton Hill at this time was circuitous and difficult.

The Acts of 1813 and 1814 appointed commissioners to oversee the construction of the new bridge and road over the Low Calton ravine and instructed the acquisition of the necessary properties and the intersection of the Calton Burying Ground. In January 1815 Robert Stevenson was appointed as engineer for the scheme. By December 1815, Archibald Elliot's designs for the buildings and bridge had been chosen over those of Gillespie Graham and Crichton, and Elliot was appointed as architect for the scheme. Stevenson himself had submitted a report which stressed the desirability of retaining the spectacular views of the city and beyond which would be gained from the bridge. Elliot's final design accorded in part with Stevenson's views; the views to the north and south were retained through the use of an open colonnade above the bridge's principal span. The contract for the bridge was signed in the summer of 1816, and construction duly commenced. It was officially opened during the visit of Prince Leopold of Saxe Coburg in 1819.

References from previous list description: M S Irvine, Historical Notes - The Calton or Caldtoun of Edinburgh, 1631-1887 (Cowan Bequest, Edinburgh Room, Edinburgh Central Library). The Book of the Old Edinburgh Club 1933 pp134-5. I. Nimmo Edinburgh The New Town (1991) pp 63-64.

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



John Wood, Plan of the City of Edinburgh, 1823. A.J. Youngson, The Making Of Classical Edinburgh (1966) pp135-148. T Shepherd Modern Athens (1969). John Gifford, Colin McWilliam and David Walker Edinburgh (1994) pp 442-443. H Colvin Dictionary Of British Architects 1600-1840 (1995) p 339.

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.

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Printed: 02/12/2023 17:37