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
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NT 26664 73847
326664, 673847


1667-70 with later additions and alterations by James Smith; extensively rennovated and partly incorporated into the Scottish Parliament complex, 1999-2004 (see Notes). Substantial, 3-storey and attic, F-plan mansionhouse. Lime-harled rubble with ashlar dressings. Regular fenestration with raised margins.

PRINCIPAL (N) ELEVATION: Rusticated single-storey entrance hall with blind attic flanked by full-height advanced 2-bay gabled wings with wall-head stacks; in-and-out quoins; round-arched rusticated door surrounds to inner faces.

S ELEVATION: 4-storey, 10-bay with pair of curvilinear wallhead gables and flanked by 3-storey ogee-roofed pavilion towers abutting angles to E and W.

Entire length of ground floor to rear (S) elevation adjoins single-storey Parliament Garden Lobby roof (see Notes).

Pantiled with grey slate to ogee-roofed pavilions. Tall end and ridge stacks. Coped ashlar skews and skewputs. Clay cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: Extensively refurbished with ground floor integrated into Scottish Parliament complex (1999-2004). Timber flooring replaced with steel beams and concrete. Some stonework left exposed including bolection-moulded fireplace surrounds to ground floor. Vaulted arches at ground floor (former kitchen).

Statement of Special Interest

Queensberry House is a significant early grand mansionhouse situated in a key prominent site at the foot of the Royal Mile close to Holyrood Palace. Built in 1667-70 by Margaret Douglas of Balmakelly as a 'Grand Lodging' and modified in 1681 by Charles Maitland of Hatton, this formidable mansionhouse was bought by the 1st Duke of Queensberry in 1686 to provide him with an Edinburgh residence. James Douglas, Earl of Drumlanrig (1697 - 1715) and eldest son of the Duke, roasted and ate a kitchenboy in 1707 on the same night his father signed the Act of Union between England and Scotland. The remains of the bolection-moulded kitchen fireplace where this notorious event took place (now the Parliament's Allowances Office) is perhaps the most notable earlier fabric to remain in situ.

The house was remodelled by renowned architect, James Smith circa 1700 around which time the 2nd Duke of Queensberry added pavilions at each end of the garden front and the rusticated single-storey entrance porch between the wings at the Canongate elevation. The Queensberry family sold the house to the Board of Ordnance in 1801. In 1808 it was remodelled as an army barracks, with the addition of an extra storey, and the gardens replaced with a parade ground. Queensberry House later operated as a House of Refuge and subsequently as a geriatric hospital until 1995. It was returned to its former 3-storey height in 1999-2004 and incorporated into Enrico Miralles' Scottish Parliament complex. The flanking pavilions had their ogee-roofs re-instated and the walls lime-harled. Evidence of a belvedere tower dating from 1679-81 was revealed in the roof structure during analysis. The grey slate was replaced with red-pantiles and shaped gables were added to the S elevation. The structure was strengthened for security reasons using concrete and steel and bomb-proof glazing.

Change of category from B to A in 1998. List description updated at resurvey 2008.



John Slezer's View of Edinburgh (1670-80). The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, 'An Inventory of the Ancient and Historical Monuments of the City of Edinburgh with the 13th report of the Commission- 160-1, No94. John Gifford et al, Buildings of Scotland - Edinburgh, (1991) p217. Charles McKean, Edinburgh - An Illustrated Architectural Guide (1992) p22. T Addyman, 'Queensbury House, Holyrood, City of Edinburgh, 17th-century and later town residence' Discovery Excavation Scotland, 1, (2000) p43-44. Dictionary of Scottish Architects, (accessed 10.05.2007)

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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