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
NT 26017 74672
326017, 674672


1790-1800. 3-bay, 2-storey basement and attic symmetrical semi-detached villa. Droved ashlar (rock-faced with droved margins to basement, coursed rubble with droved margins to side and rear). Dividing band between basement and ground floor; cill course to ground floor; eaves cornice; blocking course. Long and short quoins (raised and lightly broached to principal elevation, flush and droved to side and rear elevations). Regular fenestration; architraved windows to ground floor.

NE (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: to centre, steps and platt oversailing basement recess leading to timber-panelled door with 2-light letterbox fanlight in cavetto-framed opening; doorpiece with rosettes and pilasters. 3 dormer windows to roof.

SW (REAR) ELEVATION: timber-panelled door with letterbox fanlight and small side window to centre bay. To left bay, tripartite windows to upper floors. 3 dormer windows to roof.

GLAZING etc: predominantly 12-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows; 4-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows to outer dormers to front and centre dormer to rear (6-pane glazing to central dormer to front; 16-pane glazing to outer dormers to rear). Flat roofs and lead haffits to front dormers; grey slate haffits and piend roofs to rear dormers. Pitched roof; graded grey slates; stone skews and skewputts. Corniced, droved, gablehead stack with circular cans to both gables.

RAILINGS: spear-head and urn finialled cast iron railings edging basement, steps and platt to front elevation (set in ashlar copes to basement edge). Ashlar copes surmounted by plain railings to rear.

GARDEN WALL: to rear, separating garden of No 7 Gayfield Square and No 8 Gayfield Square, high random rubble wall with flat stone coping.

Statement of Special Interest

The simple elegance of this small house emphasises its importance as an early example of the semi-detached suburban villa in Edinburgh. It also has streetscape and historical value as an element of the Gayfield estate development.

It is possible that 7 Gayfield Square was designed by the architect Alexander Laing; an advert in the Edinburgh Evening Courant in 1791 proclaimed that Laing was selling a villa in Gayfield Square, but did not specify which one. In 1820, Laing himself was living at 6 Gayfield Square (see separate List description). It therefore seems likely that Laing designed at least one, and possibly all, of the villas on the south side of Gayfield Square.

7 Gayfield Square forms part of the Gayfield Estate, so called because it stands on the former grounds of Gayfield House (East London Street; 1763-5, still extant; separately listed Category A). These lands were feued by the solicitor James Jollie from 1783. Building began on either side of the drive to the house; the building line on the SW of Gayfield Square follows the line of the drive. These developments began to establish the form of Gayfield Square, which forms the heart of the estate. It was part of Jollie's plan from the beginning that this should be so; in January 1783 he advertised that the Gayfield grounds were to be feued for building purposes 'according to a plan.' His advertisment promised prospective feuars 'remarkably pleasant' rustic situation and 'uncommonly beautiful views' in addition to 'the privilege of the area of the square'. Sasines record that '..the area of Gayfield Place [is] to remain an open space for all time coming.'



Advert in EDINBURGH EVENING COURANT, 4th August, 1791. Sasines, S.R.O. Ainslie's map, 1804. P.O. Directory, 1820. Edinburgh City Archive, Dean of Guild, 31st May 1820. O.S. Map, 1852. OEC, Vol.XXIV, pp250-1. I. Lindsay, GEORGIAN EDINBURGH, (1973), pp58-59. Gifford, McWilliam and Walker, EDINBURGH, (1991) p 427.

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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Printed: 07/08/2022 17:18