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 25531 73986
325531, 673986


W Hamilton Beattie, 1893-5; N extension A R Scott, 1903. Massive early Renaissance 6-storey and attic department store with canted 7-storey corner tower, built on ground falling to S; tower culminating in octagon with flying buttresses and oculi. Pink polished sandstone ashlar. All embracing strapwork detailing; paired columns and cornices framing windows, replaced by caryatids at 1st floor of corner (also to flying buttresses). Arcaded ground floor with plate glass shop windows. Ashlar mullions and transoms to 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors, mullions at 4th. Arched windows to 5th floor, mostly paired, many set in swan-neck pedimented aedicules. Strapwork balustrading to 1st and 3rd floors, carved aprons to 2nd and 4th, open balustrade to 5th. Total of 6 flagpoles.

S (PRINCES STREET) ELEVATION: 5-bay; pedimented door at centre. 2 left bays slightly advanced with swan-necked pediment supported by consoles and caryatids; dormer to centre bay; right bay part of tower.

E (SOUTH ST DAVID STREET) ELEVATION: largely symmetrical 16-bay; tower to S, and simplified 6-storey version to N. Centre bays united by overlaid aedicules rising through attic, pedimented door at ground; flanking wings with solid projecting parapeted towers at centre which disguise level changes, with aedicules to each floor (strapwork cresting progressively transforming into pediments).

N (ROSE STREET) ELEVATION: 6-bay trabeated facade, stripped of all ornament, except initial bay which blends into corner tower. Channelled pilasters at ground, giant order pilasters to 1st/2nd and 3rd/4th floors, bipartite windows, pedimented dormers. Flying links to W (over entrance to Rose Street Lane South).

Plate glass casement windows to 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors; 12-pane timber sash and case to 4th, plate glass timber sash and case to 5th. Grey slates.

INTERIOR: fire-proof; steel-beams carried on iron columns support floors of 2-3 inch thick Stuart?s Granolithic. Elaborate strapwork timber stair from ground floor at S leads to magnificent 3-storey top-lit Saloon rising full height of building with open timber Queen-post roof and consoled galleries; further strapwork stairs to

1st floor. Remainder of interior mostly upgraded to modern retail use.

Statement of Special Interest

Details from many sources, including, at Charles Jenner's insistence, the Bodleian Library; the caryatids were intended, in Jenner's words, 'to show symbolically that women are the support of the house'. The first shop was opened on the 1st May 1838 by Charles Jenner and Charles Kennington in converted houses on the present site; these burnt down on the night of the 26th November 1892, with the loss of buildings and goods valued at a quarter of a million pounds. The present fireproofed replacement was one of the largest department stores in Britain when it was opened on the 8th March 1895, is one of the last privately owned independent stores left in Britain, and apparently the oldest in the world. Major restoration to stonework, 1995-6. The 6 N bays were added in perfect harmony by Beattie's partner Scott in 1903. Extended to W in 1966 by Tarbolton & Ochterlony, to sympathise with their Mount Royal hotel beyond, of 1955. Single fine Gothic streetlight survives to South St David Street, in form of octagonal column with subsidiary ventilator columns at ground; bracket lamp at top (globe missing).



BUILDER 10 January 1903. Gifford, McWilliam and Walker EDINBURGH (1988) p311. Fiona Sinclair SCOTSTYLE: 150 YEARS OF SCOTTISH ARCHITECTURE (1984) pp60-61. Store history.

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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