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
NS 59306 65149
259306, 665149


Alexander Skirving, 1889. 4-storey Renaissance

commercial building with domed pavilions to S corners.

Red sandstone ashlar with polished granite base course;

moulded channelling to ground floor; dentilled cornice

at ground, plain 1st floor cornice and main cornice.

S (WILSON STREET) ELEVATION: 11-bay with tripartite corner

feature (see below). Entrance at centre with polished

granite Corinthian columns, keystoned lintel, ornamental

frieze, modillioned cornice with crowning anthemions;

2-leaf panelled door. Subsidiary doorway in penultimate

bay to right, with consoled and corniced doorpiece with

Thomsonesque pediment. Windows in remaining bays.

"The Scottish Legal Life Assurance Society" carved on

frieze. 9 windows to each floor in 2-storey round-arched

arcade at 1st and 2nd floor, with fluted Ionic columns,

masque keystones and carved spandrels; outer bays

flanked by channelled pilaster; Thomsonesque detailed

pediments to 1st floor windows, and to aedicule at

centre; paterae in frieze. 3rd floor windows with

pilastered ingoes; shell ornaments above centre and

outer bays. Lion and unicorn armorial breaking coped

parapet at centre. Domed pavilion to outer right bay

(SE), with fluted columns, pilasters and anthemioned


CORNER (SW): tripartite; chamfered at ground with

pilastered jambs; bowed above from 1st and 4th

pavilioned floor, pilastered to 1st and 2nd floors, with

"Scottish Legal Buildings" incised on frieze. Copper

cupola with ball finial and Baroque oculus; bowed

centrepiece flanked by columned and pilastered

pedimented bays.

W (VIRGINIA STREET) ELEVATION: 10-bay. Simplification of

Wilson Street elevation with broad pediment over central


REAR ELEVATION: line of former attached building evident

with yellow bricks above; red brick classical warehouse

adjoined at ground.

Plate-glass glazing pattern to sash and case windows

predominating, with some small-pane to arched windows

and some 2-pane lower panels.

Statement of Special Interest

Important pioneer as earliest design in red sandstone

for such a large commercial edifice. Distinct

references to Alexander Thomson motifs. Possibly raised

soon after construction, Dean of Guild petition shows

building 1-storey lower with a pointed dome also does

not show N section of Virginia Street, but no subsequent

petitions have been found and it may be that there was

a variation to the scheme in the course of construction

for which either no permission was granted or the

records have been misplaced.



Gomme and Walker 1987, p.262, fig. 253.

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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