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Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.


Status: Designated


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  • Category: A
  • Group Category Details: A - See Notes
  • Date Added: 09/01/1987


  • Local Authority: Edinburgh
  • Planning Authority: Edinburgh
  • Burgh: Edinburgh

National Grid Reference

  • NGRNT 26844 76648
  • Coordinates326844, 676648


John Rennie and John Patterson, 1800-1806; centre stack completed for Carron Company by Thomas Brown, 1820; 7 W bays (Bond 42) with later stone attic; sundry subsequent additions and alterations; facade to Dock Place (and presumably alterations to 3 E bays) by Archibald Thomson, 1882.

Unusually long, 35-bay 4-storey and attic warehouse; offices at far E end. Squared and coursed rubble, ashlar dressings and band courses between floors; irregular ashlar facing to N at ground; segmental-arched openings, mostly iron-barred, some blocked, some with louvred timber doors. Brick groin-vaulted basement to Bond 42, and to ground floor of rest of block. Low parapets conceal roofs; later stone attic storey to Bond 42. N elevation to docks similarly detailed.

13-15 DOCK PLACE ELEVATIONS: symmetrical 3-storey and attic 5-bay rendered gable end, framed by rusticated pilasters on panelled pedestals; heavily panelled 2-leaf door with rectangular fanlight at centre at ground; moulded architraves to ground and 1st floors; lintel course at ground, cill course to 2nd floor, band course at cornice level. Attic windows in raised wallhead, stepping up at centre to incorporate 3 blind panels; centre window blind; oval plaques flank outer bays with initials WR and BT; moulded cornice. 3 flag poles at centre of attic.

3-storey 3-bay stone-cleaned returns; ground and 1st floor created out of 1st 3 storeys of warehouse; string courses and top floor fenestration retained. Architraves to lower floors, bipartite window to ground to W. Pairs of modern gableheaded dormers. To N pair of panelled doors at centre and extra fenestration. Timber sash and case windows.

WAREHOUSES: 32 bays arranged from E in block of 7, 5, 7, 6 and 7 bays, with wallheads between; gabled dormer openings and crane hoists to each block. E block converted to offices at ground. 2nd block built for the Carron Company, with closer spaced bays and pedimented hoists; tripartite doorway survives to Commercial Street; painted legend CARRON COMPANY LTD WAREHOUSE still discernible to docks. Centre block with 2 piend-roofed dormers. W block with raised attic and applied iron lettering: MACDONALD & MUIR BONDED STORES and, in italics, 'HIGHLAND QUEEN'.

5-bay W (end) elevation with 3 windows to attic.

Ashlar coped skews. Grey slates.

INTERIORS: brick groin-vaults at ground supported on stone piers; flanked by access barrel-vaults. Combination of timber post and beam ashlar and cast-iron supports for upper floors. Bond 42 and Carron Warehouse with some ashlar piers and saddles rising full height of building; Carron warehouse with cast-iron Doric columns.

GATEPIERS: giant chamfered square ashlar piers at E approach, flanking entrance to Dock Place, with cornice and ball finials. Paired with those at former lock to N.

Statement of Special Interest

A Group with West Warehouses (see separate listing). The East dock was built from 1800-06 and the W dock from 1810-1817, to the designs of John Rennie. The warehouses are of national importance as the only dockside development comparable to Rennie's London Docks 1802-5 (demolished in the 1970's), and with the West India Docks of 1802-3 are the oldest surviving regular range of multi-storey harbour warehouses in Britain. The next regular multi-storey dock warhehouses outside London were Albert Dock, Liverpool, in the 1840's, and in Scotland the quite different James Watt Dock, Greenock of 1886.

London Dock warehouses were also 4-storey timber-framed with vaults beneath the quays for wines and spirits, groined at the centres and barrel-vaulted for strength at the ends. The vaults were on similar stone piers that differ slightly in the degree of chamfering at the capitals. The exteriors were brick with band and blocking courses concealing the roofs. Hoists were at 3rd, 5th, 8th, and 10th bays of each block. The external regularity of the Leith warehouses being compromised by delays in completion and by infilling of the gaps in slightly different styles.

The Carron warehouse may be the oldest use of cast-iron in a warehouse in Scotland (though already being employed in textile mills). It is also the oldest surviving building appertaining to Scotland's most important company of the industrial revolution period.

14 Dock Place was redesigned in 1882 to house the Leith Navigation School, which stayed at this site until moving to its purpose built premises on Commercial Street (see separate listing).



SRO RHP 44614 (Carron Warehouse). Gifford EDINBURGH (1988) p479. RIAS Guide EDINBURGH (1992) p221. 1813 Map of Leith. Kirkwood's Map 1817. Thomson's Map 1825. F Groome ORDNANCE GAZETTEER IV (1895) p485-487. John Hume THE INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY OF SCOTLAND I (1976). NELP/GLC DOCKLAND ed. RJM Carr (1986) pp21-30, 38-9, 197-8. James S Marshall THE LIFE AND TIMES OF LEITH Edinburgh (1985) p114.

About Designations

Listed Buildings

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest and these are selected according to criteria published in the, Annex 2, pp74-76.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

Enquiries relating to works to listed buildings should be made to the local authority in the first instance. Listed building consent is required for works which a local authority considers will affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest and local authorities also decide if listed building consent is required.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The local authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. For information about curtilage see

Legislation introduced on 1 October 2015 allows us to state that: an object or structure fixed to the listed building; any object or structure within the curtilage of the listed building; and, any part or feature of the listed building that is not of architectural or historic interest may be excluded from a listing. If part of your building is not listed under the new legislation, the part will be excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. 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 current legislation.

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