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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
  • Date Added: 14/12/1970


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

National Grid Reference

  • NGRNT 26991 76086
  • Coordinates326991, 676086


Thomas Brown, 1816-18, incorporating earlier fabric. 2-storey 3-bay symmetrical classical house with single storey pavilions, vaulted 16th century basement. Cream sandstone, polished ashlar to ground floor with droved ashlar to 1st floor and pavilions, coursed and squared rubble to rear and sides. Base course; rusticated ground floor; band course above ground floor; moulded cill course at 1st floor; 1st floor windows architraved with console brackets and pediments; paired Ionic angle pilasters; entablature and blocking course.

E (FRONT) ELEVATION: fluted Greek Doric porch to centre with paired columns and piers behind, dentilled cornice and balustraded parapet, segmental-arched tripartite doorpiece with 2-leaf panelled door, radial astragals to fanlight; at 1st floor above large tripartite window with Ionic columnar mullions and large semi-circular fanlight with radial astragals, paired Ionic columns flanking carrying frieze with gilded inscription 'REBUILT IN 1816, JOHN HAY Esq MASTER', pediment above with arms of Trinity House. Outer bays with single windows to ground and 1st floor. Single storey 3-bay flat-roofed pavilions (to right roofless) with slightly advanced bay to centre with blind round-arched niche, solid parapet bearing blank panel above, small (blocked) windows with blank ashlar panels above flanking, balustraded parapet above.

W (REAR) ELEVATION: 2-storey 5-sided canted stair projection to centre with half-piend roof and single window to central face; 2 tall windows flanking in outer bays.

S ELEVATION: blank; pavilion at ground floor with stone dated 1555 and inscribed embedded in end wall; eaves band and short central wallhead stack.

N ELEVATION: as S elevation (minus 16th century stone).

12-pane timber sash and case windows. Black slate piend and platform roof with lead flashings, 2 wallhead stacks (see above). Ornamental gutterheads.

INTERIOR: vestibule with wall chart fittings; broad tripartite inner door with marbled and gilded Doric columns and elaborate segmental-arched fanlight. Master's room to right with black marble chimney piece with cast-iron surround with unusual relief castings (allegedly moved from previous building). Geometric Imperial staircase with stained glass war memorial window (J R Cook, 1933). Whole of 1st floor taken up by Convening Room, elaborate deeply cut painted plaster ceiling, frieze and ceiling on nautical theme; unusual painted murals to corners; black marble fireplace; fluted and carved surround to Venetian window.

BOUNDARY WALLS, GATES, GATEPIERS AND RAILINGS: tall rubble boundary walls with flat ashlar coping enclosing courtyard, depressed-arched doorway to S with re-used pediment with anchor, inscription (re-cut 1883) and dated 1570, decorative cast-iron cage gatepiers, decorative 2-leaf gates, simple wrought-iron railings.

Statement of Special Interest

Trinity House was built at the cost of £2500 by the incorporation of mariners and shipmasters. It replaced the earlier mariners' hospital of 1555, of which the vaults survive under the present building. Trinity House is remarkable for the complete survival of its original furniture, fittings and decorative schemes as well as the extensive collection of related memorabilia. All records of the incorporation including detailed accounts for all building and interior work survive too and are held at Trinity House.



J Campbell Irons, LEITH AND ITS ANTIQUITIES, vol II, pp314-14. J Mason, THE HISTORY OF TRINITY HOUSE OF LEITH (Glasgow, 1957). Gifford et al, EDINBURGH (1984), pp466-7.

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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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