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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 24390 73497
  • Coordinates324390, 673497


J Pittendrigh McGillivray, 1916-17. Renaissance pedestrian monument, consisting of red granite plinth with central and subsidiary bronzes. (30ft high, 28ft wide, 15ft deep) Stepped and shaped base rising to dentilled cornice. Shaped split level plinth to front supports bronze of 2 boys with eagle and laurel wreath standard and inscribed banner. Large flanking consoles with pilasters to side and Doric scroll to rear support seated bronzes representing Eloquentia to left and Historia to right. Circular plan plinth bracketed at 4 corners to support subsidiary plinths. Life size bronze figures representing Fortitude and Measure to front, Militaria and Faith to rear, fronting bronze pilasters with half Ionic capitals. Cornice with bronze egg and dart moulding. Central plinth supports further bronze plinth with primary bronze figurative statue of W. E. Gladstone in Chancellors robes.

Statement of Special Interest

A fine example of the work of Glasgow based sculptor MacGillivray, the Gladstone memorial is especially noted for the carving of the 'Historia' figure. MacGillivray had a number of important commissions, including producing figures for Glasgow City Chambers. He also sculpted several other public memorials including Robert Burns in Irvine (1895) and the Byron statue in Aberdeen. Only a limited number of his public works survive, far outnumbered by his smaller private commissions. The Gladstone Memorial is an important example of his public work.

The figurative group which surrounds Gladstone outlines the virtues of the man and they each carry implements suitable to their subject. Historia is, for example, seen with an open book in her lap.

The memorial forms an important part of the streetscape past and present. Although originally sculpted for this site it was opposed by the proprietors and on completion it was placed on the West side of St. Andrew's Square between 1917 and 1955. Reinstated to its intended position it provides a key termination to the axis down Walker Street from Melville Street. As well as marking the centre of Coates Crescent and articulating the green space that separates Coates Crescent from Shandwick Place.

(List description revised in 2009 as part of re-survey.)



Glasgow Herald (18 January 1917), J Gifford, C McWilliam, D M Walker, The Buildings of Scotland: Edinburgh (1988) p 371, R L Woodward, Virtue and Vision: Sculpture in Scotland, 1540 -1900 (1991), C Byrom, The Edinburgh New Town Gardens, (2005) pp 351-8, (accessed 18.2.08), (accessed 18.2.08), (accessed 12.2.08).

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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