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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 24288 73624
  • Coordinates324288, 673624


John Steele, 1857. Pedestrian bronze statue of Robert Viscount Melville to centre of Melville Crescent. Large sandstone ashlar plinth. Stepped to base with cornice to top of pedestal. Further plinth over cornice supporting bronze statue. Figure shown leaning on bronze plinth to left, holding scroll in right hand. Bronze inscription to plinth: Robert Viscount Melville, Born 14th March 1771 Died 10th June 1851.

Statement of Special Interest

The Melville Statue is a striking bronze on a high plinth that is a key termination to various axis through the former Walker Estate plan, and an excellent example of the work of a prominent sculptor, Sir John Steel. It forms an especially strong link with the Gladstone Memorial in Coates Crescent with which it forms a visual axis down Walker Street. The OS survey of 1852 shows an alternate design for the square with a circular garden to the centre.

Sir John Steel (b. 1804), was one of the foremost sculptors of his day, producing numerous works in Edinburgh, the most prominent of which is the statue of Sir Walter Scott for the Scott Monument on Princes Street (see separate listing), and an equestrian statue of Wellington in Glasgow (see separate listing). In 1844 after sculpting a figure of Queen Victoria he was appointed sculptor to her Majesty in Scotland, and was later knighted in 1876 after the unveiling of an equestrian statue of Prince Albert in Charlotte Sqaure.

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



Ordnance Survey, Sheet 34 Edinburgh and Environs, (1852); Ordnance Survey, Large Scale Town Plan, (1893-94); J Gifford, C McWilliam, D M Walker, The Buildings of Scotland: Edinburgh (1988) p. 376; Youngson, The Making of Classical Edinburgh, (1988) p. 216; West End Community Trust, Edinburgh's West End, A Short History, (1984); James Grant, Cassell's Old and New Edinburgh, (c.1880) Volume IV p. 210.

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.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at


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Printed: 01/06/2016 04:32