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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: 15/06/1965


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

National Grid Reference

  • NGRNT 23739 74020
  • Coordinates323739, 674020


David Cousin, laid out 1845, later extensions 1871, 1877 (executed by James Jerdan and Son, 1909). Extensive cemetery with later extension to N of Ravelston Terrace. Various entrances, with gate lodges, to the E (Dean Path) and S (Belford Road). (See separate listing for former gate lodge to Queensferry Road.) Coursed random rubble boundary walls with ashlar copes; incorporating fabric from former Dean House to S wall. Cast-iron railings and gates. Lower terrace to SE built into steep banks above Water of Leith. Twin hemicycle entrance gateways to Dean Path with gatelodge to left (S); further entrance gateway to Queensferry Road. Extensive range of outstanding sculptural monuments dating 1845 ' present.

E (DEAN PATH) ENTRANCE GATEWAYS: twin hemicycle entrances (N entrance part of 1871 extension). Corniced square piers, sandstone ashlar with rock faced bands; surmounted by ashlar pyramid finials set on ball feet. Cast-iron railings, large cast-iron gates to centre.

N (QUEENSFERRY ROAD) ENTRANCE: James Jerdan and Son, 1909-10. Walls and gates in renaissance style; single storey lodge, coursed squared sandstone with some ashlar quoins. Bowed windows and central stack.

GATE LODGE: L-plan Tudor gabled gate lodge forming part of retaining wall to SE at Dean Path entrance. Coursed squared sandstone with some sandstone ashlar quioins. Prominent gable end and decorative fretted barge-boarding.

Statement of Special Interest

A-Group with 69 Dean Path which is a former gate lodge to the Dean Cemetery and Belford Road gate lodge (see separate listings). The Dean Cemetery, with Warriston Cemetery (see separate listing) is Edinburgh's most significant Victorian burial grounds containing some outstanding examples of memorial architecture and sculpture to prominent figures such as William Henry Playfair and Lord Cockburn. The cemetery is the closest example in Edinburgh to the Fir Park Necropolis in Glasgow, although it is richer in sculptural rather than architectural monument. Amongst the most significant is the memorial to Glasgow Magnate James Buchannan, which takes the form of Playfair's choragic monument to Dugald Stewart from Calton Hill, and was designed by William Brodie. The west wall contains a number of monuments to particularly significant men, including Lord Cockburn, Lord Rutherford, Playfair, and Lord Jeffery. The northern extension of 1871 also contains some significant monuments including a large plain obelisk erected to John Russell, editor of the Scotsman. Other monuments contain work by J S Rhind, Sir George Reid and Sir John Steell.

The cemetery was developed in three phases. The first, in 1845, was the most southerly, laid out by David Cousin. The 1871 extension to the N mirrored the original design with large bowed entrance and central avenue. A further addition was planned in 1877 to the N of Ravelston Terrace, but this was not executed until 1909, when it was completed by James Jerdan and Son. The cemetery stands on the site of the former Dean House (1614) which was owned by Lord Provost of Edinburgh Sir William Nisbet. Alexander Nisbet is said to have written Systems of Heraldry in Dean House. The house was demolished in 1845 to make way for the cemetery, with some of the stones incorporated into the boundary walls.

David Cousin was one of the most outstanding architects of his generation, combining private practice with significant civic work, including his role as Superintendant of works to the City of Edinburgh. He won the commission for the Dean Cemetery through a competition. In the early 1840s he had become a specialist in the layout of cemeteries, predominantly in the Gothic style. This makes his predominantly classical design for the Dean Cemetery more unusual. His choice of the classical style may be linked to his change in religious affiliations during the disruption where he joined the newly formed Free Church, for whom he prepared standard Italianate round-arched church designs which could be built quickly and cheaply. Cousin was also the architect for Warriston cemetery (see separate listing).

Category changed from B to A as part of resurvey (2009).



Ordnance Survey, Large Scale Town Plan (1893-4); J Gifford, C McWilliam, D M Walker, The Buildings of Scotland: Edinburgh (1988) p. 398; (accessed 17/9/2008).

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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