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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.

University of Edinburgh, New Building, Including Boundary Walls, 22-23 Teviot Place, EdinburghReference: LB27992

Status: Designated


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  • Category: A
  • Group Category Details: A
  • Date Added: 14/07/1966
  • Last Date Amended: 17/07/2015


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

National Grid Reference

  • NGRNT 25748 73060
  • Coordinates325748, 673060


Sir Rowand Anderson, designed 1874, built 1876-86. Extensive 3 storey and basement, double quadrant, purpose built university building complex in 15th Century Italian renaissance style with fine decorative detailing prominently sited on a main thoroughfare. 17-bay N elevation (Teviot Place) and longer elevation to W (Middle Meadow Walk) in advancing squared and circular sections, both linked by 4-storey, 2-bay, campanile tower to NW corner. Rectangular main (N) quadrant with decorative elevations accessed through arch to Teviot Place, decorative wall to ramp leading down to covered vaulted entrance to W and open pend to SE corner leading to Park Place. Secondary plainer service quadrant to S. Squared ashlar with fine carved detailing, coursed rubble, brick and glazed brick to service areas, red concrete balustrades. Channelled ground floor, 1st floor cill cornice, 2nd floor frieze incorporating circle motifs and dentil cornice, deep overhanging bracketed eaves course.

N ELEVATION: symmetrical 15-bay elevation with central arched entrance pend with columns and ornate stone carved barrel vault ceiling under a balconied aedicule surmounted by large segmental wallhead pediment. Channelled ground floor with corner bracketed square windows, arched first floor windows and continuous round arched pilastrade with recessed windows to second floor. Main elevation flanked by campanile tower of McEwan Hall to the left and advanced squared, 4-storey, 2-bay corner tower to the right. Ballastraded wall to basement area with lamp standards flanking pend.

W ELEVATION: stepped elevation advancing forwards in sections to the SW corner: 2-bay, 4-storey corner tower to outer left, 4-bay squared section with small curved quadrant to ground, larger 6-bay section to centre with projecting central curved bay (lecture theatre) and squared 3-bay section to far right. Detailing as North Elevation with irregular capitalled and hoodmoulded openings and heraldry to curved section.

E ELEVATION: 13-bay elevation arranged 3-7-3 with central recessed lower bays under overhanging 1st floor round arched windows on large console-bracketed arcade. Hoodmoulded windows with circular pediments and columns to 2nd floor bi-partites. Capitalled and columned niche with bronze of Archbishop Tait (Mario Raggi 1885).

S ELEVATION: plain 10-bay, 3-storey elevation with irregular fenestration pattern with 3-bay, 4-storey finely detailed tower to right. Archway and brick tunnel entrance to South quadrant. Exterior timber panelled and glazed walkway on iron brackets linking to building to SE.

MAIN (NORTH) QUADRANT: N side detailing as Teviot Place but with entrance pend bay to off centre right (6 further bays within light well quad to rear of McEwan Hall). Symmetrical W side with 6 window round arched colonnade to upper floor flanked by small pedimented windows. Asymmetrical E side with taller 5-bay section to left and lower 3-bay section to right linked by fine dome-capped stair tower. Irregular 11-bay S side with round arches on engaged pilasters dividing 6 bays to right housing former anatomical museum.

Curved quadrant wall with lamp standards.

REAR (SOUTH) QUADRANT: irregular 4 and 5 storey elevations with multi-style window openings in coursed rubble. Small corbelled turreted stair tower to NW corner. Curved exterior wall of anatomy lecture theatre with brick buttresses to E side of quadrant with smaller and later, part-curved and rendered stair tower to West side.

Shallow pitch red tiled roofs to principal elevations and slate roofs. Large squared corniced ridge stacks. Mixture of timber and metal multi-pane windows throughout.

INTERIOR: extensive survival of bespoke 1870s interior decorative scheme to main areas such as stone columned groin vaulted halls, lecture theatres and period doors, windows and corridor detailing. Later alterations circa 1970 and early 21st century including some mezzanine floors to create more office accommodation. Groin-vaulted stone entrance hall to S side of main (N) quadrant with rounded columns, ornate cast iron internal gateway to corridor and pedimented entrance leading to former Anatomical Museum, now subdivided to single storey. Some original desks and fitted timber display cabinets to museum. Skull Room with timber panelling (not seen). Square plan lecture theatre to top floor E elevation, unused and in unaltered state. Steeply raked curved anatomy lecture theatre.

Decorative cornicing and panelling to larger spaces and lecture rooms, plain cornicing, timber boarding and some fitted cupboards to offices.

15-panel internal doors. Arched openings to corridor and stair doors. Broad cast iron riveted stairs with plain railings and riveted cast iron roof trusses to top floor laboratories. Timber-clad former artist s room on roof of the S quadrant.

BOUNDARY WALLS: dwarf ashlar walls with plain squared capital gatepiers and plain railings forming W boundary to Middle Meadow Walk.

Statement of Special Interest

The University of Edinburgh former Medical School is a nationally significant, prominent, highly decorated double quadrant university complex which encompasses the entire block on Teviot Place down Middle Meadow Walk and forms a major element of the development of the University of Edinburgh buildings to the Southside of the City.

Designed by the eminent Scottish architect R Rowand Anderson the buildings survive largely in their original form and dominate the streetscape of the area. Its refined early North Italian Renaissance style was unique in the United Kingdom when built: a result of the architect's thorough research into public buildings prior to entering the design competition.

The Medical School was built the first stage development followed by the attached McEwan Hall which was completed a decade later from 1888-97 (see separate listing).

Sir Robert Rowand Anderson (1834-1921) had limited experience of designing public or commercial buildings when he was included among the six architects invited to compete for Edinburgh University s graduation hall and medical school in September 1874. This he determined to win by making a whirlwind study tour of medical schools and lecture theatres in England, France, Holland and Germany. His submission was selected by the ten relevant professors on 29 January 1875 and had been greatly revised and enlarged by June 1877 following the acquisition of more land.

Design details, such as separate lecturer entrance stairs to theatres, demonstrate the social aspect of learning of the time where lecturers were highly revered and separated from the students. One rooftop lecture theatre is now unused due to modern access requirements and remains in its near original state providing a historical glimpse of how the majority of the building would have appeared when built. The anatomical lecture theatre is steeply raked to allow students a good view of dissections to the centre. The former artist's room on the roof of the S quadrant sits above the dissecting room with a separate narrow timber stair for access. There is a floor hatch with a hoist formerly used to raise specimens up for large scale anatomical drawings, some of which are still extant in the building. This room with large windows presumably for light; it is now unaltered and unused.

The building complex no longer houses the Medical School apart from the anatomy department and is largely now used as offices and study spaces for other university departments.

List description updated at re-survey 2011-12.

Statutory address updated (2015). Previously listed as '22-23 Teviot Place, University of Edinburgh, new building including boundary walls'.



Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland: CANMORE ID 123805

2nd Edition Ordnance Survey Map (1892-4).

The Builder, Jan 23 1875 (limited competition).

J Gifford, C McWilliam and D Walker, Buildings of Scotland, Edinburgh, (1984) p245.

Dictionary of Scottish Architects, (accessed 2012).

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.

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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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