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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
  • Group Category Details: A - see notes
  • Date Added: 14/12/1970


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

National Grid Reference

  • NGRNT 24468 73477
  • Coordinates324468, 673477


Thomas Bonnar, 1824-25. 3-storey, basement and attic, 64-bay classical palace block forming crescent. Droved sandstone ashlar at basement, polished V-jointed sandstone ashlar rustication at principal floor (painted at SW terminal pavilion), polished sandstone ashlar with polished dressings at 1st and 2nd floors. Base course to principal floor; band course between principal and 1st floors; iron trellis balconies to 1st floor; cill course to 2nd floor windows, band course incorporating string course above 2nd floor windows; cornice and coped blocking course to 3rd floor; stone balustrade at roof of central 9-bay pavilion. Ionic porticos to ground, with pilasters behind supporting columns; giant Ionic pilasters to 1st and 2nd floors, central and terminal pavilions; architraves to 1st floor windows of remaining bays, corniced to 3 central bays; dormer windows breaking mansard roof; entrance platts oversailing basement, with ashlar steps at SW end.

NW (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: 59-bay concave central block flanked by 2-bay terminal pavilion to NE and 3-bay terminal pavilion to SW.

NE terminal pavilion: windows to both bays, all floors; giant rusticated pilaster at 1st and 2nd floors to outer left; pilasters flank 1st and 2nd floor windows of bay to right. Main (curved) block: portico to penultimate bay to left at ground floor, and to doorways of 9-bay central pavilion; recessed timber doors with plate glass fanlights; giant Ionic pilasters to 1st and 2nd floors to 4 outer bays at each end and central pavilion; continuous balconies at 1st floor to pilastered bays, balconies in 3-bay sections to remaining bays; individual iron balustrades to 2nd floor windows of 6 bays at left of central pavilion; regular fenestration. SW terminal pavilion: portico to bay to left at ground floor; regular fenestration to bays to right and to upper floors; corniced panel at wallhead to outer right.

NE (CANNING STREET) ELEVATION: asymmetrical; single window to centre to ground floor, bipartite windows to centre of 1st and 2nd floors flanked to left by single window, pair of windows to upper floor; variety of infilled openings. Blind pointed-arched openings to 1st floor of left return. 20th century addition to outer left.

SE (ATHOLL CRESCENT LANE) ELEVATION: predominantly regular fenestration; variety of additions and alterations, some linking mews blocks (see below).

SW (ATHOLL CRESCENT LANE) ELEVATION: window to centre of ground floor, band of 4 modern window openings to right. Single window to centre of 1st floor, flanked by small openings to right; window to centre of upper floor flanked to left and right by small openings. Single storey harled addition to outer right.

2, 12, 15 and 16-pane timber sash and case windows. Grey slate mansard roof with variety of dormers, principally modern box. Coped skew at NE end. Coped and rendered stacks with moulded cylindrical cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

INTERIORS: not seen 2000.

RAILINGS AND LAMP STANDARDS: iron railings, majority fleur-de-lys design, to street and entrance platts; original railing-mounted iron lamp standards with glass globes and drum wells to street at NE end.


9, 10, 13, 15, 18 AND 20 ATHOLL CRESCENT LANE: predominantly 2-storey mews buildings, rubble and ashlar. 20 Atholl Cresent Lane: 2-storey, 3-bay. Sandstone ashlar to N. Eaves blocking course.

Statement of Special Interest

Part of the Edinburgh New Town A-Group, a significant surviving part of one of the most important and best preserved examples of urban planning in Britain. Bordering the principal approach to the city from the west, Atholl Crescent, the design of the Heriot Trust's own architect, Thomas Bonnar, forms a grand prelude to the streets of Craig's plan. The NE end had a bay removed in 1912 (for improved access to Rutland Square), with the result that its porch was moved, firstly to No 5 (by H Ramsay Taylor) for the College of Domestic Science, and again in the 1980s (by Robert Hurd & Partners).



PLAN OF THE CITY OF EDINBURGH, INCLUDING ALL THE LATEST AND INTENDED IMPROVEMENTS, circa 1827; 1853 and 1877 OS MAPS; J Grant, CASSELL'S OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH, Vol 2, p209; J Gifford, C McWilliam and D Walker, EDINBURGH (Buildings of Scotland series), (1984), p361 and 370; A J Youngson, THE MAKING OF CLASSICAL EDINBURGH (Edinburgh University Press, 1966) p215.

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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