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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 24475 73562
  • Coordinates324475, 673562


Robert Brown, circa 1812-23. 37-bay terrace 2-and 3-storey over basements with attics, comprising unified 3-bay classical townhouse facade; central and terminal pavilions with main-door and common stair flats behind. Basement area to street including some vaulted cellars and retaining walls. Sandstone ashlar, droved at basement, channelled at ground floor. Entrance platts oversailing basement. Band course at 1st and 2nd floors. Moulded cill course at 2nd floor and plain cornice to attic. Various dormer styles and later additions at attic. Intricate wrought-iron balconies on foliate brackets at 1st floor.

S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATIONS: CENTRAL PAVILION: 3 storeys, 9 bays, (advanced 3 bays to centre). Round arched recessed panelled window surrounds to centre section at ground floor. Architraved, corniced and bracketed windows to outer and central bays at 1st floor. Stepped parapet to centre with bas relief panel. Later additional storey added to No. 7, slate hung with canted bay. BLOCKS FLANKING CENTRAL PAVILION: round arched doorpieces with narrow sidelights and fanlights (some with radial glazing). Later ashlar attic storey to No. 3. TERMINAL PAVILIONS: W pavilion: 5-bay, 3-storey block with advanced end bays and stepped parapet. Central doorway and narrow sidelights to ground floor, entrance platt oversailing basement. Recessed round arched panelled window surrounds to end bays. Architraved corniced and bracketed openings at 1st floor flanking bays, additional small scrolled brackets. Single bay return to E (right) with blind balustrade between ground and 1st floors. Return to Walker Street similar to S elevation with addition of radial fanlight to principal doorway. E pavilion: Similar to that to W. Single bay return to W with addition of simple balcony to 3rd floor.

Predominantly 12-pane and 6- over 9-pane in timber sash and case windows with some later plate glass in timber sash and case. 4-panel timber doors. Double pitch M-section roof; grey slates. Corniced ashlar stacks forming part parapet to wallhead, ashlar ridge stacks. Delicate wrought-iron balconies on foliate brackets at 1st floor. Railings at street level edging basement recess with spear head finials. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

Statement of Special Interest

A Group with 12 -22 Coates Crescent (see separate listing). A well-detailed classical crescent which forms a focal point within the planning of the Western New Town and the entrance to the former Walker Estate. Fine details such as the delicate cast-iron balconies have been retained, as has the subtle curve of the crescent with later alterations not affecting the building line. The grouping of the suite of classical terraces, including Atholl Crescent is strengthened by its completeness. Coates Crescent was one of the first parts of the former Walker Estate to be built, and is a key terrace within the wider planning of Edinburgh's New Town. Its treatment as a cohesive block is reminiscent of Robert Reid in the northern New Town, of whom Robert Brown was a pupil.

Coates Crescent was owned by Sir Patrick Walker and he developed it as part of a plan by Architect Robert Brown for the whole of the Walker estate (including Melville Street, Walker Street). Coates Crescent forms an addition to the original plan of 1808 which was relatively modest in scale until 1813. Coates Crescent was one of the earliest parts of the plan to be built, and construction was well underway by 1819. The plots were tightly controlled and this was instrumental in the achievement of the design. It is not known whether Brown designed the elevations himself or was merely responsible for the plan. Some documentary evidence seems to suggest that Tait (architect of the nearby Shandwick Place) also worked here.

Robert Brown was an experienced architect, and by the time he was involved with the deigns for the Walker Estate he had already designed several other urban schemes, including between 1810 and 1830 laying out streets in Portobello on land belonging to the Marques of Abercorn. His other notable works include Newington and St. Leonard's church (now The Queen's Hall) and the rearrangement of the interiors for Yester House on behalf of the Marques of Tweeddale. Robert Brown worked on a number of smaller projects in the New Town but the cohesive planning of the Walker estate is amongst one of the best examples of his work. He was especially competent in the design of corner pavilions and parades of shops, as can be seen in his work at North West Circus Place (see separate listing).

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



James Knox, Map of the Shire of Edinburgh, (1812); Ordnance Survey, Large Scale Town Plan, (1849-53); J Gifford, C McWilliam, D M Walker, The Buildings of Scotland: Edinburgh (1988) p. 380; Youngson, The Making of Classical Edinburgh, (1988) p. 215; West End Community Trust, Edinburgh's West End, A Short History, (1984).

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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