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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: 12/08/1965


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

National Grid Reference

  • NGRNT 24291 74135
  • Coordinates324291, 674135


John Tait, 1855 with some later additions at attic. Extensive terrace of 3-storey, basement and attic, 3-bay townhouses in Italianate classical style, with alternating recessed and advanced bays (arranged 6-5-6-3-6-6-6-3), set on ground falling to NE. Canted 6-bay block to left (No.3). Sandstone ashlar, channelled at ground floor. Entrance platts oversailing basement area recess to street. Banded base course; banded cill course at 1st floor and consoled balconies with geometric cast-iron balustrades; moulded cill course at 2nd floor; corniced and dentilled eaves course. Architraved doorways with predominantly timber 2-leaf, 6-panel doors and rectangular fanlights (some with geometric glazing pattern);. Moulded architraved 1st floor windows with triangular pediments; corniced to recessed bays. Deep bracketed cills to moulded architraved 2nd floor windows. Pedimented ashlar dormers at No. 10; further alterations to some attics

NE (REAR) ELEVATION: coursed squared rubble with some droved ashlar quoins, rybats cills and lintels. Roughly regular fenestration. Some full height 3-light canted bays. Some later single storey extensions.

Predominantly 8-pane glazing pattern in timber sash and case windows, 12-pane at basement and 2nd floor. Double pitched roof; grey slates. Corniced ashlar ridge stacks with octagonal clay cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods. Cast-iron railings edging basement area recess to street.

INTERIOR: (selection of interiors seen 2010) decorative classical scheme, characterised by intricate plasterwork, large drawing rooms and stone stairs with well-detailed balustrades; topped by large cupolas. Some later conversion to flats.

Statement of Special Interest

The design is a major example of the mid 19th century treatment of urban classical architecture with severe astylar Italiante detailing. Well-proportioned crescent of townhouses with good architectural detailing such as pedimented and corniced 1st floor windows. The terrace is sited prominently and lines one of the key routes into Edinburgh's New Town and makes a significant contribution to streetscape. The terrace is part of the early development of the West End of Edinburgh in the mid 19th century after the completion of the nearby Dean Bridge (see separate listing). It is an integral part of Edinburgh's New Town, which is an outstanding example of classical urban planning that was influential throughout Britain and Europe.

The terrace is the earliest phase of the long delayed residential expansion of the city in the late 19th century to the north of the Dean Bridge, following its completion in 1831-2. The bridge had been part funded by John Learmonth, Lord Provost of Edinburgh, who wanted to improve access to his land to the west of the Water of Leith to allow for further residential development. The delayed development of the area around Clarendon Crescent, Oxford Terrace and Eton Terrace forced Learmonth to sell the feus to the Heriot Trust.

John Tait designed Clarendon Crescent, Eton Terrace and Oxford Terrace on behalf of Learmonth, and his designs were retained following the transfer of the feus to the Heriot Trust. Tait was experienced in designing residential urban and suburban schemes having supervised Rutland Square (see separate listings) and worked on the feuing plan for Inverleith Terrace (see separate listings). Little is known about his architectural training, but his designs are marked by a refined use of restrained classicism. This contrasts with the bolder classical style of the mid to later nineteenth century, which was developed in other parts of the Learmonth estate, notably at Buckingham Terrace and Learmonth Terrace (see separate listings), both of which followed the development of Clarendon Crescent in the late 1850s and early 1860s.

(List description revised at resurvey 2012).



Ordnance Survey, Large Scale Town Plan (1849 - 53). Ordnance Survey, Large Scale Town Plan (1893-4). J Gifford, C McWilliam, D M Walker, The Buildings of Scotland: Edinburgh (1988) p399. A J Youngson, The Making of Classical Edinburgh (1988) pp271-2. Richard Roger, The Transformation of Edinburgh: Land, Property and Trust in the Nineteenth Century (2004) p248. (accessed 20.01.10).

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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