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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: 20/02/1985


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

National Grid Reference

  • NGRNT 24712 73597
  • Coordinates324712, 673597


Peddie and Kinnear, 1890-3, ground floor and mezzanine (former entrance to Caledonian Station), incorporated into hotel with upper floors by J M Dick Peddie and Washington Browne, 1899-1903; later additions and alterations. V-plan (becoming A-plan, 1970-1) Flemish Renaissance hotel with Francois Ier dormers; 5-storey (including mezzanine) with 3 attic storeys arranged as tiered triangular curvilinear pediment with terminating obelisks at each level and finialled round-arched pediment, set in front of balustraded pavilion roof to N (entrance) elevation; 5-storey with basement and 2 attic storeys to E (Lothian Road) elevation; 5-storey with 2 attic storeys to NW (Rutland Street) elevation. Polished red sandstone ashlar with polished dressings; channelled ashlar to basement on Lothian Road; red brick at rear. Base course; cornice below thermal windows at mezzanine; entablature and dentil cornice between mezzanine and 1st floors; dentil cornice between 3rd floor and attics; blocking course at wallhead between attic dormers; cornice between attic storeys. Moulded architraves to corniced tripartites at 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors; semicircular pediments to advanced central light flanked by Ionic columns supported on volutes at 2nd floor of N elevation; semicircular pediments to central light at 1st floor of E and NW elevations; round-arched windows to tiered attic storeys, divided by single and paired columns; triple-arched entrance with flanking paired and pedestalled Corinthian columns rising through ground and mezzanine floors at N elevation, with pediment to central pair; similar paired Corinthian columns dividing bays along E elevation and flanking outer bays of NW elevation; giant pilasters with banded rustication to upper floors of bays surmounted by 2-tiered dormers at E elevation and flanking upper floors of 2 bays to outer left and outer right of NW elevation.

N (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: 3-bay. Slightly advanced central bay with high-relief carved spandrels over tripartite window with Ionic columnar mullions and thermal window forming mezzanine above at ground floor; canopied revolving doors with thermal windows above in bays flanking. Carved female figure over paired columns dividing bays; regular fenestration above. 5 windows to lower attic, with paired columns flanking outer bays, single columns to remainder; 3 windows to middle attic, outer columns paired, inner ones single; single window to top attic, flanked by single columns; round-headed dormer windows to pavilion roof behind.

E (LOTHIAN ROAD) ELEVATION: 19-bay. Tripartite fenestration except single bay (7th from right) with blank niche at ground floor. Regularly fenestrated at basement. Thermal mezzanine windows to 11 bays to right (excluding single niched bay) at ground floor; thermal windows at ground floor with bipartites above in 2 bays to left; tripartites to ground floor and mezzanine in remaining bays to left; round-arched, doorpiece with Gibbsian surround, timber panelled door and semicircular fanlight in bay 3rd from left, raising cill of 2 lights at left of tripartite window above. Regular fenestration to 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors above. Semicircular pediments to regularly disposed bipartite dormers over each bay; 2-tier arrangement with large semicircular pediment over central and penultimate bays to left and right, comprising 4 round-arched windows to lower level, 2 to upper level with terminating obelisks, all flanked by single columns; small timber box dormers to mansard roof behind.

RETURN ELEVATION: single window at right of 3rd and 4th floors, bipartite at left of 4th floor; 2-stage attic dormer, as Lothian Road elevation, above.

NW (RUTLAND STREET) ELEVATION: 9 bays, grouped symmetrically, (window lights, 3-3-2-1-3-1-2-3-3) with 2 bays to outer left and right slightly advanced and treated as entrances at ground floor (bays to outer right converted as bar); carved caryatid mullions to thermal windows. Regular fenestration to all floors. 3 regularly disposed wallhead dormers with round-arched pediments over central bays; 2-stage arrangements as at Lothian Road over bays at outer ends; small timber box dormers set into mansard roof behind. RETURN ELEVATION: irregularly fenestrated at ground floor and mezzanine with some windows blocked; pilaster-style iron brackets fitted to wall at right at mezzanine level; regular fenestration to upper floors.

REAR (INTERNAL) ELEVATIONS: some red sandstone at mezzanine level (to rear of Lothian Road elevation), incorporating architraved windows; remainder principally regularly fenestrated.

Predominantly 2-pane timber sash and case windows. Grey slate roof; tall ashlar coped stacks; squat cylindrical cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: designed by Washington Browne, executed by Scott Morton and Co. Timber panelling to reception hall with paired Egyptian caryatids supporting reception desk; restaurant at ground floor incorporates some original station features, such as red sandstone arches and overdoor carvings (also feature at ground floor of exterior at rear, along with copper-cased lamp fittings with ornamental wrought-iron brackets). Station clock, by Hamilton and Inches, to bar wall; paired, black marble columns with decorative plasterwork capitals incorporating thistle motif in main hall; deep dentilled cornices and fluted pilasters to lounge; imperial staircase from main hall with cast bronze 'tree' balusters and timber handrail (part of Robert & Roger Nicholson redecoration scheme, 1958); wood panelling to 1st floor corridors; timber balustrade to staircase to 2nd floor.

FORMER SCREEN ENTRANCE TO STATION: cast-iron and timber screen, painted in red, black and gold, sited to SW of Rutland Street elevation comprising 2 segmental arches on engaged colonettes with segmental headed window between; open fretwork to spandrels; centred diamond motif to frieze below cavetto moulded, fluted cornice; smaller scale cast-iron gates with solid lower panels, set behind screen.

PIERS AND RAILINGS: red sandstone ashlar pedestalled and corniced panelled piers with square caps along NW (Rutland Street) elevation; 3 evenly disposed cast-iron cope-mounted lamp standards with glass globes and drum wells (central one lacks globe); decorative cast-iron railings on ashlar copes between piers and to entrance platts, penultimate bays to left and right; cope-mounted cast-iron railings between pedestals to paired columns to most of E (Lothian Road) elevation.

Statement of Special Interest

Originally built as the Princes Street Station for the Caledonian Railway. Dick Peddie and Washington Browne incorporated the pedimented screen of the station to create a large hotel as a rival to the North British at the other end of Princes Street. Described by McKean as a 'wonderfully blowsy red sandstone intrusion into classical Edinburgh', the building dominates the intersection of Princes Street, Shandwick Place and Lothian Road. The station closed in 1965, although elements were retained, namely the double segmental-arched screen to the south-west of the Rutland Street elevation and the ground floor interior features listed above. The screen formed the entrance to St Cuthbert's Lane, running along the NW side of Princes Street Station. Previously, as can be seen by comparing the original 1853 OS Map with its 1877 revision, the station, then called Lothian Road Station, was sited further south. The earlier station became the Caledonian Railway's goods terminal when the demolition in 1870 of St Cuthbert's Poor House made possible expansion towards Princes Street. The first building on the new site was timber and most of it burnt down in 1890. The new Princes Street Station, having the advantage over Waverley of providing street-level access, began to be used in 1893 and offered a large forecourt for the picking up and setting down of passengers, as well as incorporating glass-fronted shops and a restaurant.



1853 Ordnance Survey Map; 1877 Ordnance Survey Map; J Gifford, C McWilliam and D Walker, EDINBURGH (Buildings of Scotland series), (1984), p268; D Easton (ed.), BY THE THREE GREAT ROADS: A HISTORY OF TOLLCROSS, FOUNTAINBRIDGE AND THE WEST PORT, (1988), p68-69; Charles McKean, EDINBURGH, AN ILLUSTRATED ARCHITECTURAL GUIDE, (1992), p85; Deborah Mays, "A Profile of Sir George Washington Browne", THE AGE OF MACKINTOSH, ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE III, (1992), p58.

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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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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