Edinburgh New Town
Classical Buildings

Click on photos to enlarge

The New Town in Edinburgh is not new - it was built between the 1760s and 1850s in the Georgian style. The Old Town which had developed below the castle since medieval times had become too cramped. The beauty of the New Town is its consistency of style, using the Classical proportions and details very much favoured in the 18th century. It is the world's largest area of Classical domestic architecture; this page only presents a very small sample.

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In the Moray Estate designed by James Gillespie Graham in 1822:
Moray Place
(2 photos), a duodecagon in a Doric order.
Great Stuart Street, where another leading New Town architect William Playfair had his practice (at No. 17, the middle house in the picture)

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Albyn Place, also in the Moray Estate, is of a similar design to Moray Place but without the bends.
St Bernard's Crescent, 1824, by James Milne. Greek Doric colonnades on the ground floor, rising to two floors in the centrepiece.
Royal College of Physicians, 9-10 Queen Street. A Neo-Classical building by Thomas Hamilton, 1844. To its left, a house by Robert Adam, see separate page.

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Drummond Place, partly 1804 by Robert Reid and partly 1818 by Thomas Bonnar. Sydney Goodsir Smith lived in no. 25. More.
Heriot Row
, 1802-3 by Robert Reid.
Home of Robert Louis Stevenson.
Scotland Street
, 1823, chiefly 4-storey tenements. Famous in novels by Alexander McCall Smith. More.

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St Mary, Bellevue Crescent. Neo-Classical, designed in 1824 by Thomas Brown for the Town Council. Corinthian portico, Doric orders on the tower.

St Andrew Square, Edinburgh         
  On the east side of St Andrew Square, and therefore the east end of the long George Street axis of the New Town, a house designed by William Chambers in 1771and built for Sir Laurence Dundas. Acquired by the Excise Office in 1794 and then in 1825 by the Royal Bank of Scotland. The bronze statue in the forecourt is by Thomas Campbell, erected in 1834 and representing the 4th Earl of Hopetoun, Governor of the Bank 1820-3.  
Royal Bank of Scotland, St Andrew Square, Edinburgh                    Bank of Scotland, St Andrew Square, Edinburgh

Rusticated base, ashlar above, central pediment over Corinthian pilasters. The gilt Royal Arms in the pediment were added after the Excise Office acquired the building in 1794.
Also on the east side of St Andrew Square, the Bank of Scotland building dating from 1846 and designed by David Bryce. Six Corinthian columns with large thrusting entablatures. Statues
above by A. Handyside Ritchie representing Navigation, Commerce, Manufacture, Science, Art and Agriculture.

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  On the north side of St Andrew Square, Nos 21 and 22 by John Young, 1775. Main door flats with second door to a common stair. Rubble-built, ground-floor of no. 21 refaced with ashlar in 1845 and Doric porch, no. 22 with Corinthian porch in 1854. Henry Brougham was born in no. 21 in 1778.  
The Dome, 14 George Street, Edinburgh         
  No. 14 George Street designed by David Rhind for the Commercial Bank, opened 1847. Graeco-Roman style with a Corinthian portico, arched upper windows, keystoned lower windows. The pedimental sculpture was modelled by James Wyatt of London and carved by A. Handyside Ritchie. In the centre Caledonia, flanked by Prudence, Agriculture, Commerce, Enterprise, Mechanical Science and Learning. The building is now The Dome, with restaurant and bar etc.  
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Assembly Rooms, George Street. The original building was plain and severe without the portico and projecting apse within it. Designed by John Henderson and opened in 1787. A channelled base with square openings, upper floor with corniced windows and blank recesses above separated by Roman Doric pilasters. The Roman Doric portico was added by William Burn in 1817-18. The ballroom apse within the portico was added in 1865 by David Bryce.
George Street
, western part, south side. Includes the former Tontine Buildings of 1792 by James Nisbet with arcaded ground floor and a centrepiece above of Composite pilasters.
George Street, west end and looking across Charlotte Square to West Register House.

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  North Castle Street, built 1790s. No. 39, the home of Sir Walter Scott is in the second picture - more on separate page  

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  Rutland Square, developed in the 1830s. James Tait adapted designs of 1819 by Archibald Elliot. Three-storey houses with Ionic porches. The house with the flag is No. 24, the last picture showing its porch. This is the home of The Scottish Arts Club.  
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Edinburgh Academy, Henderson Row, by William Burn, 1823-4.  India Street, development started in 1819 under Thomas Bonnar. More on both on James Clerk Maxwell page.

Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh

  Art Galleries - see separate page

More New Town Buildings:

By Robert Adam
St Andrew and St George
St Stephen's Church

Development of the New Town

More of Edinburgh at Astoft

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All photographic images on this website are Copyright the website owner 2001 or later unless otherwise stated. Email contact above. Full size originals (3-6 megapixels)  are available for approved purposes.