Edinburgh, Niddry Street, St Cecilia's Hall

Commercial Premises (20th Century), Concert Hall (20th Century), Hall (18th Century), Masonic Hall (19th Century), School (19th Century)

Site Name Edinburgh, Niddry Street, St Cecilia's Hall

Classification Commercial Premises (20th Century), Concert Hall (20th Century), Hall (18th Century), Masonic Hall (19th Century), School (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) 214-216 Cowgate, Masonic Hall; The Bridge Bar; Dr Bell's School; Niddrie Street; Excelsior Ballroom; Freemasons Hall; University Of Edinburgh

Canmore ID 52251

Site Number NT27SE 225

NGR NT 26002 73508

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Ordnance Survey licence number 100020548. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Edinburgh, City Of
  • Parish Edinburgh (edinburgh, City Of)
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District City Of Edinburgh
  • Former County Midlothian

Archaeology Notes

NT27SE 225 26002 73508

St Cecilia's Hall

(University of Edinburgh) [NAT]

OS (GIS) MasterMap, April 2010.

Architecture Notes

ARCHITECT: Robert Mylne, 1763.

2 floors, upper one being a concert hall, ground floor divided by two transverse sections probably both originally consisting of 3 arches. At the South end 4 thick stone pillars supported landing of upper floor which was gained by 2 staircases. Capitals of the pillars were carved wood. The arched East wall served as a lobby for sedan chairs, etc. In the concert hall the seats were arranged amphitheatrically, a passage a few feet wide running round the outside edge of the oval amphitheatre. Ceiling oval domed. Now in disrepair.

Building superintended by George Paterson, architect.


Organ bought by Edinburgh Assembly Rooms 13th July 1801 and used for concerts. Estimate ?100-200. (from Minutes)

Robert Mylne, architect. William Adam writes that he has seen the concert room and describes it as ugly and squat. Letter to James Adam.

1762 GD 18/4942


"St Cecilia's Hall in the Niddry Wynd", Glen, 182, Edinburgh, 1899, 80.

Page 5 -Plan showing position of Niddry Street and the Hall;

Page 15 -Reproduced sketch 1899;

Page 19 - From old plan in possession of city of Edinburgh;

Page 23 - From plan of city and castle of Edinburgh, by William Adgar, Architect, 1765;

Page 28 - Ground Floor Plan;

Page 31 - First Floor Plan;

Page 36 - Interior, after 1844 when Dr Bell's School;

Page 139 - Left side of organ gallery;

Chapter 1 - Locality;

Chapter 2 - Building and Name;

Chapter 3 - Architect.


Sources: Dean of Guild. Bundle 1812. January-June. 2.4.1812.

Pet. William Inglis, WS and Alexander Lawrie, bookseller and stationer.

Cowgate Street and Niddry Street.

Additions to St Cecilia's Hall at south for Freemasons.

Plan and elevation in poor condition. Signed J Thin.

St Cecilia's Hall was reconstructed in the 1960s and is currently a museum of musical instruments (2009).

Information from RCAHMS, 2009.


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