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Edinburgh, Victoria Street, 1 - 2 India Buildings

Commercial Office (19th Century), Register Office (19th Century)

Site Name Edinburgh, Victoria Street, 1 - 2 India Buildings

Classification Commercial Office (19th Century), Register Office (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Registry Office

Canmore ID 113160

Site Number NT27SE 726

NGR NT 25597 73474

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. 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

Architecture Notes

NT27SE 726 25597 73474

NT27SE 5626 25589 73474 3, 4 Victoria Street, India Buildings

NT27SE 5627 25582 73483 5, 6 Victoria Street, India Buildings

Architect: David Cousin.

Site Management (20 February 2009)

One of the buildings making up a 4-storey Scots Baronial and Jacobean office block, curved to street frontage. Wider single-bay gabled entrance bay to left; 5-bay block with gabletted domers flanking centre to left; tall slim 4-stage balustraded tower with bartizans and caphouse to centre; 2 2-bay blocks with gabletted dormers flanking centre to right; crowstepped gabled bay with 2-storey oriel to outer right. Cream coursed ashlar, (coursed rubble to rear).

Built for James Lawson, who also built the adjoining building, Henderson also prepared plans for India Buildings, but after his death the plans were much altered and amended by Cousin. The inscription above the principal entrance reads 'Dominus Providebit.' According to Building News, the gateway in the base of the stair tower was intended for carts. The British Linen Bank had premises in the main block.

Victoria Street formed part of Thomas Hamilton's plan for the new Southern and Western approaches to the city and the link to the Grassmarket from the new bridge - Victoria Street. Hamilton was replaced as architect to the Commissioners to the Improvement Act in 1834. The style stipulated by the Commissioners for the new buildings associated with these developments was 'Old Flemish' a variation on Scotch Baronial, drawing heavily on detailing from Heriot's Hospital. Cousin's design is a development of this style. (Historic Scotland)


Project (1997)

The Public Monuments and Sculpture Association ( set up a National Recording Project in 1997 with the aim of making a survey of public monuments and sculpture in Britain ranging from medieval monuments to the most contemporary works. Information from the Edinburgh project was added to the RCAHMS database in October 2010 and again in 2012.

The PMSA (Public Monuments and Sculpture Association) Edinburgh Sculpture Project has been supported by Eastern Photocolour, Edinburgh College of Art, the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust, Historic Scotland, the Hope Scott Trust, The Old Edinburgh Club, the Pilgrim Trust, the RCAHMS, and the Scottish Archive Network.

Field Visit (9 November 1999)

Central female keystone head has a wreath of corn and a garland of fruits under her chin. A lion mask is to either side, at the top of the entrance.

Inscriptions : None

Signatures : None

Design period : 1864

Information from Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (PMSA Work Ref : EDIN0160)

Standing Building Recording (29 January 2018 - 3 February 2018)

Headland Archaeology was commissioned by Turley to undertake a programme of historic building recording at India Buildings, 11-15 Victoria Street and Cowgatehead Church to satisfy a planning condition as part of planning application (15/04445/FUL). The photographic and written record focused on the Category A-listed late 19th century office block India Buildings; the Category B-listed Cowgatehead Church built in 1861; and the Category C-listed 11-15 Victoria Street, a late 19th century building with 20th century brick extension at the rear.

Information from Joshua Gaunt (Headland Archaeology Ltd) March 2018.OASIS ID: headland1-309295


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