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Dundee, Dock Street, Custom House

Custom House (19th Century), Dockmasters Office (19th Century)

Site Name Dundee, Dock Street, Custom House

Classification Custom House (19th Century), Dockmasters Office (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Harbour Chambers; Harbour Masters Office; Dundee Harbour; Port Of Dundee

Canmore ID 187343

Site Number NO43SW 481

NGR NO 40680 30319

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Dundee, City Of
  • Parish Dundee (Dundee, City Of)
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District City Of Dundee
  • Former County Angus

Summary Record (2011)

Large Neo-classical block of 13 bays with central projecting columned centre and pediment. Built by James Leslie and John Taylor (1842-3) housing two separate suites of offices of the Customs House and Harbour Chambers.

Currently for sale and possible hotel conversion.

Archaeology Notes

NO43SW 481 40680 30319

Not to be confused with Old Customs House (formerly in Crichton Street, at NO 4033 3014), for which see NO43SW 51.


Dundee, Dock Street, Customs House.

ARCHITECT: James Leslie (with Taylor of Glasgow. 1843. C. & L. Ower interior alterations.

(Undated) information in NMRS.

Site Management (15 January 2009)

Greek Revival Ionic customs house, 3-storey ashlar-built with channelled ground floor, architraved windows over, corniced at 1st. Coursed rubble rear. Full entablature with dentil cornice to 3 sides, simple main cornice to rear. ELEVATION TO DOCK STREET: 13-bay, centre 3 project with tetrastyle Greek Ionic portico over arcaded and wreathed ground floor. Central Custom House door with royal arms in typanum. Royal arms in main pediment (recarved by Graciella Ainsworth, 1992). Advanced arched entrances at 3rd and 11th bays, scroll-supported 1st floor consoled and pedimented windows over with balustraded aprons. Piended slate roof with ashlar ridge stacks. Sash and case windows, 12-pane glazing pattern. Wrought and cast-iron railings to side elevations. (Historic Environment Scotland List Entry)

From the mid 18th century until 1803, Pierson Lodgings, latterly known as Old Custom House, originally dating from circa 1591, operated as the Customs House for Dundee. The new Customs House built for the Port Authority 1842-3 was the second largest in Scotland. (HES Survey & Recording)


Photographic Survey (27 April 2010)

Photographed by RCAHMS onbehalf of the Buildings of Scotland Trust.

Publication Account (2013)

This Ionic-style public building combined functions to give it more presence than, say, Glasgow’s Customs House. It was built in 1842-3 by James Leslie, engineer for Dundee Harbour Board, with John Taylor, HM Customs. Rich carved detail in its pediment was restored by Graciella Ainsworth. Extended in 1884 and 1936, it awaits a new use.

M Watson, 2013


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