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Edinburgh, Lauriston Place, George Heriot's School, Main Building

Chapel (Period Unassigned), Commemorative Monument (Period Unassigned), School (Period Unassigned), Sundial(S) (Period Unassigned), War Memorial (20th Century)

Site Name Edinburgh, Lauriston Place, George Heriot's School, Main Building

Classification Chapel (Period Unassigned), Commemorative Monument (Period Unassigned), School (Period Unassigned), Sundial(S) (Period Unassigned), War Memorial (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) George Heriot's Hospital School; James Denholm Monument; War Memorial Plaque

Canmore ID 52134

Site Number NT27SE 13

NGR NT 25485 73186

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Digital Images

First 100 images shown. See the Collections panel (below) for a link to all digital images.

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 13.00 25485 73186

NT27SE 13.01 25584 73184 War Memorial

NT27SE 13.02 25431 73153 Examination Block

NT27SE 13.03 25544 73110 Lodge

NT27SE 13.04 25452 73272 Science Block

NT27SE 13.05 25383 73205 Chemistry Block

NT27SE 13.06 c.2541 7315 Old Reservoir

NT27SE 13.07 25405 73245 Preparatory Department

George Heriot's Hospital School (NR) AD 1628.

OS 1/1250 plan, (1947) and 1/2500 map, (1931)

Heriot's Hospital was founded pursuant to the will of George Heriot, goldsmith and banker to James VI, who died in 1624. The building was begun by his trustees in 1628 and finished in 1659. It is an ornate quadrangular structure with towers and turrets at the angles. Above the north gateway is a clock tower with a dome and lantern. The S range contains the chapel.

J H Cockburn 1936.

(Centred NT 2550 7318) Similar information to J H Cockburn (1936). RCAHMS 1951;

In good condtion and in use.

Visited by OS (J D) 25 December 1953.

Name confirmed. George Heriot's Hospital School.

Visited by OS 8 February 1954; Information from R F Landon, City Architect's office, Edinburgh.


William Wallace - Statue of George Heriot - Robert Mylne - conjectural

William Aytoun appointed Master Mason after death of William Wallace

John Mylne appointed architect after death of William Aytoun (1643)

James Alexander Arnott - North West Staircase Tower (restoration)

W. H. Playfair - additions (1819-30)

James Gillespie Graham - renovation of Chapel (1840)

John Chesser - additions and alterations (1870's and 1880's)

James Denholm Monument

Architect: W.H. Playfair 1824

NMRS Print Room

W Schomberg Scott Photograph Collection, Acc no 1997/39

Interior detail of carving.


RIBA Drawings Collection

8 drawings measured by John Goldicutt


Edinburgh University Library - Playfair Collection (P.11)

James Denholm Monument

2 sheets of plans


Edinburgh University Library - Playfair Collection (P.5)

Washing House - 12 sheets (1819)

Terrace Walls - 8 sheets (1824)

Lodge - 40 sheets (1830)

Lamps - 16 sheets (1830)

From the Minutes of George Heriot's Hospital Governors Council Meetings

7th April 1836

Three estimates for work at the chapel:

1. Messrs Trotter (Pounds) 935

2. Goodall and Sanderson (Pounds) 1195

3. Robert Smith (Pounds) 1250

Trotter accepted: This was the for alterations to the chapel.

Gillespie Graham had to scale down his plans to be within the (Pounds) 1000 budget set by the Governors. Graham given 40 guineas expenses.

Presume the window was done at the same time.

Trotters supplied the school with chairs as well.

(Information from Jennifer Crilly)

See also: 'Dibdin's Tour' (1838) for a description of Trotters workshop with Heriot's Hospital Chapel furniture being made to designs of Gillespie Graham, pulpit etc

(copy held by NMRS - see Bibliography)

Scottish Record Office

GD 150/3019

(Founding of Heriot's Hospital)

Assignment of the property of George Heriot, jeweller, to the provost, Baillies and Council of Edinburgh 'to found an erect ane public, pious and charitable work' (1623)

Scottish Country Life

January 1921, pp. 11-14

(Copy held in NMRS)

George Heriot's Hospital School has many incarnations including:-

Old Assembly Close (Alexander Black, 1839-40)

Brown Square

Davie Street

Heriot's Trust School in the Cowgate (Alexander Black, 1840)

Heriot Foundation School in 32 Broughton Street


Depicted on the coloured 1st Edition of the Ordnance Survey (OS) 1:1056 scale map (Edinburgh and its Environs, 1854, sheet 35)

REFERENCES from the National Library of Scotland:

'Country Life'

January 3rd 1925

Photograph of the North Door

'Country Life'

March 6th & 13th 1975

George Heriot's Hospital by Alister Rowan

Historical File - 'Old City Wall'

SMT Magazine

October 1931

'Transactions of the Edinburgh Architectural Association'

Volume II, 1889-1899

'Vitruvius Scoticus', Plates 105 & 106

Edinburgh Photographic Society Survey, Sheets 60-68

Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 19 Engravings

Sir David Wilson's 'Old Edinburgh', Volume 1

REFERENCES from the Edinburgh Central Public Library:

Accession G 72284, 2 photographs (1880's)

'Twelve Etchings of views', Volumes I & II - by an amateur

3 etchings (1816)

Historical File 'Greenside Church'

'Heriot's Hospital', Pamphlet

Master Masons I, p.116


William H Playfair

Edinburgh. Heriot's Hospital. Washing House

Advertisement for tenders, 1820

(Edinburgh Evening Courant, Feb 24, 1820)


Publication Account (1981)

Heriot's Hospital was a post-Reformation foundation, the beriefaction of an Edinburgh goldsmith, George Heriot. Begun in 1629, the building was not completed until 1660, although thirty orphan boys took up residence the previous year (Dewar, 1950, 5). The hospital, which was perhaps more suitable a residence for a king than for poor orphans (Shepard, 1969, 70), is one of the finest remaining examples in Scotland of late Renaissance architecture (RCAM, 1951, 111).

Information from ‘Historic Edinburgh, Canongate and Leith: The Archaeological Implications of Development’ (1981).

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.

Project (February 2014 - July 2014)

A data upgrade project to record war memorials.


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