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Edinburgh, 111 - 112 Princes Street, Scottish Conservative Club

Club (19th Century), Department Store (20th Century)

Site Name Edinburgh, 111 - 112 Princes Street, Scottish Conservative Club

Classification Club (19th Century), Department Store (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Debenhams; The Picture House Theatre; Cinema; Kardomah Cafe; Ross Street South Lane

Canmore ID 74029

Site Number NT27SE 488

NGR NT 25029 73815

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. 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

Architect: Sir Robert Rowand Anderson 1882-1884


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 (15 May 2002)

Frieze above third floor windows carved in low relief with putti and swags of fruit and flowers. Along the frieze are five roundels; the first, third and fifth carved with a lion rampant, the second and fourth with entwined letters SCC.

Above second floor windows are carved panels. From W to E :- (1) foliage (2) foliage and male head (3) foliage and bowl of fruit (4) foliage (5) foliage and male head with ram's horns (6) foliage & bowl of leaves.

Above first floor windows are six identical panels of foliage.

On balcony below first floor bay windows is a panel carved with swags of foliage and a central circle.

Inspected By : T.S.

Inscriptions : In second and fourth roundel in frieze above third floor windows, entwined raised letters : SCC (= Scottish Conservative Club).

In circle on balcony below first floor bay window, entwined raised letters : CC

In spandrels of entrance, entwined raised letters: CC

Signatures : None

Design period : 1882 (original bldg) / 1978-1981 (alterations)

Year of unveiling : 1882

Unveiling details : Opened by the Marquis of Salisbury 23 November 1882

Information from Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (PMSA Work Ref : EDIN0959)

Standing Building Recording (3 June 2021 - 4 June 2021)

NT 25039 73812 A Level 2 historic building survey was carried out of the former Debenhams department store located at Nos 109– 112 Princes Street and Nos 144–150 Rose Street, Edinburgh, prior to and during its redevelopment as a condition on the planning consent and listed building consent for the works. A targeted programme of survey was undertaken on the surviving late 19th- century features within the building, which was largely rebuilt in the 1970s. The work took place on 3–4 June 2021 and this report disseminates the results of the initial pre-development survey.

The development site started life as three-storey tenements constructed in the late 18th/early 19th century as part of the New Town of Edinburgh. After the establishment of Waverley Station, Princes Street gradually became more commercialised with shops to the ground floors and new hotel developments. The Palace Hotel at Nos 109 and 110 Princes Street was a new build constructed in 1869 to accommodate travellers and tourists. In 1890, the hotel moved premises and the building was converted for use by the Scottish Liberal Club with a furniture shop and showroom to the ground floor. Between 1882 and 1884, the Scottish Conservative Club also constructed a new building, designed by R Rowand Anderson, at No 112 Princes Street. Both buildings were effectively removed or heavily modified in the late 1970s when the Burton Group chose the site for their new Debenhams department store. At Nos 109 and 110, nothing other than the façade of the Scottish Liberal Club was spared, although the arcaded stair and stained glass windows located in the former entrance hall were retained and placed in a different position within the new store. Some elements of the former Scottish Conservative Club at No 112, however, were kept in their original position, including the main entrance stair at ground and first floor level, the decorative ceiling of the former smoking room and the eastern elements of the former dining room, although this was later converted for use as the Gladstone Memorial Library. The late 18th-century façade at Nos 144–150 Rose Street was also retained.

Archive: NRHE (intended)

Funder: Legal & General Investment Management

Diana Sproat – AOC Archaeology Group

(Source: DES Vol 22)


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