Dundas House, 36 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, Scotland

This evening, I am posting information on an important example of Edinburgh’s architectural heritage.

The building illustrated above is, in fact, the registered office of one of Britain’s largest banks, the Royal Bank of Scotland. It is known as Dundas House and located at 36 St Andrew Square in Edinburgh’s New Town.

The building’s history can be summarised as follows:

  • Originally a private mansion, built 1772 on a green-field site by Member of Parliament, Sir Lawrence Dundas. Construction was contemporary with development of Edinburgh’s New Town.
  • Built of Ravelston Stone and extending to three storeys. Design by Sir William Chambers based on the Palladian villa of Marble Hill in Twickenam, England.
  • Sold to the Government post 1781 for use as the principal Taxation Office in Scotland. At this time domestic accommodation was converted to offices. Also at this time the Royal Coat of Arms was added to the front where it remains.
  • Acquired by Royal Bank of Scotland in 1825 for GBP35,300 for use as its Head Office, a development which triggered further modifications.
  • Equine monument to John, 4th Earl of Hopetoun was erected in front of the building in 1834.
  • A re-design by Edinburgh architects, Peddie and Kinnear was commissioned in 1857. This included a new banking hall with a large domed ceiling. Work completed in 1861.
  • Further refitting and refurbishment was undertaken in 1972, 1989 and 1990s.

Dundas House has been assigned the highest, Category ‘A’, ranking for a heritage building in Scotland.

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