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Celebrating Perth's Architecture

14 June 2010

Perth’s remarkable architecture is continuing to be recognised as Historic Scotland carries on with work to identify the city’s important buildings and to review existing listings.

The south and west of the city centre has already been examined and the team will now be looking at buildings in the north of the city centre.

Deborah Mays, Historic Scotland’s Deputy Chief Inspector explained more about what the team has found so far, “Perth has a notable architectural heritage and there is a rich legacy of exceptional buildings which are a key part of the character of the city. One of the most outstanding structures is Greyfriars Burial Ground which was reviewed as part of the project. Following research and consultation we changed the category of listing from B to A to reflect the national significance of the monuments. The Burial Ground contains one of the finest collections of monuments in the country, with one of the earliest stones dating from 1580.

“We also listed 60-62 Princes Street at category C(S) in view of its local interest. Constructed in 1883 it was purpose-built as a studio for the Perth photographer Magnus Jackson. It has fine Baroque style stonework to the upper floors and good surviving shopfronts to the ground floor.”

Councillor John Kellas, Perth & Kinross Council’s Convener of Enterprise and Infrastructure welcomed the ongoing assessment of the city’s architectural heritage: “The continuing work in partnership with Historic Scotland is very positive as it takes important steps to protect Perth’s historic built environment. I am pleased that the inspectors from Historic Scotland have already found much of interest in their review to date.”

Listing is not intended to prevent sensitive development but instead to recognise a building’s special character so that this can be taken into account before changes are made. Buildings are listed at one of three categories –  A, B and C(S) – reflecting their level of importance. When the team have identified buildings of interest they will consult with the local authority and, where possible, the owner before reaching a final view on the merit of the building.

A building must have special architectural or historic interest to be considered for listing and Historic Scotland would welcome information from members of the public. For more information on the resurvey contact our listing officers on 0131 668 8701/8705.

Background Information

Listed buildings are divided into three categories:
  • A – Buildings of national or international importance – either architectural or historic – or fine little-altered examples of some particular period, style or type.
  • B – Buildings of regional or more than local importance, major examples of a particular period, style or type that may have been altered.
  • C(S) – Buildings of local importance, lesser examples of any period, style or type as originally constructed or altered. Simple traditional buildings that group well with others in categories A and B are part of a planned group as an estate or an estate or an industrial complex.

All buildings erected before 1840, the character of which remains substantially intact, are likely to be included in the list. Later buildings are selected on the basis of their individual character and quality. Special regard is paid to:
  • planned streets, villages or burghs
  • works of well known architects
  • buildings clearly associated with famous people or events
  • major examples of buildings connected with social and industrial history and the development of communications
  • distinctive regional variations in design and use of materials
  • good examples within individual building types; and
  • technological innovation.

The term “building” is defined broadly in the legislation and can include walls, fountains, sundials, statues, bridges, bandstands and telephone boxes.

The list is compiled by Historic Scotland on behalf of The Scottish Ministers. A dedicated team within the Historic Scotland Inspectorate undertakes the compilation, administration and maintenance of the list. Administratively, the list is organised into local authority regions, parishes, burghs or city wards.

The list is constantly under review and buildings can be added to the list by three main methods:
  • By comprehensive re-survey of geographic areas
  • By thematic study looking at one particular building type (e.g. hospitals)
  • By individual proposals for buildings to be added to the list.  

Formal notification of listing falls to the local authority, however, where possible Historic Scotland will issue informal notification of listing, together with supporting material. Details of this can be found at

Although there is no formal right of appeal against listing, Historic Scotland is always prepared to consider people's views.  Listing decisions are made solely in relation to the architectural or historic interest of a building, and any reassessment of a building will be made on the same basis.

Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Executive charged with safeguarding the nation’s built heritage.  It is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

For further information

Jennifer Johnston Watt
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8070 or 07827 956 866