Basic Site Details

Name: Royal Mile Proposals
City or county: Edinburgh
Grid ref:
Notes: E J MacRae report containing proposals for the preservation of historicaly important buildings on the Royal Mile
The area dealt with was from the castle to Holyrood, and between Market Street-North back of the Canongate, and the Cowgate-South Back, including the West Bow and Grassmarket
Plans incorporates the Improvement Scheme on the N side of the Canongate as adjusted before 1939, between Cranston Street and the Canongate Church.


The following date-based events are associated with this building:
 FromToEvent typeNotes
Item 1 of 161945 ProposedProposal of a new West Wing to the City Chambers, on the site of the old W & R Chambers's Building
Extension from the High Street frontage to the N end of St Giles to allow for office for Education, Public Health and Social Services Departments
Extension eastwards to allow for a new Police Court and Police HQ
Item 2 of 161945 ProposedApproaches to the Palace of Holyroodhouse - widen the Watergate on the removal of the buildings in this triangular area and make an area of open space for the Palace grounds.
To place to the W of the Royal Stables and other buildings at Horse Wynd an open space with a road to the W. Rearrange the brewery frontage, remove a group of buildings on the NW side of Abbeyhill and to make provision for a site for a public building. To remove all of the buildings W of the road leading southwards to Croft-an-Righ
Item 3 of 161945 ProposedGrassmarket - provision of good quality housing is advised for the N and S side of the Grassmarket
Item 4 of 161945 ProposedHousing along the front of the Royal Mile (N and S sides) is of poor quality, and only 7% is up to modern standards. Re-housing should be arranged as far as possible on the N side of the Royal Mile
(MacRae, E. J., 1945)
Item 5 of 161945 ProposedWhite Horse Close - should be preserved and could be given a new setting by making an open space to the W right upto Whitefoord House, and by forming a new access from the Canongate to Calton Road instead of Duncan's Close. Interiors should be modernised.
The unsatisfactory housing at the foot of the Canongate should be removed, except nos 11-15 Canonagte, and new buildings added on either side. (11-15 was refurbished and remodelled by Robert Hurd and Partners, 1976)
Item 6 of 161945 ProposedArea around Trinity College Church should be cleared of the housing, commercial and industiral buildings and workshops which have engulfed the building
Item 7 of 161945 ProposedSt Mary's Street housing on E side requires updating, facades could be retained. Space to the rear of these properties needs to be cleared. On the W side of St Mary's Street there might be a solid area of light industries from the High St to Cowgate. All housing should be removed.
Item 8 of 161945 ProposedOn both sides of Blackfriars St industry is mixed up with housing, commerce and public buildings. Proposal to remove all hosuing from this area. open up the ground about St Anne's school, and regroup industry on the W side of the street
Item 9 of 161945 ProposedGeorge IV Bridge - is a mixture of housing, public, industry and commerce. Any developments that take place in this area should continue to be public buildings, as this area has a strong public character
Item 10 of 161945 ProposedLawnmarket - the south side group of buildings are not suitable for restoration for housing, but could be put to cultural purposes. On N side of Lawnmarket - Jame's Court to be cleared of extensions and made into one large square
Milne's Court - this area is cluttered with extensions of no architectural interest, these builidngs are too high for normal housing, but could be used as hostels.
Ian G Lindsay & Partners undertook restoration on this Milne's Court 1966-70 for use as univeristy accomodation
Item 11 of 161945 ProposedOn the N side of Castlehill, removal of a modern two-storey block which currently obscures a fine tenement building
Item 12 of 161945 ProposedWest Bow - All buildings on the E side of the street from Cowgatehead upwards should be devoted to housing with the back lands opened out. There is insufficient space for this at the W side group - so these buildings would be best used for some social purpose.
Item 13 of 161945 ProposedChessel's Court - opportunity for an interesting development. Widening of the court, construction of new building on the E side and interior of the court. Removal of buildings to the E and W to improve lighting. The whole might be used by a group of associations with their rooms around the courtyard.
Item 14 of 161945 ProposedHuntly House / Acheson House - the wholse group of buildings should be devoted to museum use
Item 15 of 161945 ProposedReid's Court - buildings to preserve as well as the tenements to the frontage: Panmure House, Cadell House, 4 Reid's Court. Remove modern additions and rennovate, clear areas around these buildings. This group of buildings might be used for social activities.
Item 16 of 161945 ProposedSt John Street - should continue to form part of the university complex, however, the remaining old buildings should be preserved


Design and Construction

The following individuals or organisations have carried out design/construction work. Where architects or practices worked together, matching letters appear beside their names in the Partnership Group column.
 NameRolePartnership GroupFromToNotes
Item 1 of 1Ebenezer James MacRaeArchitect 9 April 1945  


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this building:
Item 1 of 1MacRae, E. J.1945City of Edinburgh. The Royal Mile / report by the city architect  Includes maps of the Royal Mile showing buildings in 1852; 1945; use of buildings in 1945; showing the buildings worthy of preservation; showing long term proposals