Basic Site Details

Name: Union Bank of Scotland
City or county: Edinburgh
Country: Scotland
Status: A listed
Grid ref:
Notes: EDINBURGH - New offices are about to be erected for the Union Bank in Edinburgh. Mr David Bryce, RSA, is the architect. The facade presents three floors, with attics, over a sunk basement, In the centre of the ground floor is the main entrance, approached through a portico of Ionic columns, two of which are placed on each side. The doorway is flanked with pilasters, and surmounted by a semicircular pediment enriched with carving. On either side of this central feature are three plain windows, separated by massive piers, and at each end of the block is a doorway and portico repeating the details of the main entrance on a smaller scale. The main entrance gives access to a spacious hall, on one side of which, with windows to the front, are a waiting-room and room for secretary's clerks: and on the other, a waiting-room and directors' room. On the left side of the hall, behind the front rooms, is the entrance to the telling-room, which measures fully 80 feet in length by nearly 50 feet wide. [Building News 17 July 1874 p96]

EDINBURGH - On Monday the head office in Edinburgh of the Union Bank of Scotland was transferred from Parliament-square to the new premises in George-street. These were designed by the late Mr. David Bryce, R.S.A, in a style of elegant simplicity, relying for effect on symmetrical proportion and congruity of parts. The frontage, measuring over 100ft. in length, presents on the ground floor three entrances, each having a portico of Ionic columns. The first-floor windows are flanked with pilasters, and surmounted by triangular pediments; while those of the second-floor have architraves and moulded sills, the wall head being furnished with a rich cornice and stone balustrade. Of the internal arrangements, the leading feature is the telling-room, which is reached by a door on the left of the central entrance hall. This is a spacious apartment, formed partly in the main building, but chiefly in an annexe of one story, occupying a portion of the ground to the rear. It has a coved ceiling, richly panelled in stucco work, and pierced with lights, and is fitted up with the usual desks and counters in tastefully-wrought mahogany. In convenient proximity to the telling-room are the manager's room, accountant's room, and necessary waiting rooms, a board-room for the directors being also provided on the George-street front. In the sunk basement are a library, with due provision of safes for various bank purposes; while the two upper flats of the building are appropriated as dwellings. The plans have been carried out under the supervision of Mr John Bryce, nephew of the architect by whom they were prepared ; the building work having been executed by Messrs. Beattie and Sons, and the fitting up of the telling-room and other cabinet furnishings by Messrs John Taylor and Son. [Building News 6 September 1878 p252]

The work by Henry Wylie may be on a different Bank of Scotland in George Street.

Alternative Names

The following alternative names are associated with this building/design:
 NameCurrent name?Notes
Item 1 of 1Bank of Scotland  

Building Type Classification

The building is classified under the following categories:
 ClassificationOriginal classification?Notes
Item 1 of 1Bank  

Street Addresses

The following street addresses are associated with this building:
 AddressMain entrance?Notes
Item 1 of 162-66, George StreetYesIncluding 48 Rose Street North Lane


The following date-based events are associated with this building:
 FromToEvent typeNotes
Item 1 of 51874After 1876Build/construction 
Item 2 of 5September 1878 Opened 
Item 3 of 5c. 1939  Alterations
Item 4 of 51960s Alterations and additionsInterior reorganisation and improvement scheme.
Item 5 of 51977 Alteration/conversionRestoration and cleaning of front and modification of the interior, the work of John Bryce.


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 10Henry Wylie & Partners G  Interior reorganisation and improvement scheme.
Item 2 of 10D & J Bryce C18741878 
Item 3 of 10David Bryce C18741876 
Item 4 of 10John Bryce II (or John Bryce (junior)) C18741878Completion of David Bryce work
Item 5 of 10John Fraser Matthew Ac. 1939 Alterations
Item 6 of 10Lorimer & Matthew Ac. 1939 Alterations
Item 7 of 10Alistair Maclachlan Smith G1960s Interior reorganisation and improvement scheme.
Item 8 of 10Francis ('Frank') Sibbald White G1960s Interior reorganisation and improvement scheme.
Item 9 of 10Henry Wylie (or Harry Wylie) G1960s Interior reorganisation and improvement scheme - in full charge
Item 10 of 10Thomas William Alexander A1977 Restoration and cleaning of front and modification of the interior, the work of John Bryce.


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this building:
Item 1 of 3Gifford, John, McWilliam, Colin and Walker, David M1984Edinburgh (The Buildings of Scotland) Harmondsworth: Penguin Books Ltdp303
Item 2 of 3Grant, James1883 Old and New Edinburgh vol II, p151
Item 3 of 3Groome, Francis H Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (1882-85) Edinburgh, London & Glasgow: Thomas C Jack, Grange Publishing Worksvol II, p496

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this building:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 5Builder26 June 1875XXXIII  
Item 2 of 5Builder21 September 1878XXXVI  
Item 3 of 5Building News17 July 1874  p96
Item 4 of 5Building News6 September 1878  p252 - opening
Item 5 of 5Edinburgh Evening Courant2 January 1877   

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this building:
 SourceArchive nameSource catalogue no.Notes
Item 1 of 5Bank of Scotland, 62 George StreetUnion Bank perspective drawing Perspective formerly hanging in Bank
Item 2 of 5Edinburgh City ArchivesEdinburgh Dean of Guild nine sheets dated 17 June 1874
Item 3 of 5Historic Environment ScotlandListed Buildings Register28873 
Item 4 of 5National Monuments Record of Scotland/NMRS, RCAHMSLorimer and Matthew Collection LOR E/276
Item 5 of 5RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers F no6138 (Combined Box 139)