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This building is in the Edinburgh Council and the Edinburgh Burgh. It is a category A building and was listed on 14/12/1970.

Group Items: N/A, Group Cat: N/A, Map Ref: NT 2428 7362.


John Steele, 1857. Pedestrian bronze statue of Robert Viscount Melville to centre of Melville Crescent. Large sandstone ashlar plinth. Stepped to base with cornice to top of pedestal. Further plinth over cornice supporting bronze statue. Figure shown leaning on bronze plinth to left, holding scroll in right hand. Bronze inscription to plinth: Robert Viscount Melville, Born 14th March 1771 Died 10th June 1851.


The Melville Statue is a striking bronze on a high plinth that is a key termination to various axis through the former Walker Estate plan, and an excellent example of the work of a prominent sculptor, Sir John Steel. It forms an especially strong link with the Gladstone Memorial in Coates Crescent with which it forms a visual axis down Walker Street. The OS survey of 1852 shows an alternate design for the square with a circular garden to the centre. Sir John Steel (b. 1804), was one of the foremost sculptors of his day, producing numerous works in Edinburgh, the most prominent of which is the statue of Sir Walter Scott for the Scott Monument on Princes Street (see separate listing), and an equestrian statue of Wellington in Glasgow (see separate listing). In 1844 after sculpting a figure of Queen Victoria he was appointed sculptor to her Majesty in Scotland, and was later knighted in 1876 after the unveiling of an equestrian statue of Prince Albert in Charlotte Sqaure. (List description revised 2009 as part of re-survey.)


Ordnance Survey, Sheet 34 Edinburgh and Environs, (1852); Ordnance Survey, Large Scale Town Plan, (1893-94); J Gifford, C McWilliam, D M Walker, The Buildings of Scotland: Edinburgh (1988) p. 376; Youngson, The Making of Classical Edinburgh, (1988) p. 216; West End Community Trust, Edinburgh's West End, A Short History, (1984); James Grant, Cassell's Old and New Edinburgh, (c.1880) Volume IV p. 210.

© Crown copyright, Historic Scotland. All rights reserved. Mapping information derived from Ordnance Survey digital mapping products under Licence No. 100017509 2012 . Data extracted from Scottish Ministers' Statutory List on . Listing applies equally to the whole building or structure at the address set out in bold at the top of the list entry. This includes both the exterior and the interior, whether or not they are mentioned in the 'Information Supplementary to the Statutory List'. Listed building consent is required for all internal and external works affecting the character of the building. The local planning authority is responsible for determining where listed building consent will be required and can also advise on issues of extent or "curtilage" of the listing, which may cover items remote from the main subject of the listing such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. or interior fixtures. All category C(S) listings were revised to category C on 3rd September 2012. This was a non-statutory change. All enquiries relating to proposed works to a listed building or its setting should be addressed to the local planning authority in the first instance. All other enquiries should be addressed to: Listing & Designed Landscapes Team, Historic Scotland, Room G.51, Longmore House, Salisbury Place, EDINBURGH, EH9 1SH. Tel: +44 (0)131 668 8701 / 8705. Fax: +44 (0)131 668 8765. e-mail: hs.listing@scotland.gsi.gov.uk. Web: http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/historicandlistedbuildings.

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Buildings are assigned to one of three categories according to their relative importance. All listed buildings receive equal legal protection, and protection applies equally to the interior and exterior of all listed buildings regardless of category.

ACategory A

Buildings of national or international importance, either architectural or historic, or fine little-altered examples of some particular period, style or building type. (Approximately 8% of the total).

BCategory B

Buildings of regional or more than local importance, or major examples of some particular period, style or building type which may have been altered. (Approximately 51% of the total).

C(S)Category C(S)

Buildings of local importance, lesser examples of any period, style, or building type, as originally constructed or moderately altered; and simple traditional buildings which group well with others in categories A and B. (Approximately 41% of the total).