Historic Scotland Data Website
Results New Search


This building is in the Edinburgh Council and the Edinburgh Burgh. It is a category A building and was listed on 16/07/1992.

Group Items: N/A, Group Cat: N/A, Map Ref: NT 2531 7564.


David Cousin, 1842; J Dick Peddie, 1845 and 1862; extended to N in 1905. Approximately 11 hectares; irregular-plan cemetery with terrace, steps, serpentine paths, river-side walk, catacombs and neo-Tudor bridge, containing important architectural and sculptural monuments, including memorials to several illustrious citizens.

CATACOMBS: designed by David Cousin in 1842 and extended to E and W by J Dick Peddie in 1862. Long wall of grey sandstone ashlar with bays containing wall monuments grouped 4-1-13-1-4, divided by buttresses; projecting base course; wallhead cornice; blocking course to parapet; small shield-shaped openings in wall, some with metal grilles intact, to light and ventilate vaults, which are also lit from larger semicircular grilles in walkway above. Hoodmoulded Tudor-arched entrances to vaults (now bricked up) in centre bay, and in advanced bays 5th from left and right which have polygonal angle piers decorated with cusped tracery frieze beneath cornice.

EXAMPLES OF NOTABLE MONUMENTS: John Dick Peddie, for his father, Reverend James Peddie, minister of the Bristo Church (died 1845), Doric canopied pedestal (previously containing an urn), roof decorated with antefixes; James Drummond, for the landscape painter Horatio McCulloch (died 1867), Celtic cross with artist's palette and brushes with laurel wreath on one side of pedestal, little dog on the other; memorial to Sir James Young Simpson, beside his family obelisk; memorial to the sculptor John Rhind (died 1892). Mural monuments, many the draped urns characteristic of this period, line the walls of the cemetery.

BRIDGE: J Dick Peddie, 1845. Roll-moulded entrances to Tudor-arched bridge forming a subway linking N and S sections of cemetery under the former Edinburgh, Leith and Granton Railway line (now a cycle-track). Grey sandstone ashlar. Coped stepped parapet, with blank heraldic panel and cusped tracery to SE; 4 engaged polygonal piers with quatrefoil panels to bridge; smaller polygonal newel piers with stepped pyramidal caps, 2 to NW, 6 to SE, linked by walls with saddle-backed coping, those to SE with quatrefoil decoration.

BOUNDARY WALLS: high coped rubble boundary walls; decorative cast-iron 2-leaf gates (some details missing) and gatepiers with chamfered corners and platformed stepped pyramidal caps to Warriston Road. Damaged polygonal gatepiers (relocated) to N.

Retaining walls; extension at each end of Cousins' wall 1862


Founded in 1842 by the Edinburgh Cemetery Company (of which James Peddie WS, brother of John Dick Peddie, was a director), and known as The Edinburgh Cemetery, Warriston was one of a number of commercial cemeteries laid out in the mid 19th century by David Cousin. The Prospectus explains that 'the spread of education, and the dissemination of works of art and science... have led all classes to desire that the style, situation and the whole arrangement of Public Burial Grounds should be improved.' 'To the advantage of ground admirably adapted for the purpose, and laid out in a pleasing and appropriate manner,' were to be added 'greater facilities for all classes, especially the Poor,' and 'reduced expenses.' A mortuary chapel (demolished by 1930) for the use of the Episcopalian community (for which drawings are in the Peddie and Kinnear archive in NMRS) was erected on the terrace above the catacombs. Drawings in the Peddie archive in NMRS indicate that the steps from the terrace in the SE corner were also designed by Peddie. A white marble gothic shrine with ruby glass windows lighting a recumbent female figure (Mary Ann Robertson [died 1858], daughter of Brigadier-General Manson of the Bombay Artillery), described in BUILDINGS OF EDINBURGH, has sadly been destroyed by vandals. The cemetery has suffered a period of severe vandalism, which seems largely to have come to an end (1999). Its overgrown and neglected state, while contributing to an atmosphere of romantic melancholy, contributes also to its continuing deterioration, while invasive species threaten the remains of the original planting.


EDINBURGH CEMETERY COMPANY PROSPECTUS, 1842. DICK PEDDIE AND MACKAY CATALOGUE (NMRS) ( bin 12 bag 3) Drawings of new railway bridge at Warriston, J Dick Peddie, 1845 (NMRS). Drawings of extensions to catacomb walls, J Dick Peddie, 1862 (NMRS). Appears on 1852 OS map. Gifford, McWilliam and Walker EDINBURGH (1984) pp 576-7. Turnbull THE EDINBURGH GRAVEYARD GUIDE (1991) pp 146-8.

© 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.

Results New Search

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).