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Edinburgh World Heritage/Acheson House

Leading by example

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Acheson House

    Acheson House

    Edinburgh World Heritage provided funding for important conservation work on Acheson House in the Old Town, before moving in and making it our office

    Acheson House

    Leading by example

    Acheson House, at the heart of the Old Town, has been the office of Edinburgh World Heritage since 2011.

    Built in 1633 for Sir Archibald Acheson, Secretary of State for King Charles I, the building lay empty from 1991 when it was last used by the Scottish Crafts Centre. As a result Acheson House had been on the Buildings at Risk register since 2000. Prior to Acheson House, Edinburgh World Heritage had been based at 5 Charlotte Square, which has a connection with Acheson House through the 4th Marquess of Bute. He was a conservation enthusiast who bought both properties in the early 20th century to restore them to their original condition.

    Following essential roof repairs which were carried out in 2009 to make the building wind and watertight, the interior of Acheson House has been repaired and fitted out with necessary services, with funding from Historic Environment Scotland of £120,000 towards the project. This included new floors, plasterwork to walls and ceilings, refurbishment of windows and updating electrical installations. Edinburgh World Heritage has also funded the repair of the roof, using traditional stone slates from a re-opened quarry in Angus.

    Debbie Mays, Director of Policy and Outreach at Historic Scotland (as it was called then) said: “Acheson House represents layers of history and has seen real social change in Edinburgh. This move gives it a whole new future as a hub for homeowners and visitors to find out more about the World Heritage Site. I am sure that this wonderful new home will help Edinburgh World Heritage reach even more people and be central to the management and celebration of our incredible historic capital city.”

    Find out more about the history of Acheson House here.

    Moving in

    We're now a staff of more than 15, but getting to this point has taken many years...

    “This is one of the most significant historic buildings in the Old Town. It is inspiring to think that the building was saved by far-sighted conservationists in the 1930s, and it is a privilege to continue their work in ensuring that Edinburgh's built heritage is preserved for future generations to enjoy.”

    Adam Wilkinson

    Director – Edinburgh World Heritage

    A tradition of conservation

    Collaboration

    The interior was repaired and fitted out with necessary services, with funding from Historic Scotland of £120,000 towards the project. This included new floors, plasterwork to walls and ceilings, refurbishment of windows and updating the electrical installations. Repairs to the roof were also made, using traditional stone slates from a re-opened quarry in Angus.


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