Save the Royal High School

Despite efforts from heritage bodies all over the UK, the threat to the former Royal High School in Edinburgh has not gone away. As of the 21st February 2017 a new, highly damaging, hotel proposal threatens to ruin Edinburgh’s cityscape forever.

Designed by Scotland’s pioneering architect, Thomas Hamilton and constructed 1825-29, the former Royal High School is the jewel in Edinburgh’s crown.

Thoughtfully placed on Calton Hill, the Greek Revival masterpiece looks over the World Heritage Site and can be seen from all over the city. This A-Listed, temple form building is of international importance and is unique in the UK. The building has been without a main use for a number of years, however, the fabric is under no immediate threat.

No current use, is no reason for a highly damaging use.

View the presentations from our Public Meeting here

The first hotel proposal from Duddingston House Properties (DHP) was damned by Historic Environment Scotland, City of Edinburgh Council head planners, and heritage groups across the country. It was refused by the council, appealed, and is now part of an Inquiry process. This has been paused in order to consider a second hotel proposal. View details here.

The second hotel proposal is a great disappointment. Not only has the advice from planning and heritage professionals been ignored, the views of the public have been set aside.

Over 1500 members of the public objected to the first proposal. Help us do this again and save the building as an icon of our city. This is not the only option, the right use can be found.

Indeed, the Royal High School Preservation Trust has proposed a viable alternative, to form a new home for St Mary’s Music School, which has full consent from the council. However, as DHP has first option on the site, they have no right to the building.

Public meeting - 6.30pm 14 March 2017. Central Hall Tolcross

Edinburgh's iconic Royal High School under threat

Object Online Now!

Deadline 24th March 2017

Visit Edinburgh City Council Planning Portal

There are two applications for the same proposal and you need to object to both. Enter the reference numbers below and object to each one individually.


Select the ‘Comments’ tab and ‘Make a Comment’. State your personal views on the design using the word ‘Object’.

Be sure that your input includes ‘material objections’ examples of these can be found on our How to Object information sheet.

Object in Writing

You can also object in writing to Carla Parkes and Euan McMeeken, please send objections to:

Planning Department
City of Edinburgh Council
4 East Market Street
Edinburgh EH8 8BG

Need Help?

If you need any help at all, please contact the AHSS on 0131 557 0019,

Read our Objection Letter

Have a read of our Forth & Borders Cases Panel letter here.

Visit our Drop In Surgery

For advice and assistance in writing your objection letter. Open 11-4pm, Monday to Friday until 24th March.

The Cockburn Association, Trunk’s Close, 55 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1SR


There are a number of ways to help us Save the Royal High School.

Get your friends, family and colleagues to object to the application. Get in touch to volunteer your time to support the campaign. Join the AHSS to support our work in Speaking for Scotland’s Buildings. Donate to our RHS Appeal Fund.

Download our handy tools

Download: How to Object
A straightforward guide on how to write your letter

Download: Blank Objection Letter
Already addressed and ready to go!