General Register House Scotland, Architect, Photo, New Town Architecture Picture

Register House Edinburgh : Architecture

Scottish National Archives: New Town building design by Robert Adam Architect

post updated 2 January 2022

Register House Edinburgh

28 November 2006
Scottish Family History Centre
Two of the oldest buildings in Edinburgh to be refurbished in 2007 to create an integrated Scottish Family History Centre – Register House + New Register House

General Register House Edinburgh building
photo © Adrian Welch, 27 Sep 2007

Scottish Family History Centre
Location: Princes St opposite North Bridge/Balmoral Hotel
Date built: 1774

General Register House – housing Scotland’s state records and historical documents – lies at the east end of Princes Street (top of Leith St, opposite Balmoral Hotel).

Robert Adam Edinburgh
Main facade photo © Adrian Welch

General Register House architect : Robert Adam

Feb 2005 Update
HM General Register House National Archives for Scotland is developing a
£5m Scottish family history centre at Register House, Princes Street, Edinburgh. The architects are Gray Marshall & Associates who have worked extensively on the building’s refurbishment.

Photograph of the General Register House main facade, facing south:
Register House
Main facade photo © Adrian Welch, 23 February 2007

General Register House – Description
The building is on axis with the North Bridge thus viewable from the Royal Mile and (just) from the Festival Theatre beyond making one of Edinburgh’s great formal vistas.

General Register House was designed by Robert Adam whilst living in England. Adam’s brothers, James & John Adam assisted Robert on the designs and supervised construction of the building, from 1774 to 1786. The building includes a shallow central dome and features in the small square onto Princes Street a rather wooden sculpture of a rider on a horse called Copenhagen. The Family History Centre was refurbished in 2003-04.

Adjacent buildings to the General Register House include:

Balmoral Hotel
Balmoral Hotel
image © Adrian Welch

St James Centre
John Lewis Edinburgh
photo © Adrian Welch

Harvey Nichols Edinburgh
Harvey Nichols Edinburgh
photograph from store PR

Buildings close by:


Waverley Station
Waverley Station
photograph © Adrian Welch

Scottish Parliament Building in Edinburgh

This historic structure sits at the far eastern end of Princes Street

General Register House context – Edinburgh New Town

Comments / photos for the General Register House Edinburgh Architecture design by Robert Adam Architect page welcome