Former British Linen Bank, Edinburgh

The former British Linen Bank, now HBOS plc.

David Bryce, 1803-1876


38-39 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh

An impressive building with six towering Corinthian columns, the former British Linen Bank leaves architectural commentators almost lost for words. It has been described as "a composition of Baalbek-like grandeur" (Glendinning et al 270; the reference is to the great temple ruins of Baalbek in the Lebanon); and as looking like "a fragment of Imperial Rome" (Gifford et al. 326). Supported on the six columns are larger than life-size statues by A. Handyside Ritchie representing Navigation, Commerce, Manufacture, Science, Art and Agriculture (see Gifford et al. 326). — Jacqueline Banerjee

Photograph © Peter Stubbs, with thanks for permission to use it here.