Holyrood Park Lodge

140 Holyrood Road


Edinburgh, United Kingdom


Historic Environment Scotland (HES)
Longmore House, Salisbury Place, EH9 1SH


Holyrood Park Lodge Orientation Center and Shop
140 Holyrood Road

Contact Details

Roger Curtis
Historic Environment Scotland (HES)

Other Information

The ground floor is open to the public for the shop and orientation centre for the Holyrood Park. The upperfloor can be viewed by arrangement through Roger Curtis, details above.

Related publications
Refurbishment Case Study 37, Holyrood Park Lodge
View of Holyrood Park Lodge; HES image
This project was the thermal upgrade and general improvements to a Listed property in Edinburgh dating from 1858. It was a whole house approach where the retention of historic fabric was a priority. Good results have been obtained and an improved energy rating (EPC) has been achieved. In addition various traditional features have been repaired and reused for the buildings new use.
Energy performance Primary Energy:
274 kWh/m2.y

Climate Zone Temperate

Altitude 37 m a.s.l.



Protection level Listed

Conservation Area:

Level of Protection:
Category B Listed (in Scotland this means Regionally Important)

Building age 1850-1899

Year of last renovation:

Year of previous renovation:

Building use Wholesale & Retail

Secondary use:

Building occupancy:
Permanently occupied

Number of occupants/users:

Building area Net floor area [m²]: 70,0

Building typology:
Detached house

Number of floors:

Basement yes/no:

Number of heated floors:

NFA calculation method:
Scaled from drawings

Construction type
Stone masonry wall

External finish:
Exposed stonework

Internal finish:
Plastered (on hard)

Roof type:
Pitched roof

View of Holyrood Park Lodge; HES image
View of Holyrood Park Lodge; HES image
View of the Lodge from the south west; HES image
View of the Lodge from the south west; HES image
View of the Lodge from the east; HES image
View of the Lodge from the east; HES image
View from the west; HES image
View from the west; HES image
Previous wall and ceiling finishes; HES image
Previous wall and ceiling finishes; HES image
Previous arrangements in the ground floor meeting room; HES image
Previous arrangements in the ground floor meeting room; HES image
The old exhibition displays; HES image
The old exhibition displays; HES image
The narrow stair to the first floor; this was repaired and varnished; HES image
The narrow stair to the first floor; this was repaired and varnished; HES image




Holyrood Park Lodge is a Category B listed Victorian lodge building built in 1857 in a neo-gothic style, located in a prominent position at the entrance to Holyrood Park in Edinburgh. Primarily designed for the constables who policed the Royal Park, it is bounded by the Palace of Holyroodhouse on one side and the Scottish Parliament on the other. Since 2007 the lower floor hosts visitor information and shop center for the Holyroodhouse area.
Urban context
The lodge fits well in the Edinburgh urban environment as it is connected to one of the city's major tourist destinations, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, while it is also close to the Scottish parliament .
Heritage Assessment Files

State of repair

Conditions of the envelope
The construction of the lodge is mainly traditional, with external masonry of coursed rubble and ashlar, internal linings mainly of lath and plaster upstairs, and a mixture of lath and plaster and modern plasterboard downstairs. By 1994 external changes were reworked to a more traditional style and more appropriate timber window casements were installed . The floors were covered in a cord type commercial carpet, but were all timber underneath and in reasonably good condition, although the floor in one ground floor room had settled by several inches in one corner.
Description of pre-intervention building services
Mains gas. Gas boiler; wet heating system to radiators


Distinctive diamond flues and decorative curvilinear bargeboarding of the lodge add significantly to the character of Holyrood Park. The lodge is a nice example of domestic style despite and the distinctive change of the surrounding area, the lodge has remained a part of historical landscape and defining the boundaries of the historic Holyrood Park. The internal linings (lath and plaster and joinery work) were intact in many areas. The conservation approach was to improve the building elements that could be upgraded without removing them. However, due to previous works, many traditional features had been lost; one of the aims of the project was to re-present the interior of the building in a more traditional and appropriate way following the thermal upgrade.
Heritage Value Assesment
Holyrood Park has been associated with the Scottish royal household since the 12th century. Positioned at the Holyrood Palace entrance, the lodge is the earliest of the purpose-built lodges to the Park and they all share a similar distinctive gabled, picturesque style. It is one of the works of the architect Robert Matheson (1808–1877) who influenced several architectural styles of the Victorian Scotland.

Aim of retrofit

Key themes that Historic Environment Scotland sought to show through this work are adaptation to climate change, energy efficiency and the management of damp. The aim was that these measures would be made visible to visitors, through the use of inspection panels that would enable them to fully understand the construction of the building and observe otherwise hidden intervenions.
Was there any change of use?
The project also demonstrates the successful re-use and adaptation of a domestic building as a retail unit and interpretation center, without affecting the existing character of the building as an entrance lodge to Holyrood Park.
Lessons learned
The works at Holyrood Park Lodge have shown that a listed building can be thermally upgraded in a sensitive and proportionate way, improving its performance, yet respecting the existing historic fabric. The Energy Performance Certificate is now the upper part of a Band D, a good result for a listed building. As it is an accessible site, it has been effective in allowing people to view the measures and understand what can be done in other traditional buildings.
Stakeholders Involvement
Public sector
Historic Environment Scotland (HES)
Longmore House, Salisbury Place EH9 1SH
City of Edinburgh Council, Planning Department
City Chambers High Street Edinburgh EH1 1YJ
Tools used
Was the renovation process done following a specific methodology? No
Energy calculation Reduced Data SAP was used as part of the EPC process.
Hygrothermal assessment In-situ monitoring of relative humidity in the west wall was undertaken by an independent consultant and a technical paper will be published showing their results.
Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) No, although there was a focus on natural and low VOC materials, and maximum durability of installed components that would match the lifetime of the building.


External Walls

Solid stone with external face of sandstone ashlar blocks

Solid stone with external face of sandstone ashlar blocks

Externally no, while new layer of insulation was added internally; this insulation was in the form of a cellulose material, blown in behind the existing plaster lining.

External wall insulation was not appropriate. The internal insulation material was blown into the existing void behind the plaster linings, allowing its retention and upgrade. This ensure that the vapour open characteristics of the walls were maintained.

U-value (pre-intervention) [W/m2K]: 1,3 W/m²K U-value (post-intervention) [W/m2K]: 0,67 W/m²K
More Details
Original wall build-up
Stone - External masonry consisted of coursed rubble and ashlar, while internal linings were mainly of lath and plaster upstairs, and a mixture of lath, plaster and modern plasterboard downstairs.:
550 mm
Air gap :
40 mm
Plaster - Lime plaster on a framework of wooden laths:
25 mm
Retrofitted wall build-up
Render - No change to external face:
Insulation - Cellulose fibers were blown behind the existing lath and plaster linings.:
40 mm
Plaster - Lime plaster on a framework of wooden laths:
25 mm


Single-glazed casements dating from 1995

Single-glazed casements dating from 1995

As the timber frames were in good condition, the decision was made to keep them. However, new slim profile double-glazed glass units were installed in the casements.

The casements were removed to the workshop and new double glazed units were fitted.

Existing window U-value Glass [W/m2K]: 5,8 New window U-value Glass[W/m2K]: 1,2 Existing window U-value Frame [W/m2K]: 1,4 New window U-value Frame [W/m2K]: 1,4
More Details
Existing window type Casement window
Existing glazing type Single
Existing shading type NA
Approximate installation year 1995
New window type Casement window
New glazing type Double
New shading type NA
New window solar factor g [-] 0,3

Other interventions






In the lodge, there were two roof spaces separated by the chimney breast. In both attics, larger access hatches were installed to allow safe working and visiting into these areas. Wood fibre board was selected for this insulation, it buffers humidity in the roof spaces and fitted with the natural material ethos of the project.

One roof space area, the south facing gable, was fitted with wood fibre board fastened between the rafters to make what is termed a ‘warm roof’. The other, rear or west facing attic area, was fitted with wood fiber board laid between the ceiling joists, giving what is termed a ‘cold roof’. Having these two options in one building allowed easy demonstration of the two techniques, enabling an ongoing assessment about what type of intervention is used in other situations. Both of these options had minimal effects on the existing fabric.

U-value (pre-intervention) [W/m2K] 1.08 U-value (post-intervention) [W/m2K] 0.36
More Details
Original roof build-up
Slate - Traditional slate on sarking boards with a secondary layer of bitumen felt between.:
25 mm
Other - Timber sarking boards:
25 mm
Retrofitted roof build-up
Slate - Externally the roof has not changed.:
25 mm
Bitumen - Bitumen sheet between the slates and the sarking boards:
3 mm
Other - Wood fiber insulation layer:
100 mm

The ground floor of the lodge has suspended timber floors throughout. In the north room the floor was very uneven and it was clear that remedial work was required. The floor was lifted and the floorboards were set aside for re-use. In the south room, the floor was also lifted to check its condition and allow the routing of new cabling for the shop. A new level was established using the hearth stones in each room. Following the insulation work, the floors were re-laid in the exhibition room with the original floor timbers, and elsewhere with a new timber tongue and grove flooring of traditional pattern.

Despite the settlement, the existing joists were in good condition and only required minor repairs. Braces or ‘dwangs’ were fastened at right angles to the joists where additional lateral stiffness was necessary. To improve the airflow in the solum, it had to be cleared of about 40 rubble bags of debris. Timber was chosen before concrete, because the latest is not suitable for traditional buildings, as the moisture in the ground would progressively concentrate in the covered solum and rise up the masonry of the walls and partitions, causing the very damp the intervention seeks to exclude.

U-value (pre-intervention) [W/m2K] 1.04 U-value (post-intervention) [W/m2K] 0.22
More Details
Original groundfloor build-up
Floor joists - Timber floor boards laid on top of floor joists.:
20 mm
Other - The floor was a traditional timber floor on joists over a solum void :
170 mm
Retrofitted groundfloor build-up
Finish - The timber floorboards were lifted and wood fiber insulation was fitted.:
20 mm
Insulation - Wood fiber installation was fitted between the joists.:
100 mm
Solum - Solum void:
170 mm

As part of the project, traditional elements of natural ventilation were reinstated. This included installing a grill in the former hearth in the exhibition room, changing a window to be openable in the hallway and reinstating a hearth in the meeting room.

Adequate ventilation is required for the health of the fabric of a traditional building as well as the health of its occupants. In this case, it was appropriate to reinstate the original ventilation methods, being the most compatible with the existing building fabric. Through monitoring in the meeting room, it is shown that the ventilation is providing good indoor air quality levels.


Measures to include airtightness included floor insulation, wall and lof insulation, as well as draft strips to the windows and doors.

Airtightness (pre-intervention) [ach@50Pa] 15.29 Airtightness (post-intervention) [ach@50Pa] 11.25





We added infra-red heating panels in two rooms.

The panels are portable, easy to install, minimal disruption to the existing wall fabric, and can have little visual impact as they can be integrated to the decoration of the room.

More Details
New secondary heating system
New system type Infra-red heating panels
Fuel Electricity
Distribuition system Radiating wall
Nominal power 300 watts kW

As part of a natural ventilation plan, the blocked hearths in the lodge were fitted with vents, and one blocked hearth in the meeting room was re-instated. All windows were made to re-open, and high level ventilation was provided through an adjustable quarter light in the hall.

This was compatible as we were reinstating traditional features. The ventilation arrangements have been good for current needs, avoiding the need for the installation of a powered system. The extract fans from the kitchen and the bathroom have proved to be sufficient.

More Details
Original roof build-up New ventilation system
Type ventilation system In modern refurbishment, there is a high importance placed on air-tightness; but this does not always account for sufficient user needs, and the need for older buildings to have air naturally circulating. Existing flues and hearths can play an important
Type flow regime NA (Natural)
Heat recovery No
Humitidy recovery No
Nominal power NA kW
Electric power kW
Control system Occupiers and users

Energy Efficiency

Energy Performance
Energy performance certificate: Energy Performance Certificates (EPC's) 's were carried out before and after the refurbishment.
Voluntary certificates: No
Energy Use
Primary Energy 274 kWh/m2.y

Primary Energy
Consumption_estimation_Calculation_method: Steady state simulation (e.g. EPC, PHPP)
2 HORSE WYND, EDINBURGH, EH8 8AZ before - 2015.pdf
The Energy Performance Certificate before refurbishment - Band F
2 HORSE WYND, EDINBURGH, EH8 8AZ as lodged.pdf
The Energy Performance Certificate post refurbishment - Band D

Consumption_estimation_Including_DHW: Yes
Consumption_estimation_Before: 518 kWh/m2.y
Consumption_estimation_After: 274 kWh/m2.y
Measured Parameters
Internal Climate
Type_of_monitoring: Punctual
Description: The temperature and relative humidity in the meeting room were measured before and after the works. This was to assess the improvements in human comfort following the works. There was good improvement noted in the internal conditions. The C02 levels in the meeting room and elsewhere will be monitored as part of an ongoing project into indoor air quality.
Fig 36 Comfort Risk.jpg
Comfort risk diagram from the meeting room after the works, showing good conditions; Archimetrics Ltd

Type_of_monitoring: Continuous
Description: The hygrothermal conditions were monitored in the solid wall at various depths from 2015 to 2020. The parameters measured within the wall were relative humidiy and temperature. This was to understand the baseline conditions before work started, and to note any changes in the wall moisture levels following the addition of the insualtion. A full report of this work will be issued later in 2020; the Refurbishment Case Study has interim results. In addition, the relative humidity was monitored in the roof insulation at the sarking interface, likewise to see any changes. Before and after the works in situ U value measurements were also taken.
Fig 32 South Wall Rh.jpg
Diagram showing the relative humidity in the south wall; Image Archimetrics Ltd
Fig 28b. HPL Monitoring 2.jpg

Internal Climate


Better insulation has increased the temperature conditions in the building, especially the meeting room, where conditions were not satisfactory before. There are fewer fluctuations of temperature.

Indoor Air Quality

The re-opening of the chimneys improved the ventilation and thus improved the internal conditions for the users of the lodge, especially when there are more than four people in the meeting room.


Visual comfort has increased, more appropriate light fittings with the right light colour have been installed.

Post Occupancy Evaluation

POE-Report Available:
Lodge Report.pdf
An initial snapshot at indoor air quality in the Lodge meeting room. This work will continue into 2020. HES Image


Financial Aspects

While most of the work had to be carefully specified and instructed, none of it was complex or difficult, and was entirely within reach of a medium-sized joinery company.

Investment Costs
Total investment costs
65,942.80 £ (total)
Amount includes: The total investment cost includes external works, window replacement and refurbishment, wall stripping and re-painting, joinery, plumbing, ground floor refurbishment, electrical works and wiring, external and internal wall insulation, roof and loft insulation, flooring, reinstating fireplace, re-carpeting, internal redecoration
Running Costs
Total annual energy cost
£1107 (total)

Annual heating cost
£942 (total)

Lifecycle cost