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University of Edinburgh: Old College

Door open days


The Old College was designed by Robert Adam in 1789 with the magnificent Greek Revival interiors designed by William H Playfair in 1819. In 1835, finances ran out and the quadrangle was never completed to the same grandeur as the rest of the building. However, in 2011 a project to resurface the quadrangle was completed. The College houses the Playfair Library Hall, where eleven bays of books support a coffered vaulted ceiling, one of Edinburgh’s grandest interiors.

Key Information

Architect: Robert Adam, Wm Playfair, Robert Rowand Anderson

Building Date: 1789-1877

Visitors can also explore other parts of the building, including the Lord Provost Elder Room, Lee Room, Raeburn Room and Carstares Room.

Assisted wheelchair access.

Information leaflets/notes available.

Image (c)

Where to find us

  • The University of Edinburgh
  • South Bridge
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9YL