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Archives and Research

Raising the Bar

An introduction to Scotland's historic pubs.

Raising the Bar

Many streets in the centres of Scotland’s cities, towns and villages can boast at least one if not several public houses, the exteriors of which are often unpretentious. 

Inside, however, a wealth of decorative features and exuberant details can often still be found. Although they have some elements in common with those elsewhere in the UK, other features are uniquely Scottish. There are a variety of reasons for this including the building traditions and the preference for spirit drinking. In their design and detail many of the pubs visited add to the rich tapestry of our built heritage.

In 2007-08, Historic Environment Scotland worked with the Campaign for Real Ale to assess Scotland’s public houses for listing. As a result of the project, 11 pubs were listed and 33 of the records for the existing listed pubs were updated.

Download our booklet about Scotland’s pubs and visit our Heritage Portal to search for listed public houses.

Our book of 20 detachable postcards featuring some of Glasgow and Edinburgh’s most historic and beautiful pubs is also available for sale online.

  • Audiences:

    Researchers, Conservation and Heritage Enthusiasts
  • Date Published:

    01 January 2016
  • Publisher:

    Historic Scotland
  • Publication Types:

    Book (General)
  • Format(s):

    Download PDF

    Raising the Bar (2.53 MB)
  • Language: