Riddle's Court Lady Rosebery reads to a youngster


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The ethos, objectives and work of the Scottish Historic Buildings Trust promote a focus on knowledge. We are a skills-based organisation, both in terms of our staff and the specialists we work with, and we strive to spread the knowledge we gather amongst our partners, supporters and the general public. Our mission to restore Scotland’s historic buildings is supplemented by our desire to engage people of all ages with their historic built environment, so that buildings which were previously neglected once again become valued and treasured assets for the communities they serve.


Modern architecture was borne of a particular moment: reflecting faith in progress and optimism about the possibilities of the contemporary world. It embraced change as it looked to the future – sometimes controversially. 

So why would an Historic Buildings Trust be talking about New Towns, post-war hospitals, and concrete?

Nearly a century after the first ‘white villas’ appeared, and some five decades after the apparent certainties of Modernism began to be challenged, Modernist buildings are very much part of our built environment. Some are decaying, but others have been recognised and protected for their architectural significance.

Conservation is all too often thought of as a conservative practice, but these ‘Concrete Conversations’ will explore how this new challenge invites us to rethink not just modernism, but historic preservation, too. 

Please join us to re-imagine a new future for the past.

Learn in Our Buildings

SHBT’s approach to learning is heavily influenced by the work of Sir Patrick Geddes (1854-1932) who had strong connections to one of our buildings, Riddle’s Court. Geddes believed in a multi-disciplinary and multi-sensory approach to learning, summed up in his motto ‘Hand, Heart, Head’.

We run a range of public learning events and experiences in our buildings, from public tours and talks to craft workshops and music nights. Contact us for further details or view our public events online.


Riddle's Court Geddes Room Private Dining Set Up

A Historical Guide to the Rooms at Riddle’s Court

Find out more about the vibrant history of the rooms at Riddle’s Court in Edinburgh.

Patrick Geddes Photograph

Who was Patrick Geddes?

Learn about the life, work and legacy of the Scottish polymath Sir Patrick Geddes (1854-1932).


Riddle’s Court Revealed

Discover the main spaces of Riddle’s Court and the history of this restored 400-year-old building

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Patrick Geddes Land Trail

Join us on a virtual walking tour of Edinburgh Old Town, visiting the sites influenced by Patrick Geddes.

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Law’s Close Revealed

Take a virtual tour of this 16th-century merchant’s house packed with information about its colourful interiors and restoration.

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Restoring Riddle’s Court

Watch this short film to experience a behind-the-scenes view of the restoration project at Riddle’s Court.

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