Standard Life

History of the building at 1 George Street



The Standard Life Assurance Company was established in 1825.  It's first premises were in Edinburgh's Royal Mile, at 200 High Street, almost opposite the Edinburgh City Chambers.

3 George Street

From 1839

The company moved from the Old Town to offices in Edinburgh's New Town, at 3 George Street, designed by David Bryce, in 1839. 

3 George Street

From 1897

This 1839 building was replaced by a new building, in neo-Palladian style, designed by J M Dick Peddie and G Washington Browne, built in three stages from 1897 to 1901.  It incorporated the pediment from the 1839 building.

Standard Life Investments Head Office  -  1 George Street  - Wise and Foolish Virgins in stone

The 1897-1901 building extended along George Street to the east as far as the corner of St Andrew Square (a Square that then included the Head Offices of most of Scotland's insurance companies and banks). 

However, 'Standard Life' (then usually known as 'The Standard' continued to use the address, 3 George Street.

3 George Street


During the 20th century, 'The Standard' acquired adjacent properties:

- to the west as far as 13 George Street, a Renaissance-style building, built for the Royal Insurance Co in 1898.

-  to the north, including 16 and 17 St Andrew Square and buildings facing onto SE Thistle Street Lane.

These newly acquired buildings have all since been redeveloped Those facing onto George Street and St Andrew Square can be seen in this photograph:

Standard Life Investments Head Office  -  1 George Street

1 George Street


After having had 3 George Street as its Head Office for almost 160 years, The Standard Life Assurance Company moved out and into a newly built Head Office, Standard Life House at 30 Lothian Road in the Exchange district of Edinburgh, in 1996.

The 3 George Street complex was refurbished over the next three years.  It then became (and is now) the Head Office of Standard Life's subsidiary, Standard Life Investments Ltd.

The address was then re-designated, 1 George Street



Standard Life's Buildings in Edinburgh

1 George Street


Magic Square

30 Lothian Road

New Head Office

Tanfield House

Admin Office  Canonmills

At Work