The Scottish Department Store

From 12 October 2018

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The Scottish Department Store

To celebrate the exhibition LIBERTY Art Fabrics & Fashion Dovecot Studios have teamed up with Historic Environment Scotland and the SCRAN and Canmore online archives to bring together an exhibition of historic images of Scottish department stores from across the decades.

Scotland’s association with the pinnacle of department store shopping has a long history dating back over 180 years when Charles Jenner founded his eponymous store on Edinburgh’s Princes Street in 1838. From Jenner’s fondly remembered names like Binns and Benzies – this exhibition is a stroll down the Scottish high streets of the past. Many of the stores in this exhibition are still in operation – others have buildings that remain as a hint to the past but which now have different uses. In other images the architectural scene has changed beyond recognition and it is from a few visual clues that the hints of today’s high-street can be found.

With the nature of shopping changing once again the department stores are back in the headlines and fighting for survival as a nation’s shopping habits change. This exhibition shows how department stores have continued to reinvent themselves, and how, through these iconic stores Scotland’s cities produced some of the finest examples of forward thinking architecture and iconic design, housing household names like Marks & Spencer and John Lewis.

You can view this free exhibition on the Tapestry Studios Viewing Balcony Mon-Fri 12-3pm and Sat 10.30am-5.30pm.

  • Historic Environment Scotland stacked
  • Dovecot Foundation

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Gallery & Shop

Dovecot is open usual hours on Good Friday, Easter Saturday, and Easter Monday 2019

Mon-Sat 10.30am-5.30pm

Tapestry Studio Viewing Balcony

Mon-Fri 12-3pm Sat 10.30am-5.30pm

The Tapestry Studio Viewing Balcony will be closed from 17-22 June to allow installation of new displays.


Mon-Fri 9am-5pm Sat 10am-5pm