Located on the east side of St. Andrew's Square in Edinburgh, Dundas House, is a fine Palladian villa designed by Sir William Chambers (1723-96). It was built 1772-4 as a private mansion for the successful entrepreneur Sir Laurence Dundas (1712-81). In James Craig's original plan for the New Town, this had been intended as the site for St. Andrew's Church, the mirror of St. George's Church in Charlotte Square (which was, at that stage, called St. George's Square). However, Dundas had managed to preview Craig's plans in 1767 and was therefore able to thwart the city fathers and purchase this prime site as the location for his home. But, shortly after taking up residence, Dundas almost lost his new house in a game of cards.
In 1787, Dundas House was sold by Sir Lawrence's son Thomas to the government to become an Excise Office. In 1825 it was acquired by the Royal Bank of Scotland who, between 1858-61, added a spectacular domed telling room behind, by Peddie and Kinnear. Dundas House served as headquarters of the Bank until 2005, when their new complex opened at Gogarburn on the western edge of the city.