Located on the steep slopes of Dundee Law to the immediate north of the City Centre, the Crescents is one of Dundee's smaller Conservation Areas. It comprises the two elliptical crescents of Constitution Terrace/Union Terrace and Prospect Place/Laurel Bank, and Dudhope Place, leading off Constitution Road. The houses are all large detached, double or flatted villas, with attractive mature gardens, set in the terraces formed by the Crescents. They are complemented by original boundary walls, railings, the odd early street sign, and several gas lamp brackets over gateways.
In 1833 David Mackenzie drew up a development plan for the steep sloping ground between Dudhope Castle and the Hilltown, which was known as Chapelshade. The only part actually built was the Crescents, which was laid out by the Town's Architect, William Scott, in the form of horseshow shaped terraces, providing select residences with superb views over the city.
Most of the villas were designed in the 1840s and 1850s by David Mackenzie and by James McLaren, and today many are individually listed for their architectural interest. Scott himself lived at 8 Laurel Bank, and his neighbours included tobacco and textile manufacturers, watchmakers, ministers and shopkeepers. The Gilroy "jute barons" of Tay Works owned 2 Union Terrace (now Barton House Hotel) until they built the immense Castleroy in Broughty Ferry in 1867.
Many of the houses have since been extended and sub-divided into smaller flats, but the essential character of this early Victorian residential suburb of the city if worthy of being preserved and enhanced for future generations to enjoy.
- The Law Terraces Conservation Area is adjacent