Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NJ 94290 6424
394290, 806424


A Marshall Mackenzie, 1903. Perpendicular Gothic church with nave and single aisle and large, tall, crocketted and finialled, 3-stage square-plan entrance tower with angled buttresses and spire to W (Broad Street). Adjoining Marischal College (see separate listing). Large 16th century 7-light tracery window to chancel on E elevation incorporated from previous church (see Notes). Grey Kenmay granite ashlar. String course, cill course, buttresses to 6-bay aisle at S (Queen Street). Deep-set rectangular and bipartite windows to S with splayed reveals.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: tower: entrance elevation to Broad Street with steps leading to central advanced pedimented entrance porch. Multi-panelled decorative 2-leaf timber entrance door. Very slender, tall, paired bipartite openings to 2nd stage. Top stage comprises paired tall and narrow perpendicular tracery windows mirrored to all elevations, surmounted by double-height slender crocketted and finialled parapet and needle spire.

Predominantly multi-pane fixed leaded-pane windows, some with hoppers. Grey slates. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: whitewashed with ashlar dressings. 3-bay arcaded nave with clerestory to S. Simple open timber ribbed ceiling. Steep timber gallery at W. Possible 17th century carved timber choir stalls to E (see Notes). Polished granite communion table and pulpit. Timber pews. Stained glass to E chancel window by Charles Earner Kempe.

Statement of Special Interest

Integrally designed to form the crucial SW corner of the nationally important Marischal College (see separate listing) and by the same renowned local architect, A Marshall Mackenzie, this Church, with its impressive and imposing tower is an important building within the city centre and a defining landmark. Taking its cue from Marshall's celebrated Gothic addition to Marischal College, the Greyfriars John Knox Church is embellished with an array of finials and crockets. Refined work in granite only became possible after steam technology allowed for more sophisticated cutting techniques in the 1830s. A 16th century tracery window has been incorporated into the present church and now has stained glass by C E Kempe. It is likely that the carved timber choir stalls in the chancel also came from the previous church.

The original Greyfriars Collegiate Church was built in 1532 by Franciscan monks and lay at right angles and to the North of the present church, along Broad Street. It was incorporated into Marischal College, which was founded in 1593. The college was rebuilt between 1837-41 and further extended between 1893-97. It was this extension along Broad Street which caused the original collegiate Church to be demolished and after much negotiation between the Town Council, Church and University, Marshall Mackenzie built this replacement in the same Perpendicular Gothic Style as the college extension. It formed an integral part of the whole site.

A Marshall Mackenzie (1848-1933) was a Scottish architect of national repute. Although mainly associated with building in the North-East of Scotland, he also received the prestige of a Royal Commission in 1895 when asked to build the new Mar Lodge outside Braemar for Queen Victoria's grand-daughter, the Duchess of Fife. His output includes many significant public buildings in Aberdeen including The Harbour Offices and Aberdeen Art Gallery (see separate listings).

Part of A Group with Marischal College.

The congregation merged with Queen's Street Church in 2006 (see separate listing).



Ranald MacInnes, The Aberdeen Guide, 2000, p81. A Gammie, The Churches of Aberdeen, 1909 pf21. Information from Aberdeen Presbytery website, S R Latham, Greyfriars Parish Church, commemorative booklet, 1971.

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

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Printed: 19/05/2024 02:48