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 94473 6471
394473, 806471


Archibald Simpson, 1816-17, with chancel by G E Street, 1880 and porch by Sir R S Lorimer, 1911. Interior, Sir Ninian Comper, 1936-43. Perpendicular Gothic cathedral comprising nave and flanking aisles situated on main thoroughfare of King Street. Sandstone ashlar to W (King Street elevation), snecked granite rubble to rear. Hoodmoulds, deep-set, pointed-arched, transomed and mullioned tracery windows, dominant 3-stage crocketted and finialled engaged spirelets.

West (entrance elevation): symmetrical 3-bay gabled elevation with taller central bay with large intricate 4-light tracery window. Low 1911 Lorimer entrance porch with tracery window and entrance at re-entrant angle. Central bay flanked by pair of large engaged spirelets, rising from ground, pair of smaller spirelets to corner of outer bays. Pierced parapet to central bay, castellated to outer bays.

Predominantly 2, 3 and 4-light tracery windows, some stained glass. Grey slate.

INTERIOR: largely intact decorative scheme by Sir Ninian Comper. 6-bay white-painted pointed-arched arcaded nave with side aisles and chapels. Vaulted ceiling with decorative panels depicting the arms of 48 States in America and local families (see Notes). Chancel with large decorative gold painted baldachino and carved oak screen. Some good quality stained glass windows, including one by Comper, depicting Christ in Majesty. Timber pews and carved timber choir stalls.

Statement of Special Interest

: Ecclesiastical building in use as such. Built by the renowned local architect Archibald Simpson this was one of the first buildings to be built on this section of the newly planned King Street. With work by the important architects, Simpson, Street and Lorimer, Saint Andrew's Cathedral is a notable building. It is particularly distinctive for its use of sandstone on the principal elevation, a rarity in the granite-dominated city. The quality of detailing on the entrance elevation, such as the fine tracery windows is exceptional. The building has a fine interior scheme by the distinguished architect Ninian Comper. Originally built as a Church, it became a Cathedral in 1914. The church originally had a gallery, which was removed in 1909

The church has a close link with the American Episcopal Church, as the latter claims its foundations from Aberdeen. After the American Wars of Independence, the church in America, which was Anglican was separated from the English church and its Bishops could no longer be consecrated in England. Samuel Seabury, elected as Bishop in America was therefore consecrated in Aberdeen in 1784 by the bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church. In gratitude, the American Church wanted to build a large Cathedral in Broad Street in the 1920s, with Sir Ninian Comper as architect. The Wall Street Crash, however, prevented these plans and Comper was commissioned instead to redecorate the interior of the existing cathedral.

Archibald Simpson (1790-18470 was one of the major architects involved in designing the expanding nineteenth century city of Aberdeen. He designed many of the important works in the city including 5 Castle Street and The Music Hall (see separate listings).

John Ninian Comper (1864-1960) was one of the finest 20th century church architect and designers. Born in Aberdeen, his output consists mainly of internal church furnishings and stained glass

King Street developed after 1794, when a town council meeting asked the engineer Charles Abercrombie to find a way to connect the original steep, muddled Medieval streets of Aberdeen to the surrounding countryside. His plan was for two streets, one of which would run from Castlegate to the Denburn and the other which would run from the Castlegate to the North of the town. The latter was King Street. A competition for designs for this new street brought forward a design from Thomas Fletcher. This was to be a long classical façade, with a pedimented centrepiece and higher end blocks. This design was begun on the East side in 1805, with the creation of nos 8-10 (see separate listing). The Episcopalian community bought the central feu of this part of King Street and instead of the originally intended classical structure, envisaged by the designers, they chose to build this Gothic Church.

References from previous list description: E.Y.B. Wilson Delineation of Aberdeen p82 gives date 1813. A.P.S.D. Hay Post-Ref Chs, 116 etc. Chapman &Riley p148. J N Comper, Of the atmosphere of a church p15, 21.

Part of B Group with 5 Castle Street, Nos 1-56 (inclusive nos) King Street and St Andrews Episcopal Cathedral.



John Wood, Plan of the Cities of Aberdeen 1828, NLS. The Cathedral Church of St Andrew at Aberdeen Guide, 1987. John Smith and David Stevenson, Aberdeen in the Nineteenth Century 1988 p48. W A Brogden, Aberdeen, An Illustrated Architectural Guide, 1998 p 71. R MacInnes, The Aberdeen Guide, 2000 p150.

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.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


There are no images available for this record, you may want to check Canmore for images relating to KING STREET, ST ANDREW'S CATHEDRAL (EPISCOPAL)

There are no images available for this record.

Search Canmore

Printed: 30/03/2023 03:02