Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing 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.


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Group Category Details
Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NJ 94066 6263
394066, 806263


Dating from 16th century. Large city centre graveyard surrounding Kirk of St Nicholas, including John Smith, 1829-30, triumphal arch and classical screen to Union Street (S) and single storey 3-bay classical lodge to N. Contains many high quality carved and decorative grave monuments in a variety of styles dating from the 17th century onwards. Includes: John Smith c1843; square-plan classical monument to Dr Robert Hamilton, with tall base with 4 Doric corner columns supporting entablature above and enclosing simple urn, 17th century mural monuments with decorative carving, table tombs, upright classical monuments.

To S: fine granite ashlar classical Ionic columned corniced screen with square-plan Doric pilastered end blocks. Central triumphal arch type entrance with flanking paired Ionic pilasters and cornice above. Decorative central iron gate and railings between columns.

BOUNDARY WALLS AND GATEPIERS: coped rubble walls to N, W and E, some with iron railings. Coped, panelled, granite ashlar gatepiers to E and N, those to E with decorative urns.

Statement of Special Interest

Situated in the centre of the Aberdeen and surrounding the original Medieval burgh church of St Nicholas (see separate listing), this is an important graveyard with many large decorative monuments dating from the 17th century onwards. It is the burial place of many esteemed Aberdeen figures. The significance of the figures buried is echoed in the size and elaborate decoration of the monuments. The classical screen to Union Street by celebrated architect John Smith, is a particularly distinguished feature of the graveyard and it makes a significant contribution to the streetscape of Union Street.

The screen was designed by John Smith and was based on the recently completed screen by Decimus Burton at Hyde Park Corner in London.-

The lodge at the North of the graveyard was originally situated within the Robert Gordon's College.

John Smith (1781-1852), a native of Aberdeen, established himself in architectural practice in the city in 1804. He became the Master of Work in 1824 and designed many of Aberdeen's public buildings, showing an expertise in working with granite. With Archibald Simpson, (1790-1847), he was one of the major architects involved in designing the expanding nineteenth century city of Aberdeen. His other works include the Aberdeen Arts Centre and St Clement's East Church (see separate listings).

Part of B Group with Nos 5-53, 67-89, 95-139, 143-153 (odd nos) Union Street, Nos 26-42, 46-62, 78-106, 114-144 (even nos) Union Street and St Nicholas Churchyard.

References from previous list description: Aberdeen Observed, 15th March 1833. G M Fraser, Archibald Simpson and his Times. Chapman and Riley p148. Plans, King's College Library.



James Gordon, A Description of Old and New Aberdeen, c 1661. 1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map, 1866- 8. W A Brogden, Aberdeen, An Architectural Guide 1998 p14, 96. Ranald MacInnes, The Aberdeen Guide, 2000 pf90. Noticeboard in graveyard.

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. 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


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