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
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NJ 94519 6452
394519, 806452


Church and Presbytery, James Massie, architect and joiner, 1803-4, porch to courtyard, 1817. Simple 3-bay Gothic church with crenellated entrance at NW corner of square-plan courtyard and lying at right angles to N. Courtyard entered via pend at 1-7 Justice Street to S (see separate listing) contains 2-storey, 3-bay dwellings to W and E (1-5 Chapel Court) and 2-storey and attic, 2-bay Presbytery to N (3-bays to garden elevation at N). Squared and coursed rubble granite, strap pointing to Church. Later piended dormers to presbytery.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: Church: entrance door with 4-leaf studded timber door with pointed-arched glazed tracery fanlight above. Tripartite rectangular window with stone mullions and pointed-arched Y-tracery openings to Church. 4-panel timber entrance door to Presbytery with multi-paned rectangular fanlight above.

No 4 Chapel Court, currently in use as church hall (2006).

Predominantly Y-tracery windows to church, 12-pane timber sash and case windows to Presbytery, Nos 1 and 4 Chapel Court. Grey slates, cast-iron rainwater goods. Gable and wallhead stacks.

INTERIOR: church: simple, white painted, interior with timber pews and pulpit. Glazed timber screen to S with timber gallery above. Segmental-arched opening to sanctuary at N. 2 fine carved gilded altarpieces (one undergoing restoration, 2006).

Presbytery: substantially altered, but retains some 6-panel timber doors, shallow-tread dog-leg stair with steeply curved timber banister and simple cornicing.

Statement of Special Interest

Ecclesiastical building in use as such. This simple Gothic Church, along with its presbytery and ancillary buildings forming Chapel Court is situated off the busy Castle Street area of Aberdeen. Built in 1803, St Peter's was the first permanent Catholic Church to be erected in Aberdeen after the Reformation and Aberdeen is itself remarkable in Scotland for having an unbroken Roman Catholic presence. The other buildings within the courtyard are good examples of local traditional architecture from the early 19th century. Reflecting the position of Catholicism in Scotland at the time, the complex is discreetly secluded in a courtyard.

The present building replaced a 1774 Catholic Church which was built on the site of the present presbytery with the chapel on the ground floor and a house above. By the beginning of the 19th century, the congregation had expanded and a new building was required. A new church was erected on the site of the previous one and the old church altered to become the current Presbytery. In 1860, after the opening of St Mary's Cathedral, Huntly Street (see separate listing) the church closed, although No 2 Chapel Court was used as a boys' school and the Church was retained as its chapel. In 1862, a Colony of Sisters arrived from Hammersmith in 1862 to occupy the Presbytery and the building is indicated on the 1st Edition Map of 1866-8 as a Home for the Aged and Infirm. The church was closed again in 1872 and finally re-opened in 1880.

The High Altar installed in 1895-9, the work of Belgian craftsmen and paid for by a parishioner, Miss Elsie Robertson.

Reference from previous List Description: Rev Charles Gordon's minute book.



1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map (1866-68). 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey Map, (1899-1901). George Hay, The Architecture of Post-Reformation Churches, 1560-1843, p155. W A Brogden, Aberdeen, An Illustrated Architectural Guide, 1998 p29. Ranald MacInnes, The Aberdeen Guide, 2000 p147. Alisdair Roberts (ed), St Peter's Church 1804-2004, History Booklet, 2004.

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


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Printed: 02/12/2023 19:12