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 94313 6098
394313, 806098


Robert Matheson, 1875. 2-storey and basement, 9 and 8 bay classical commercial building (former Post Office) on prominent corner site. Grey granite ashlar. Deep cornice to each storey. Cill course, deep corniced blocking course. Rounded corners with bowed glazing to SW and NW with bracketed corbelled cornices; that to NW with timber and glass entrance door. Giant pilasters framing corner entrance doors and loggia.

Principal entrance to W (Market Street). Slightly advanced central 3 bays with steps leading to integral triumphal arch style loggia entrance with central pilastered round-arched opening and flanking rectangular openings with substantial decorative cast iron gates with Scottish Royal Coat of Arms (see Notes).

Predominantly plate glass timber sash and case windows. Grey slates. Coped ridge stacks.

INTERIOR: comprehensively modernised (2006).

Statement of Special Interest

A fine, well-detailed classical former Post Office by Robert Matheson on a prominent corner site and with an entrance loggia on the elevation to Market Street, closed by impressive and substantial cast iron gates. With its rounded corners and simple classical elevations the building adds significantly to the streetscape. This building is situated on the Southern corner of the street, with one elevation to Market Street and the other to the Harbour, which was a thriving concern in the 19th century and contributed substantially to the wealth of Aberdeen. The gates are decorated with the Coat of Arms of Scotland with the Lion Rampant and the Latin motto 'nemo me impune lacessit' (nobody provokes me with impunity).

Built as a Post Office and later converted to Labour Offices, the building is now in commercial use (2006).

Market Street was laid out in 1840 by the architect Archibald Simpson, who designed many of the classical buildings in the expanding 19th century Aberdeen. With John Smith, he was responsible for much of the essential classical character of Aberdeen city at this time. Aberdeen expanded greatly during the 19th century, especially in trade reliant on the Harbour, and this street was built to provide easier access from Union Street to the Harbour. The street cleared a notorious slum area of the city called Putachieside. It took its name from a covered indoor market, designed by Archibald Simpson in 1842, but which subsequently burnt down in 1882. Rebuilt in 1884, the market was replaced by a British Home Stores extension in 1971.

Robert Matheson (1808-1877) was an Edinburgh based architect who worked primarily for the Office of Works and whose style was most often described as restrained Italian Renaissance. He specialised in large public buildings such as this one, and his work includes New Register House in Edinburgh and the Palm House at Edinburgh Botanic Gardens (see separate listings).

Category changed from B to C(S), 2007.



2nd Edition Ordnance Survey Map 1899-1901. W A Brogden, Aberdeen, An Illustrated Architectural Guide, 1998 p16. Peter J M McEwan, Dictionary of Scottish Art and Architecture, 1994 p395.

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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