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.

CASTLEGATE, MERCAT CROSSLB19999

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Category
A
Date Added
12/01/1967
Local Authority
Aberdeen
Planning Authority
Aberdeen
Burgh
Aberdeen
NGR
NJ 94496 6380
Coordinates
394496, 806380

Description

John Montgomery of Old Rayne, 1686. Repaired 1821-2, moved to present site and repaired, 1841-2, column replaced 1995-6 (see Notes). Impressive Mercat Cross situated in centre of Castlegate. Shallow steps to round-arched arcarded hexagonal-plan base with Ionic pilasters separating each bay. Impost course. Central pier. Sandstone. Decorative carved cornice with gargoyles. Deep circular parapet divided into 12 carved panels (see Notes), with consoles separating panels. Tall, narrow, central slender Corinthian carved column surmounted with gilt marble unicorn.

Statement of Special Interest

This is a particularly fine and impressive largely 17th century Mercat Cross situated in the heart of the Castlegate. It is of significant streetscape value and is the physical symbol of the centre of Aberdeen city. The Cross is richly decorated with good quality carving on both the parapet and the column. The parapet carving consists of Arms of the Crown and City, and oval-framed bas-reliefs of the Stuart monarchs from James I to James VII. The 1995 column is carved with thistles and roses.

Originally positioned slightly to the West of its present position, this cross was moved into its present location in 1842. Constructed in 1686 by the mason John Montgomery of Old Rayne, the base was altered in 1821 to provide one large booth, in place of the previous smaller ones. This work was completed by a John Small at the cost of £350. Lord Cockburn wrote in 1841 that he thought this was the 'finest thing of its kind in Scotland'.

In 1995-6 the column was replaced and the 17th century original is currently held in the Tolbooth museum.

Established from the 12th century, market crosses were traditionally the symbol of a burgh's right to trade and were placed at the centre of a town's market place. They were also the place where important announcements were made and where public punishments were applied.

Previously a Scheduled Monument. Descheduled on 16 February 2009.

References

Bibliography

Alexander Milne, A Plan of the City of Aberdeen, 1789, NLS. 1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map (1866-68). W A Brogden, Aberdeen, An Illustrated Architectural Guide, 1998, p23. www.rcahms.gov.uk Other information courtesy of Aberdeen City Council.

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 www.historicenvironment.scot/advice-and-support. You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at designations@hes.scot.

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Printed: 29/05/2020 00:45