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.


Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NJ 92901 3557
392901, 803557


Thomas Franche master mason, Alexander Galloway (minister of Kinkel) master of works, dated 1520 and 1523; substantially repaired/rebuilt 1718-19 by Alexander Riach; further repairs and widening to W, John Smith, 1840-1842. 7-span ribbed round arches with chamfered reveals. Coursed granite ashlar lightly stugged; coped parapet. Splayed wing walls, buttresses, cylindrical terminations with polygonal caps and ball finials; ironwork railings to approaches; square-plan stone sundial to SE wing wall, replacement gnomon, tooled to S edge "AQ MR O BW 1719". Cutwater-refuges decorated with coats of arms and tooled inscriptions, bearing a variety of dates.

Statement of Special Interest

Until the later 19th century the Bridge of Dee was "the only great thoroughfare over the Dee from Aberdeen to the south" (Groome, p12). In 1448 the first mention of the inconvenience of the ferryboat across the Dee was made by the Council, and the search for a suitable site begun. The bridge was finally begun in the 16th century with the help of a bequest from Bishop Elphinstone of £20,000. Elphinstone died in 1514, by which time the stone had been acquired from Morayshire, but no work had taken place. Bishop Gavin Dunbar was his successor, and took on the building of the bridge, having invested some money in it himself. The majority of the work was complete by 1530, but it was not completely finished until after Dunbar's death. In the middle of the 16th century a chapel was built near the NE corner, and a timber port (gateway) was built to watch for undesirables. The wooden port required so much maintenance that it was replaced in 1597 by a stone one. The chapel and port were removed towards the end of the 18th century. By 1720 the bridge was decaying, so was repaired by the Magistrates and Town Council of Aberdeen, using its own funds. In 1840, after strong competition from Archibald Simpson, John Smith, the City Architect, was employed to widen the bridge from 11'6" to 26', which he did with some advice from James Walker, C.E., Westminster, afterwards replacing the original facings. The bridge has a variety of coats of arms on it, among which is that of Bishop Elphinstone, Bishop Gavin Dunbar, and the City of Aberdeen, those on the SW pillar are probably the oldest. The tooled letters on the sundial stand for Alexander Watson, Master of Bridge Works, 1719.

Previously a Scheduled Monument. Descheduled on 16 February 2009.



J Sinclair, THE STATISTICAL ACCOUNT OF SCOTLAND, Vol. 19, (1797), p153; "Contracts", ABERDEEN JOURNAL, April 1st 1840; J G Parson, Shown on map insert, A DESCRIPTION OF BOTH TOUNS OF ABERDEEN, (1842); 1st (1864) & 2nd (1901) EDITION OS MAPS; G M Fraser, ABERDEEN 50 YEARS AGO, (1868), p10-18; J Munro, OLD LANDMARKS OF ABERDEEN, (1886), p45-46; F H Groome, ORDNANCE GAZETTEER OF SCOTLAND: A SURVEY OF SCOTTISH TOPOGRAPHY, STATISTICAL, BIOGRAPHICAL, AND HISTORICAL, Vol. 1, (1886), p7, 12; NMRS, Album No. 87, "The Bridge of Dee from Kincorth", THE STRANG COLLECTION, DUNEARN, (c. 1887), p5; A I McConnochie, 123 VIEWS OF ROYAL DEESIDE, p5; A I McConnochie, 50 VIEWS OF THE GRANITE CITY, p31; R Anderson, ABERDEEN IN BYEGONE DAYS, (1910), p36; G M Fraser, THE BRIDGE OF DEE: ITS HISTORY, ITS STRUCTURAL FEATURES & ITS SCULPTURES, (1913); W D Chapman & C F Riley, GRANITE CITY: A PLAN FOR ABERDEEN, (1952), p111-113, 147; W Douglas Simpson, COUNTRY LIFE, August 26 1965, p510-513; Public Works Congress, BRITISH BRIDGES, p430; A Cluer, WALKIN' THE MAT: PAST IMPRESSIONS OF ABERDEEN, (1977); W A Brogden, ABERDEEN: AN ILLUSTRATED ARCHITECTURAL GUIDE, 2nd Edition, (RIAS), (1998), p163; NMRS Various Photographs, Drawings and Plans.

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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