Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NJ 93962 6109
393962, 806109


Charles Abercrombie and others, from 1800. Viaduct, carrying Union Street, from Adelphi to Diamond Street, built on series of arches. Union Bridge, Thomas Fletcher and others, 1802-1805. Widened by William Dyack, 1905, later alterations to S in 1964. Single span segmental arch bridge with tall, projecting, battered piers with large central semicircular arched niches. Coursed, tooled granite with deep channelled, rock faced rustication to lower section of abutments; channelled ashlar to piers. Painted cast iron parapet to N with pierced panels interspersed with small columns, alternated with small leopard finials. Open elliptical steel span arch fixed to N (1905-8).

Statement of Special Interest

Union Street viaduct and Union Bridge are the essential components which enabled 19th century Aberdeen to be opened up to the West. The viaduct and the 40 metre span bridge are major feats of engineering and bold and imaginative town planning. The bridge carried Union Street over the Denburn Valley.

The bridge began in 1801 to designs by David Hamilton, the Glasgow based architect, for a 3-arched bridge. These plans was found to have some design faults and Thomas Fletcher, the architect for the Trustees concerned with the new building plans for Aberdeen, submitted a new design for a single span arch. Thomas Telford made some suggestions as to how these designs could be improved, including the battering of the piers, but it is as yet unclear if these suggestions were adhered to. The road above the bridge was widened in 1905-8 by William Dyack, who inserted steel spans to the sides of bridge. This work was overseen by William Kelly who added the parapet and the leopards statuettes. The parapet was manufactured by Walter McFarlane & Co at the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow. Scotland had a thriving, productive ironfounding industry in the latter half of the 19th century and Walter McFarlane and Co, Glasgow was an architectural ironfoundery with an international reputation, whose designs found their way to countries across the globe. The South side of the bridge was further widened in 1964 when a row of shops was added.

Union Street developed after 1794, when a town council meeting asked the engineer Charles Abercrombie to find a way to connect the original steep, muddled Medieval streets of Aberdeen to the surrounding countryside. His plan was for two streets, one of which would run from Castlegate to the Denburn and the other which would run from the Castlegate to the North of the town. The former became Union Street. This was a particularly difficult project to complete as the street had to cut through St Katherine's Hill at the East end and be built on a series of arches culminating with this large bridge which crossed over the Denburn.

References from previous list description: A.P.S.D. Engraved Plans. Aberdeen Journal June 22nd 1905, October 14th 1907, May 9th 1908.



Ranald MacInnes, The Aberdeen Guide, 2000 p63. W A Brogden, Aberdeen, An Illustrated Architectural Guide 1998 p 84. New Statistical Account of Scotland, 1845 vol 12 p 104. Howard Colvin, A Dictionary of British Architects, 1995 pf 449.

About Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The statutory listing address is the legal part of the listing. The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. For information about curtilage see Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. 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 Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. 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 current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

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Printed: 21/11/2018 14:30