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


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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

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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Printed: 29/02/2020 13:59