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 93286 5760
393286, 805760


Thomas Mackenzie, (of Mackenzie & Matthews), 1850. 2-storey, 5-bay collegiate gothic former Christ's College, with tower to SW. Tooled coursed granite ashlar, finely finished to margins; Aberdeen bond rubble to tower and rear elevations. Base course; chamfered reveals; cusped tracery; diagonal buttresses surmounted by elongated pyramidal pinnacles; dividing band course; eaves cornice; crenellated parapets.

N (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: symmetrical; Tudor-arched doorway to centre bay of ground floor, 2-leaf timber door with gothic panelling, framed by string moulding with ornate drip stones; 2-light Tudor-arched windows with hoodmoulds to flanking bays to left and right; flat-arched 2-light windows to each bay of 1st floor.

W ELEVATION: asymmetrical; gabled bay to left, canted 5-light sandstone oriel window corbelled-out to 1st floor, window opening above with hoodmould, stone finial to apex. Square-plan 4-stage tower adjoining to left, regular fenestration to each stage, crenellated parapet with clockface to each elevation, 5-stage octagonal angle turret through all stages at NW, irregular fenestration. 2-storey, 2-bay block adjoining to right, openings to ground floor, regular fenestration to 1st floor. Single storey block advanced to outer right.

S ELEVATION: asymmetrical; gabled; single storey addition to left of ground floor, remainder not seen 2000. 4 window openings to 1st floor, 2 blind, modern metal flue to centre.

E ELEVATION: kneelered gabled bay to right, window to right of ground floor, louvred opening to left; canted 5-light sandstone oriel window corbelled-out to 1st floor, window opening above with hoodmould, stone finial to apex. 2-storey, single bay addition to left, louvred opening to ground floor, window to 1st floor.

Predominantly leaded diamond-pane windows with cusped tracery. Grey slate roof with lead ridge. Coped stone skews, blocked skewputts. Coped gablehead stacks to rear elevations with circular and octagonal cans.

INTERIOR: predominantly remodelled for use as bar and restaurant (late 20th century).

RAILINGS: iron railings on low coped wall flanking to E and W.

Statement of Special Interest

The College, now a bar and restaurant, was originally built as the Free Church College to train ministers for the Free Church. It occupies a prominent site at the end of Union Street. Christ's College, which contained a gymnasium, was built for a cost of ?2025, primarily funded by a Mr Francis Edmond and some of the other elders. The building was formally opened on 5 November 1850. Linked to the college was a museum and library (containing 17,000 volumes), both originally located in 2 Alford Place (see separate listing). The building is of picturesque composition, with fine collegiate gothic detailing.



NMRS, F A MacDonald Collection, SITES PROPOSED FOR THE GRAMMAR SCHOOL BUILDINGS, 26 April 1961; 1st (1864) and 2nd (1901) EDITION OS MAPS; Post Office Directory, PLAN OF THE CITY OF ABERDEEN, (1880); F H Groome, ORDNANCE GAZETTEER OF SCOTLAND: A SURVEY OF SCOTTISH TOPOGRAPHY, STATISTICAL, BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL, Vol 1, (1886), p11; A I McConnochie, 50 VIEWS OF THE GRANITE CITY, (circa 1900), p17; A Gammie, THE CHURCHES OF ABERDEEN, HISTORICAL AND DESCRIPTIVE, (1909), p231-237; Aberdeen University Press, THE CHURCH COLLEGE IN ABERDEEN, (1936); W D Chapman & C F Riley, GRANITE CITY: A PLAN FOR ABERDEEN, (1952), p148; J S Smith & D Stevenson, ABERDEEN IN THE 19TH CENTURY, (1988), p59; W A Brogden, ABERDEEN: AN ILLUSTRATED ARCHITECTURAL GUIDE, (2nd Edition: 1998), p103; NMRS Photographs; Aberdeen Central Library, PHOTO ARCHIVE.

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: 06/08/2020 22:45