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
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NJ 95750 5877
395750, 805877


William Smith, 1870. Simple single-storey mission hall situated at centre of Footdee's North Square. Coursed, roughly squared and snecked rubble with raised brick dressings and round-arched openings. W elevation: 4 round-arched windows with raised cills and brick voussoirs; above, central circular window. Brick bellcote incorporating chimney at apex. Single-storey lean-to runs length of E elevation. 2-leaf round-arched doors to far left and right of S elevation.

Fixed-pane glazing. Grey slate with large rooflights to lower pitch. Ashlar skews. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

Statement of Special Interest

North Square Mission Hall occupies the central area of the North Square, reflecting its significance as an integral part of village life. The building is plain, with simple detailing throughout, and as such, responds sympathetically to its setting and context. Known locally as 'the schoolie' the hall was built for general as well as religious purposes and continues to operate as a multi-purpose meeting space.

The entire Footdee village was added to the statutory list in 1967 as a single entity. The village was subsequently given Conservation Area status in 1968. At resurvey in 2006, each building within the Conservation Area was re-assessed separately. Key examples, demonstrating both individual architectural interest and representing the history and development of the village as a whole, were selected for listing.

Footdee is a particularly interesting example of a planned housing development purpose-built to re-house Aberdeen's local fishing community. Laid out in 1809 by John Smith, then Superintendent Of The Town's Public Works. Smith went on to establish himself as one of Aberdeen's key architects. Occupying an isolated spit of land to the SE of Aberdeen's city centre, its regimented squares have been described as 'a cross between the neo-classical aspirations of Aberdeen and the close-knit fishing communities of the north-east'.

The two squares of Footdee originally contained 28 single-storey thatched houses although this increased when the later Middle Row (circa 1837) and Pilot Square (circa 1855) were added. The entrances on each of the North and South squares were filled in the 1870's by William Smith (son of John and architect of Balmoral Castle). He also added additional storeys to the East and West sides of South Square creating a tenement feel. This was an attempt to ease crowding resulting from an influx of fishing families from other less prosperous areas and to help try to enforce the 'one-house-one-family' rule.

The Town Council decided to start selling the dwellings to occupiers in 1880, beginning a period of incremental development and reconstruction. Additional storeys and dormers were added piecemeal by the new owners as funds allowed. The result is one of individuality expressed within the constraints of a strictly formal plan and is a contributing factor to the special architectural and historical interest of Footdee as a whole.

Throughout the 19th century, 'tarry sheds' were added to the communal land within the squares opposite each dwelling and now every dwelling has its own shed. Originally constructed from drift wood and other found materials, the sheds have been built and rebuilt in an idiosyncratic manner over the years in a variety of materials with rendered brick now predominating slightly (2006). Some timber built sheds remain, predominantly on the North side of North Square.

Referred to locally and historically as 'Fittie', the derivation of which remains uncertain although a number of suggestions have been put forward. The Church of St Fittick is situated half a mile away to the south. 'Footdee' is a more recent and literal Anglicisation, derived from its proximity to the mouth of the River Dee.

Category changed from B to C(S), 2007.



Chapman and Riley, 'The City and Royal Burgh of Aberdeen - Survey and Plan (1949) p149; W A Brogden, Aberdeen, An Illustrated Architectural Guide (1986) p21. Ranald MacInnes, The Aberdeen Guide (1992) p156. Diane Morgan, The Villages of Aberdeen - Footdee (1993). Ian Shepherd - Exploring Scotland's Heritage: Aberdeen and North East Scotland - RCAHMS (1996).

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: 15/11/2018 06:15