Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 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. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NJ 94429 6386
394429, 806386


Archibald Simpson, 1839. 3-storey, 4-bay classical tenement with shops to ground. Grey granite ashlar. Banded rustication to ground street elevation. Blocking course with central consoled wallhead panel. Architraves and cornices to windows. Cill courses. Central entrance door flanked by plate glass shop fronts with timber stallrisers and fanlight-style glazing pattern to upper lights. To far left, segmental arched doorway with timber door with coloured glass sidelights.

Timber plate glass sash and case windows to upper storeys.

INTERIOR: Modernised and altered offices to upper storeys (2006). Shop to right with central segmental archway supported by 2 Corinthian columns. Dentilled cornicing.

Statement of Special Interest

Originally built for the Scottish Fire and Life Assurance Society, this building is an integral part of the designed streetscape of King Street. The clean lines and classical proportions offer an elegance and grandeur to the street, which was entirely appropriate to the emerging wealthy early nineteenth city of Aberdeen. A print of 1840 shows that the ground floor was originally composed of 4 arched openings. The arcading is echoed in the glazing pattern.

This building was built in 1839, and retains the simple linear classical form. The loss of the arcaded ground floor has not diminished its quality in the streetscape.

King 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 latter was King Street. A competition for designs for this new street brought forward a design from Thomas Fletcher. This was to be a long classical façade, with a pedimented centrepiece and this design was begun on the East side in 1805. The idea of a standard, uniform terrace, however, was abandoned when negotiations had to be entered into with owners regarding the length of the frontages and the heights of the buildings. The West side, on which this building is situated was to have followed a similar, uniform design, but again, this was abandoned to a more diverse collection of frontages, all within the classical style.

Part of B Group with 5 Castle Street, Nos 1-56 (inclusive nos) King Street including St Andrews Episcopal Cathedral.

The following were reference used in the previous list description. Contracts. Aberdeen Journal April 10th 1839. (for North of Scotland Fire and Life). G.M. Fraser Archibald Simpson and his Times



1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map 1866-68. W.A. Brogden, Aberdeen 1986 p 72. John S. Smith and David Stevenson Aberdeen in the Nineteenth Century 1988 pf 45.

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. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. 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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