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 94427 6395
394427, 806395


James Gillespie Graham, 1836. Symmetrical 3-storey, 5-bay classical tenement building. Inner 3 bays slightly advanced and pedimented with imposing Ionic columns and pilasters dividing bays to 1st and 2nd storeys. Grey granite ashlar. Base course. Band and cill courses. Parapet. Banded rustication to ground with round arched openings to central 3 windows and flanking doorways. Semi-circular fanlights to doorways.

Plate glass timber sash and case windows.

INTERIOR: comprehensively altered to form office accommodation. (2006)

Statement of Special Interest

This building is a grand and impressive addition to the planned streetscape of King Street. It is dominated by its central pedimented section and is the only building in Aberdeen known to have been designed by the renowned architect Gillespie Graham. It was originally planned with shops at the ground floor and flats above However, in 1868, it became a branch of the Commercial Bank of Scotland and is now (2006) office accommodation.

Archibald Simpson, who designed no 1-5 King Street, quarrelled with Gillespie Graham over this design.

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.

James Gillespie Graham (1776-1855) was a Scottish architect whose output mainly consisted of ecclesiastical buildings and country houses. His works include St Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral in Glasgow and Taymouth Castle. Although primarily known for his work in the Gothic style, his work at Moray Place in Edinburgh (1822) attests to the fact that he was equally at home in the Classical idiom.

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

References form previous List description G.M.Fraser, Archibald Simpson and his Times.



1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map 1866. W.A.Brogden. Aberdeen, An Illustrated Architectural Guide 1998 p 73. Ranald Macinnes, The Aberdeen Guide 2000 p148.

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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Printed: 01/06/2023 17:49