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.


Group Category Details
Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NJ 94275 6292
394275, 806292


Early 19th century with later additions (see Notes). Symmetrical, 4-storey, 5-bay former bank (in commercial use, 2006) with distinctive double-height, pilastered, segmental arched openings to central 3 bays. Grey granite ashlar with raised margins. Channelled rustication to flanking entrance doors. Base course, cill course, band courses, modillioned cornice over 3rd storey and blocking course. Central entrance. Slightly advanced outer bays with 2-leaf, 4-panel timber entrance doors with fanlights above. Corinthian columned doorpieces with consoled parapetted balconies with ball finials. Panelled aprons to 3rd storey windows.

Predominantly 4 and 6-pane timber sash and case windows to upper storeys. Non-traditional glazing to ground and centre 1st storey. Grey slates. Gable and ridge stacks.

INTERIOR: partly seen (2006). Good decorative plasterwork to ceiling in central former banking hall.

Statement of Special Interest

40 and 42 Union Street was the former premises of the Bank of Scotland. It is a good example of a symmetrical classical commercial buiding and contributes significantly to the one of Aberdeen's most important thoroughfares. It is particularly distinguished by its high quality decorative stonework. The balconies over the two entrance doors are particularly striking as are the segmental arched openings to the central 3 bays.

It is suggested by Rettie that this was one of the first buidings to be built on a feu on Union Street. Built for Mr Morison of Auchintoul, it was later sold to the Bank of Scotland in 1867 for £7000. Peddie & Kinnear, the Edinburgh architects, drew up alteration plans for the building at this time which a banking hall, offices and a Manager's House. It is possible that some exterior alteration was also done at this time.

There is some disagreement in the books about the date and architect of this building. Brogden states that it was the first building to be built in lower Union Street in 1811 by Archibald Simpson, whereas others suggest that it was nos 46-50 Union Street which was the Simpson building. This is given a later date, but the Bank of Scotland archives indicate that it was certainly erected by 1867.

Union Street was developed after 1794, when a town council meeting asked the engineer Charles Abercrombie to find a way to connect the original steep, haphazard network of 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 a large bridge at the Denburn. The street was to be lined with classical buildings, but the initial idea of having a long, uniform classical design that each new house would have to conform to was abandoned, as it was realised that different purchasers would require some control over the design. Some variety was therefore conceded.

Peddie and Kinnear (1856-78) was a very successful and prestigious architectural practice, based in Edinburgh but which secured commissions for large public buildings throughout Scotland. They often used the Scots Baronial style. Frequently winning competitions, as here, their output includes many churches, banks and court buildings.

Part of B Group with Nos 5-53, 67-89, 95-139, 143-153 (odd nos) Union Street, Nos 26-42, 46-62, 78-106, 114-144 (even nos) Union Street and St Nicholas Churchyard.



1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map, (1866-68). J Rettie, Aberdeen 50 Years Ago, 1868 p55. W A Brogden, Aberdeen, An Illustrated Architectural History, 1998, p92. Ranald MacInnes, The Aberdeen Guide, 2000 p57. HBOS Archive, Acc/03/150/82,83. Scottish Dictionary of Architects

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


There are no images available for this record, you may want to check Canmore for images relating to 40 AND 42 UNION STREET

There are no images available for this record.

Search Canmore

Printed: 30/03/2023 02:48