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 94046 6173
394046, 806173


John Smith, 1836-7 with later alterations, A Marshal Mackenzie, 1898. 3-storey, 4-bay Classical, former Advocates' Hall with adjoining 3-bay tenement building to W, situated on prominent corner site. Distinctive curved corner with central window opening and flanking bays with paired giant Ionic columns. Altered shops to ground. Grey granite ashlar with channelled rustication to ground. Cornice to ground floor, eaves cornice, blocking course. Consoled and corniced architraves to 1st storey openings; above variety of small square and circular openings.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: corner bay flanked by single bays with flanking Ionic pilasters. Outer bay to Union Street (S) has similar flanking pilasters. 3-bay pedimented section to Back Wynd (E) with shallow pilasters dividing bays. Simple Classical granite ashlar 3-storey, 3-bay tenement adjoined to W.

Predominantly plate glass timber sash and case windows to upper storeys at Nos 114-120 and 12-pane timber sash and case windows to tenement at No 122. Plate glass to shop fronts.

Statement of Special Interest

This prominent Classical building forms a significant part of the streetscape. It has a distinctive curved corner bay with dominant Ionic pilasters. Designed by renowned local architect John Smith in 1836-7 it is an important part of the developing 19th century city. Built as the Advocates' Hall, prior to their move in 1872 to the current Advocates Hall in Concert Court (see separate listing). From 1912-1981 it was converted to form the Queen's Cinema. It is currently (2006) commercial premises.

Planned as the major thoroughfare in an increasingly wealthy and confident city, Union Street was a bold and confident project which required major engineering to complete. The buildings which aligned the street were designed to reflect this sense of grandeur and confidence as the visual appearance of the street was of the utmost importance.

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.

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.

References from previous list description: Contracts Aberdeen Journal, Aug 10 1836, see also Nov 301836. Chapman & Riley p 148.



1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map, (1866-8). Michael Thomson, Silver Screen in the Silver City, 1988 p69. W A Brogden, Aberdeen, An Illustrated Architectural Guide, 1998, p96. Ranald MacInnes, The Aberdeen Guide, 2000 p62. Dictionary of Scottish 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 114-122 (EVEN NOS) UNION STREET AND 1 BACK WYND

There are no images available for this record.

Search Canmore

Printed: 05/12/2023 05:42