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 94523 6198
394523, 806198


1877. 3-bay gabled Gothic church. Pointed-arched openings and distinctive crocketed and saw-toothed decoration to skews terminating in bellcote. Grey granite ashlar with recessed sandstone to clerestory windows.

E (entrance) ELEVATION: recessed 2-leaf timber doors to each ground floor bay with decorative cast-iron hinges and moulded surrounds; pointed-arched fanlights above. Central doorway slightly advanced with gabled doorpiece with cross at apex. Above, cinquefoil stained-glass windows with sandstone dressings flank tripartite lancet window with sandstone dressings and vesica to centre set within pointed-arched opening. Small, quatrefoil louvred opening above. 3 large pointed-arched windows with elaborate tracery at S elevation; segmental-arched pend runs underneath building at Theatre Lane. 2 further pointed-arched windows at W elevation.

Single sash and case window to N elevation over pend at Theatre Lane. Grey slate. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: Pointed-arch timber doors to vestibule and main hall. Vestibule wall with fixed-pane leaded glazing. Large hall with simple ribbed plasterwork coombed ceiling. Gallery to E with quartrefoil and dentil decoration; cast-iron supporting columns. Vaulted basement comprising 4 long and shallow brick chambers.

Statement of Special Interest

No 50 Marischal Street is a good example of a late 19th century gable-ended church, particularly notable for its unusual crocketed skews and prominent bellcote. The recessed sandstone dressings provide an interesting contrast to the granite. Following the building line of the earlier constructions to either side, the church provides continuity with its 18th century neighours and adds considerably to Marischal Street's important run.

Opened as the Trinity Parish Church in July 1877, it replaced the 1794 Theatre Royal building, which was destroyed by fire in 1872. The original walls of the theatre are incorporated into the fabric of the Church, with evidence of an older stair (now hidden behind plasterboard) which probably led to the stage and main theatre. The four vaulted cellars beneath the church were used as the dressing and props rooms for the theatre.

Minor alterations to the interior were carried out when the church was gifted to its current occupiers. This is commemorated by a plaque within the vestibule 'This church was given by Mrs Isabella Gordon to the Elim Foursquare Gospel Alliance, and was opened by Principal George Jeffreys the founder thereof on 25th August, 1934'. The Trinity Church pipe organ and pulpit of 1897 were removed at some point after 1934. It is thought that the bellcote never contained a bell. A secondary entrance to the church is located within the adjacent No 48 Marischal Street, leading both into the vestibule and down to the lower levels.

Marischal Street (designed by William Law, 1767) is of great historic interest in terms of the early development of Classical Aberdeen. Formed on the site of the Earl Marischal's lodging and linking Castlegate with the Harbour below, Marischal Street is carried on embankments down a partly vaulted incline. It is the earliest example of this type of construction in Aberdeen, anticipating the larger scale development of Union Street and Edinburgh's South Bridge by 20 years. Originally having a fine granite bridge half way down, this was demolished and replaced in 1983 along with adjacent Nos 36-40 and 37-39 to allow the widening of Virginia Street below.

The buildings occupying the Southern half of the street are attributed to William Smith (d.1812), father of John Smith (the renowned Aberdeen architect - b.1781) and are generally grander and more varied. The street as a whole retains much of its original character despite the gradual move from domestic to commercial ownership throughout 19th century. It is thought to be the first street in Aberdeen paved with square granite sets.



Alexander Milne, 'A plan of the City of Aberdeen with all the inclosures surrounding the town to the adjacent country, from a survey taken 1789'. John Wood. 'Plan of the Cities of Aberdeen', 1821. Chapman and Riley, 'The City and Royal Burgh of Aberdeen ' Survey and Plan 1949' p.149; Aberdeen Civic Society - 'A survey of Marischal Street With Recommendations For Conservation', 1970; W A Brogden - Aberdeen, An Illustrated Architectural Guide (1986) p.29.

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.

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