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

Pitfodels Station House excluding 2012-13 extension to northwest, Pitfodels Station Road, AberdeenLB51183

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Category
C
Date Added
28/10/2008
Last Date Amended
17/11/2016
Local Authority
Aberdeen
Planning Authority
Aberdeen
Parish
Peterculter
NGR
NJ 90650 3311
Coordinates
390650, 803311

Description

A single-storey, rectangular-plan, piend-roofed, timber former station building dating to 1894 and which was converted to residential use in 2012. It has lower outer returns and deep overhanging eaves with decorative brackets. In accordance with Section 1 (4A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 the following are excluded from the listing: the 2012-13 extension to the northwest.

The symmetrical south elevation overlooks the former Deeside railway line (now a cycle path) and has a slightly recessed central bay with a part glazed door and flanking tripartite windows. There are similar tripartite windows to the right and left. The lower outer returns are slightly set back with flat-roofs. The north elevation has two pairs of large bipartite windows.

The glazing is predominantly a multi-pane glazing pattern in top-hopper opening windows over plate glass. The roof has grey slates with decorative terracotta ridge tiles and finials and there are 3 chimney stacks piercing the roof at the northwest pitch.

The interior was not seen in 2015.

Statement of Special Interest

The former Pitfodels Railway station is one of only a handful of surviving stations of this once prolific design built by the Great North of Scotland Railway. Built to a higher specification than other stations of this type, the building still has a number of distinguishing decorative features such as the piended roof, red ridge tiling, single flue-stacks and tall narrow windows with top lights. In accordance with Section 1 (4A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 the following are excluded from the listing: the 2012-13 extension to the northwest.

Age and Rarity

The former Pitfodels station was opened on 2 July 1894 as a suburban station on the Aberdeen to Banchory line, known as the Deeside line. This line opened in September 1853 as a single track line from Ferryhill in Aberdeen to Banchory in Aberdeenshire. The line was gradually extended, first to Aboyne in 1859 and then to Ballater in 1866. It became part of the Great North of Scotland Railway (GNSR) in 1875. Suburban trains to the residential areas near Aberdeen were added to the line in 1894 as the population grew and there were 8 stations on a 7 mile stretch between Aberdeen and Culter (a short distance to the west of Pitfodels). These suburban trains were known as 'subbie' trains.

This local suburban service between Aberdeen and Culter was withdrawn on 5 April 1937 due to the increasing popularity of bus services. The whole line finally closed in 1966. Since its closure the line has become a foot and cycle path. Pitfodels station was converted into a residential dwelling in 2012 and an extension was added.

Pitfodels Station House is situated in the Pitfodels area of Aberdeen. The rural Pitfodels estate, which stretched from Cults to the Bridge of Dee, was owned by the Menzies family since the 15th century. From 1805 the last laird, John Menzies began to feu some of the estate and when he died in 1843, without any descendants the remaining estate was purchased by the Pitfodels Land Company. Brogden notes that the plots varied in size, but were as large as 8-10 acres along the side of the River Dee. An 1895 account describes it as follows "...The greater part of the lands of Pitfodels is now studded with beautiful mansions and villas, each of which stands amid well laid out and carefully kept grounds. They mostly belong to manufacturers and gentlemen engaged in business in Aberdeen, and retired gentlemen." (Mackintosh, p.29). Large villas surrounded by trees were erected in a number of the larger plots and these continue to be a feature of this area.

GNSR was situated in the northeast of Scotland and it mainly linked Aberdeen to smaller, northeast towns and villages. Few of the railway lines survive and a relatively small number of the former timber stations remain. In our current state of knowledge none are thought to still serve as railway stations. Dating from the late 19th century Pitfodels Station House is not early in date for a station building. It is, however, one of only a handful of surviving former stations of this once prolific building type built by GNSR and has retained some decorative features.

Architectural or Historic Interest

Interior

The interior was not seen in 2015. Sales particulars produced by Stronachs when the building was for sale in 2012 show boarded timber lining, fire surrounds and timber panelled doors.

Plan form

Pitfodels Station House follows the pattern of smaller GNSR station with a rectangular main block and flat-roofed outshots at both ends, which were often used for stores and toilets. Whilst the plan form is standard, the majority of these buildings have either been demolished or greatly altered. The station at Pitfodels, has been converted into residential use and has been extended. The extension is a distinct section, attached to the building at the northwest corner and extending diagonally. The plan form of the Pitfodels Station House has remained discernible because the extension is distinct in form and style.

Technological excellence or innovation, material or design quality

Timber was not an unusual building material for stations in the north of Scotland and its use here is not exceptional. Other timber stations that survive include at Boat-of Garten (LB258) and Aviemore (LB257).

In terms of design quality, whilst the basic design at Pitfodels was used at other stations by the railway company around the region, the detailing here is of a higher specification than at the few other remaining stations. The former stations at Murtle and Cults, the only other known surviving stations on this line, do not have the red ridge tiling or bracketed eaves that can be seen at Pitfodels. John Thomas & David Turnock note in their 1989 Regional History that 'very smart station work was always a feature of the 'subbies''. Piended roofs and single flue-stacks, and tall narrow windows with decoratively-astragalled top lights are all representative of the building type. These details are consistent with the station servicing the affluent, western suburbs of Aberdeen.

Setting

Pitfodels Station House is situated on the north side of the former Aberdeen to Banchory railway line. This line is now used as a public foot and cycle path. The linear form of the path, which echoes the rail line and the banks of the former platform that lie close to the house, preserve a sense of association of the building with the former railway. The building is located within the Pitfodels Conservation Area.

Regional variations

The design used at Pitfodels railway station seems to have been used only by GNSR in the northeast of Scotland. The railway company used other designs, for example at Ballater Station which was built in 1866 (LB21854), where the station is gabled with bay windows. The rectangular, piended roof form of Pitfodels does not seem to appear in other areas of Scotland.

Close Historical Associations

There are no known associations with a person or event of national importance at present (2016).

Statutory address and listed building record revised in 2016. Previously listed as 'Cults, Pitfodels Station Road, Former Station Building'.

References

Bibliography

Canmore: http://canmore.org.uk/ CANMORE ID 241206

Maps

Ordnance Survey (Surveyed 1899, Published 1901) Aberdeenshire Sheet 086.02 Map. 25 Inches to the mile. 2nd Edition. Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

Printed Sources

Butt, R. V. J. (1995) The Directory of Railway Stations. Sparkford: Patrick Stephens. p.186.

Jones, K. G. (1987) The 'Subbies'. The Story of Aberdeen's Suburban Trains, 1887-1987. Aberdeen: Great North of Scotland Railway Association.

Thomas, J. & Turnock, D. (1989) A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain, Vol 15, North of Scotland. Newton Abbot: David St John Thomas. p.180.

Online Sources

SCRAN. Former Pitfodels Station, Aberdeen at http://www.scran.ac.uk/database/record.php?usi=000-000-577-864-C&scache=1kl0gdxlil&searchdb=scran (accessed 29/04/2015).

Railbrit. Deeside Railway at http://www.railbrit.co.uk/Deeside_Railway/index.php (accessed 29/04/2015)

Mackintosh, J. (1895) History of the valley of the Dee, from the earliest times to the present day at http://www.archive.org/stream/historyvalleyde00mackgoog/historyvalleyde00mackgoog_djvu.txt [accessed 21/04/2016].

Pitfodels Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Plan (2015). Aberdeen City Council at http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/nmsruntime/saveasdialog.asp?lID=61706&sID=17172 [accessed 13/09/2016].

About Listed Buildings

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Images

Pitfodels Station House, Aberdeen south and east elevations looking northeast on sunny day with blue sky.

Map

Map of Pitfodels Station House excluding 2012-13 extension to northwest, Pitfodels Station Road, Aberdeen

Printed: 18/06/2024 22:45