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

West Lodge including gatepiers and rear outbuilding and excluding former ancillary building to west, Robert Gordon University, Garthdee Road, AberdeenLB52365

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (


Date Added
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NJ 91038 3186
391038, 803186


West Lodge was built in 1872 and is a single storey and attic, 3 bay, rectangular-plan, Jacobean former gate lodge to the northwest of Garthdee House. In accordance with Section 1 (4A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 the following are excluded from the listing: former L-plan ancillary range to the west of the lodge.

West Lodge is constructed in Aberdeen bond, cherry-cocked granite with a base course, tooled granite, long and short margins and the openings are chamfered. It has kneelered gables and skewputts. At the centre of the principal (southeast) elevation is a slightly advanced kneelered entrance gable with a pointed arched doorpiece and a replacement entrance door. Above the doorpiece is a spherical light suspended on a decorative iron bracket over the door, and there is a blind shield to the gablehead and stone finial at the apex. Box dormers flank the central gable. The northeast gable elevation has a 3-light canted bay window in ashlar granite, with a cornice and blocking course. The rear (northwest) elevation has a 20th century, single storey addition which is harled and has a piended roof. There is a box dormer to the northwest roof pitch of the lodge.

To the rear of the lodge is a single storey, rectangular plan, rubble-built outbuilding, with a monopitch slate roof.

There is predominantly 4-pane glazing in timber sash and case frames. The roof is pitched with grey slates. There are gablehead stacks with chamfered copes and pairs of decorative clay cans.

The interior, seen in 2014, is symmetrically arranged around a central staircase. No features from the 19th century decorative scheme are apparent.

To the north and northeast are two pairs of squat, square-plan gatepiers, with stop-chamfered corners, moulded cornice detail and very shallow pyramidal cap.

Statement of Special Interest

In accordance with Section 1 (4A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 the following are excluded from the listing: former L-plan ancillary building to the west of the lodge.

Located around 0.3 km to the northwest of Garthdee House, this gate lodge with associated gatepiers is an important ancillary component of the former Garthdee estate and enhances the architectural and historic setting of Garthdee House. The lodge has some good Jacobean stonework details, such as kneelered gables with a stone finial, which reference the style of Garthdee House. It is therefore likely that West and East Lodge were designed by William Smith II and are contemporary with Garthdee House, which was built in 1872. Together with Garthdee House and East Lodge, West Lodge is part of a group of estate buildings whose survival informs our understanding of this late 19th century estate which has been redeveloped into a university campus.

Garthdee House and its associated lodges are first shown on the 2nd edition Ordnance Survey Map of 1901. On this map West Lodge is shown as rectangular in plan, with a canted bay to the northeast elevation and the outbuilding immediately to the rear.

In 1953 Thomas Scott Sutherland (1899–1963) bought the 20 acre Garthdee estate and lived in Garthdee House. Scott Sutherland was an Aberdeen School of Architecture graduate, who became an architect and entrepreneur and gifted the estate to Robert Gordon's College in 1953 for the building to be used as the college's School of Architecture. This gift estate was decisive in the history of Robert Gordon University. The relocation of Gray's School of Art to Garthdee in 1967 marked the beginning of the development of the campus, and since then further land has been purchased and the campus is now the centre of the University as all other departments have relocated here. West Lodge accommodated the University's gardener and East Lodge accommodated the Janitor. Both lodges are now used as teaching or office spaces. The origins of Robert Gordon University can be traced back to 1729 when Robert Gordon, an Aberdeen merchant trader, founded Robert Gordon's Hospital to educate the young sons and grandsons of the Burgesses of the Guild who were too poor to send them to school. In 1881 the hospital become Robert Gordon's College with a secondary day school and separate adult education college. Since 1881 the training work of various other institutes and societies were transferred to the college, leading to various name changes until it was awarded university status in 1992.

Garthdee Estate 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, in his book Aberdeen, An Illustrated Architectural Guide (1998), notes that the plots varied in size, but were as large as 8-10 acres along the side of the River Dee, where Garthdee is situated. 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.

Category changed from B to C, statutory address and listed building record revised in 2016. West Lodge was was previously listed at category B with Garthdee House (LB47908) as 'Garthdee Road, Garthdee House (Scott Sutherland School of Architecture), including Terrace Walls and Steps, East and West Lodges'.



Canmore: CANMORE ID 149554.


Ordnance Survey (surveyed 1899, published 1901) Kincardineshire 007.02 (includes: Aberdeen; Banchory-Devenick; Nigg; Peterculter). 2nd Edition. 25 inches to 1 mile. Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

Online Sources

Dictionary of Scottish Architects. Garthdee House at (accessed 17/04/2015).

Mackintosh, J. (1895) History of the valley of the Dee, from the earliest times to the present day at (accessed 17/04/2015).

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.

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West Lodge, principal elevation, looking northwest, during daytime, on clear day, with parked cars in front of the building.

Printed: 18/06/2024 23:35