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

Walled garden including glasshouse, raised bed at centre and sundial, Pittodrie House, Chapel of GariochLB52477

Status: Designated


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


Date Added
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Chapel Of Garioch
NJ 70048 23767
370048, 823767


A large, rectangular-plan walled garden with high granite rubble and coped walls, likely to have been built in the early 19th century as part of Pittodrie House estate improvements. The south wall is slightly lower in height and at each corner the top of the wall is shaped into a convex curve.

Off-centre to the west of the north wall is a lean-to glasshouse. It has a coursed rubble base, topped with two courses of brick. The rectangular panes of glass are in timber frames. Adjacent to the glasshouse is an opening in the wall with a decorative iron gate. There is also an entrance opening in the centre of the south wall with a decorative iron gate.

In the centre of the walled garden is a circular bed edged with moulded stone. To the west is a horizontal sundial mounted on a shaped baluster pedestal with a square plinth base.

Statement of Special Interest

This early 19th century walled garden is an ancillary component of Pittodrie House and it survives largely in its original form. It forms part of group of estate ancillary buildings some of which are also listed buildings and it contributes to our understanding of the arrangement and working of this small estate in the 19th century. It is relatively unaltered retaining its high walls, rectangular-plan form and associated structures including a glasshouse and sundial.

Age and Rarity

Pittodrie estate and its ancillary buildings largely date to the 19th century, when Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Knight was the owner. Knight took ownership of the estate when he married Miss Mary Erskine at the end of the 18th century. In 1841 he commissioned the Aberdeen architect, Archibald Simpson, to design substantial additions to Pittodrie House and it is likely that improvements were made to the wider estate around this time.

The extent of improvements Colonel Knight made to the estate of Pittodrie is unknown. However, a number of changes to the garden plan and new buildings had been erected by the second half of the 19th century during his ownership. This includes the walled garden and Gardener's Cottage (not listed) which are shown on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map (1867). The walled garden is shown as it largely appears in 2018, with its hedge division into six sections, a glasshouse attached to the north wall and a sundial in a circular bed in the centre of the garden. The 1867 map also shows the same four openings, including one at the centre of the south wall which also still survives.

Walled gardens are important yet common ancillaries of high status country houses or smaller houses within substantial landholdings and surviving examples range in date from the 16th to the 20th centuries. The walled kitchen garden was particularly important in Scotland where a harsh climate and unfavourable growing conditions prevailed and evolved as part of the typology of the fortified Scottish castle.

The produce would provide for the family and estate staff, with hardy crops generally grown in the open areas of the garden, fruit trees trained up the walls, and heated glasshouses to grow more delicate and exotic produce. The walled garden would have had a dedicated gardener and a gardener's cottage would often be located nearby.

In Scotland, important gardens had been established at its great houses from the late medieval and early Renaissance periods (15th to 16th centuries). As the interest in gardening and the science behind it grew, it became more common from around the 17th century to find a designed garden, often comprising a walled garden and a doocot at lesser houses and estates.

Early walled gardens, associated with pre- and post-Reformation period castles or lairds houses, are commonly found in close proximity to the house, forming part of a formal courtyard or enclosure of the house. By the 19th century walled gardens were typically located further away from the house. Walled gardens declined after the Second World War as fresh produce was becoming more accessible through imports.

The majority of surviving walled gardens date to the 18th and 19th centuries. Walled gardens will be considered of special interest in listing terms if they form part of a wider estate and often if the principal house survives. Over 750 walled gardens are listed and they are usually a component of an estate listing along with other ancillary structures. Some are listed in their own right. Examples which survive largely as they were first built are increasingly rare.

The walled garden at Pittodrie House is not an early surviving example and is of a typical layout and form. It is of interest in listing terms as an early 19th century walled garden that survives largely unaltered and as an important ancillary component which is functionally related to Pittodrie House and contributes to its special architectural and historic interest.

Architectural or Historic Interest



Plan form

The plan form of the walled garden remains generally as shown on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map. Its rectangular plan form is a typical layout for walled gardens for all periods.

Technological excellence or innovation, material or design quality

The design of the walled garden is typical for a walled garden. It is functional in its simple rectangular layout and is plain with no architectural embellishments (such as bee boles, finials of dressed stone). Features shown on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map survive, including a glasshouse and a sundial. The sundial has been moved from its circular bed but it is located nearby and remains in the walled garden.


The walled garden is an important ancillary component of a small country estate landscape, largely dating from the 19th century. It is sited some distance from the house, which is typical for early 19th century walled gardens. At the centre of the estate is Pittodrie House (LB2853) with an 18th century gunroom (LB2854) and a sundial (LB2855) in its immediate setting all of which are listed buildings.

Other surviving ancillary buildings on the estate largely date to the 19th century, but all of them have substantial later additions and alterations. The walled garden is the exception as it survives largely in its 19th century form.

In a variety of 19th century descriptions the house is described as secluded by woodland and this remains the case today. The walled garden is similarly secluded by shelterbelts of trees and despite its high walls it cannot be seen from the house, the access drive or public roads surrounding the estate.

Regional variations

There are no known regional variations.

Close Historical Associations

There are no known associations with a person or event of national importance (2018).



Canmore CANMORE ID 252510


Alex[ander] Jaffray (1726) A Map of the Gardens, Parks, Inclosures, Avenues and Planting adjacent to the Mannor House of Pittodrie. Copy at Pittodrie House.

Ordnance Survey (Survey date: 1867, Publication date: 1870) Aberdeen Sheet XLV.13 (Chapel of Garioch). 25 inches to the mile. 1st Edition. Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

Ordnance Survey (Survey date: 1899, Publication date: 1900) Aberdeenshire 045.13 (includes Chapel of Garioch; Oyne). 25 inches to the mile. 2nd Edition. Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

Ordnance Survey (Survey date: 1905-06, Publication date: 1909) Sheet 76 – Inverurie. One-inch to the mile. 3rd Edition. Southampton: Ordnance Survey.


University of Aberdeen. Papers of the Family of Erskine including 1885 Sales Particular, 1900 Sales Particular, 1904 Valuation of Home Farm and Undated Note of Rental.

Printed Sources

Campbell, S. (1998) Walled Kitchen Gardens. Princes Risborough: Shire Publications Ltd.

Ordnance Survey (1868) Book of Reference: Parish of Chapel of Garioch. Southampton: Ordnance Survey. p.9.

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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Planting and greenhouse in walled garden of Pittodrie House.
Alternative Sundial, surrounded by flowers and with high south wall of walled garden in the background.

Printed: 09/08/2022 08:59