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Belmont Street, Former St Nicholas Congregational Church

A Category A Listed Building in Aberdeen, Aberdeen

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.147 / 57°8'49"N

Longitude: -2.1017 / 2°6'6"W

OS Eastings: 393945

OS Northings: 806236

OS Grid: NJ939062

Mapcode National: GBR SBY.8J

Mapcode Global: WH9QQ.PMDF

Entry Name: Belmont Street, Former St Nicholas Congregational Church

Listing Date: 12 January 1967

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 354365

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB19937

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Aberdeen

County: Aberdeen

Town: Aberdeen

Electoral Ward: George St/Harbour

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

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Description

James Souttar and William Leslie, 1865 (see Notes). Outstanding 2-storey, 5-bay Italian Romanesque former chapel now converted to nightclub with prominent highly decorative curved apse to rear, tall corner towerlets and distinctive corbelled arch motif to front and rear gables; round-arched openings. Hammer-faced granite ashlar with pale sandstone dressings. Base course, string course and upper storey cill course.

Principal (E) elevation: central round-arched doorway with stepped recessed marble Corinthianesque nook-shafts and tall narrow flanking openings. Above, large central rose stained glass window with sandstone tracery surmounted by smaller quatrefoil opening. Tall 4-stage octagonal towerlets flank entrance with top storey of free-standing columns capped by slated octagonal roof. Further tall and narrow openings to outer left and right.

Rear (W) Elevation: advanced 5-window rounded apse with columned mullions; multi-arched eaves gallery above; square corner buttresses flanking; substantial moulded cornice with 2-stage corner towers rising above, breaking eaves line at base. Regular arrangement of openings to side elevations.

Fixed-pane stained glass windows throughout; grey slate; coped stacks set low on N pitch of roof; clay cans. Cast-iron rain water goods.

INTERIOR: Many original features remain including gallery with interlacing-arch detailing. Good stylised floral stained glass windows. Painted ceiling in apse with roundels depicting biblical symbols. Fine plasterwork throughout. Some interior alterations to accommodate nightclub.

Statement of Interest

This striking building with its intricately detailed Romanesque apse is designed to be viewed from a distance, particularly from Union Terrace and the Rosemount and Union Street viaducts. The tall tourelles (towerlets) at each corner of the building are overscaled to give it even greater landmark presence, providing a valuable contribution to Belmont Street and the wider Aberdeen skyline. The Italian Romanesque style is unusual for Aberdeen.

James Souttar provided the designs while he was working in Stockholm and is perhaps his earliest extant building The apse is based on the one at Lund Cathedral. William Leslie, an Aberdeen builder and granite merchant (and member of the congregation), is credited with the execution of the former Belmont Congregational Church.

In 1865 the building was called the Belmont Congregational Church, but became known as the St Nicholas Congregational Chapel in 1910. St Nicholas was the last Congregational Chapel in Aberdeen. The final service was held in 1995 although the congregation continued to worship withn the kirk of St Nicholas. The chapel is currently used as a nightclub (resurvey 2006).

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