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Latitude: 57.1455 / 57°8'43"N
Longitude: -2.1178 / 2°7'3"W
OS Eastings: 392972
OS Northings: 806068
OS Grid: NJ929060
Mapcode National: GBR S8N.XR
Mapcode Global: WH9QQ.FNSL
Entry Name: Carden Place at Albert Street, Former Melville Carden Place Church, Including Gatepiers, Boundary Walls and Railings
Listing Date: 12 January 1967
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 354375
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB19944
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Hazlehead/Queens Cross/Countesswells
Traditional County: Aberdeenshire
Robert Wilson, of Ellis and Wilson, 1882; internal remodelling to offices by Michael Gilmour Associates, 1990. Cruciform-plan, gothic church with 2 tower facade. Single storey and basement, converted to 2-storey and basement 1990. Tooled coursed grey granite ashlar, with contrasting light grey long and short dressings, finely finished to margins. Rough-faced battered base course and basement; chamfered reveals to pointed-arched openings; sandstone traceried windows; string course; hoodmould string course; gableted angle buttresses; eaves cornice; eaves blocking course.
S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: asymmetrical; gabled central bay enclosed by square-plan towers to left and right. 2 flights of steps swept up to central doorway, balustraded parapet, flanked by gableted piers surmounted by decorative iron lamp standards with glass globes; finely finished gableted door surround enclosed by gableted buttresses, with clustered colonnettes, decorative caps set in gablets; deeply chamfered pointed-arched doorway, pair of flat-arched modern glass doors flanked by polished pink colonnettes, supporting decorative brackets, quatrefoil and shouldered stained glass windows to tympanum, trefoil headed blind openings set in gablehead above, decorative cross to apex; small windows flanking to left and right; tall 2-light stained glass traceried window above, flanked by 2 single windows; quatrefoil set in gablehead, gableted finial to apex. 5-stage engaged tower to right; 2 narrow lancets to basement, single lancet centred above to 1st stage, chamfered doorway to right return of 1st stage, decoratively shouldered surround to modern glass door, cusped fanlight, pair of windows above; pair of windows with narrow lancet centred above to each elevation of 2nd stage; 3 narrow lancets to each elevation of squat 3rd stage, set back in individual arches supported on paired colonnettes; tall louvred lancet with cusped tracery flanked by 2 blind lancets to each elevation of 4th stage, decorative paterae frieze below dentil moulded cornice; octagonal 5th stage and spire, pair of narrow lancets to each gableted facade, enclosed by 4 pyramidal roofed pinnacles at angles, decoratively tooled bands to stone spire, iron finial to apex. 4-stage engaged tower to left; octagonal pinnacle through 1st and 2nd stages to outer left angle; bipartite windows to 1st stage; single window with narrow lancet above to 2nd stage; pair of louvred lancets to 3rd stage, gablet to left return; gabled 5th stage with 3 narrow lancets, iron finial to apex.
E ELEVATION: asymmetrical; 5-bay with 3-bay block adjoining to right; tower to outer left (see above); 3 windows to each of 4 buttressed bays to left at basement floor, 2-light traceried windows above, eaves blocking course with gableted piers to each bay; gabled shallow transept slightly advanced to right, 3-light traceried window to centre, 3 narrow lancets centred in gablehead, stone finial to apex. Piend-roofed 3-bay block adjoining to outer right: shouldered window to basement of bay to left, bipartite window with oculus above in relieving arch above; gableted porch to re-entrant angle to right, decoratively shouldered doorway with trefoil-headed fanlight, iron finial to apex, modern glass door, window to right return; window to 1st floor of centre bay; pair of window to ground floor of bay to right, decorative tripartite window above, breaking eaves with gablet, arrowslit opening inset, iron finial to apex.
N ELEVATION: near-symmetrical; predominantly obscured by piend-roofed addition advanced at ground and basement floors: gableted bay terminating in shouldered stack to centre, window to basement and principal floors arrowslit opening set in gablehead, regular fenestration to flanking bay to left, bay to right blank; left return see above, right return not seen 2000. Curved apse with stained glass windows under eaves to centre of gablehead behind addition, narrow lancet above, stone final to apex.
W ELEVATION: asymmetrical; 5-bay; tower to outer right (see above); basement floor not seen 2000; 2-light traceried windows to each of 3 bays to right, eaves blocking course with gableted piers to each bay; gabled shallow transept slightly advanced to left, 3-light traceried window to centre, 3 narrow lancets centred in gablehead, stone finial to apex.
Some leaded and stained glass windows survive; modern plate-glass windows to W, E and addition to N. Grey slate roof with lead ridges. Coped stone skews with moulded skewputts. Coped granite stacks with circular cans; gablehead stack to rear of SW tower, 2 octagonal stacks flanking gable to N, gablehead stack to addition to N. Cast-iron rainwater goods.
INTERIOR: entrance porch to S, decoratively tiled floor, boarded timber below dado rail, coffered plaster ceiling, foliate capitals to colonnettes and brackets supporting doorways, stair to E with decoratively twisted iron balusters. Former nave and aisles remodelled 1990 to form 2 floors, fine hammerbeam roof with crown-post details, dentil moulded cornice.
GATEPIERS, BOUNDARY WALLS AND RAILINGS: squat square-plan granite gatepiers to SE of church, with decorative pyramidal caps, flanked by coped granite walls surmounted by simple railings; low granite wall surmounted by decorative iron railings to E enclosing basement.
Melville Carden Place Church was originally called Carden Place United Free Church. Robert Wilson, the architect with Alexander Ellis, was also an elder of the church. The design for the church, which opened on the 2nd of April 1882 and cost ?11,500, was praised by Gammie as being "one of our finest specimens of ecclesiastical architecture, and internally as well as externally, the arrangement and adaptation are excellent and pleasing in every way" (Gammie, p99). The church was regarded as the Cathedral Church of the United Presbyterian denomination in Aberdeen. The forward thinking congregation was responsible for the introduction of a pipe organ, a bold, but highly successful move. The tower and stained glass window to the S are particularly fine. In 1989 the congregation of Melville Carden Place moved to the nearby Queen's Cross Church (see separate listing). In 1990 Michael Gilmour and Associates sensitively converted the church into offices and studios.
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