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Rubislaw Parish Church And Church Hall, Queen's Cross, Aberdeen

A Category B Listed Building in Aberdeen, Aberdeen

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Latitude: 57.1434 / 57°8'36"N

Longitude: -2.1275 / 2°7'38"W

OS Eastings: 392385

OS Northings: 805842

OS Grid: NJ923058

Mapcode National: GBR S79.L8

Mapcode Global: WH9QQ.9Q54

Plus Code: 9C9V4VVF+92

Entry Name: Rubislaw Parish Church And Church Hall, Queen's Cross, Aberdeen

Listing Name: Queen's Cross at Fountainhall Road and Queen's Gardens, Rubislaw Parish Church and Church Hall

Listing Date: 18 December 1985

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 354378

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB19947

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Aberdeen

County: Aberdeen

Town: Aberdeen

Electoral Ward: Hazlehead/Queens Cross/Countesswells

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

Tagged with: Church building

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J Russell Mackenzie, 1874-1875; tower, galleries and hall 1881. Single storey and basement, galleried, shallow cruciform-plan Gothic church with hall adjoining to N. Yellow sandstone ashlar. Base course; dividing string courses; pointed-arched openings; chamfered reveals; eaves course; crowstepped gables.

S (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: asymmetrical; gabled bay to centre, gableted doorway to ground floor, deeply chamfered moulded reveals, supported in 3 colonettes to left and right with stiff-leaf capitals, paired shouldered doors with trumeau supporting tympanum, 5 blind pointed-arches inset; decoratively boarded timber doors with strapwork hinges; shouldered windows flanking doorway to left and right. Band of 8 pointed-arched windows set in round-headed trefoil arcade on stiff-leaf colonettes above; crenellated parapet on round-billet corbelling, with rope moulding above; traceried rose window to centre of gablehead flanked by blind pointed arches; stone crucifix to apex. Buttress flanking gable to left, terminating in square-plan open finial with round-headed trefoil arches supported on colonettes, pyramidal spire. Stair tower to flanking bay to left, shouldered window to ground floor, 2 pointed-arched windows set in round-headed trefoil arcade above, crenellated parapet on round-billet corbelling with rope moulding; shouldered window recessed behind parapet, saddle-back roof with fishscale slates. 3-stage tower adjoining to bay to right, set-back buttresses terminating in octagonal pinnacles with lead roofs; 1st stage: 4 pointed-arched windows set in round-headed trefoil arcade on stiff-leaf colonettes to S and W elevations, with crenellated parapet on round-billet corbelling, and rope moulding above, shouldered doorway below on E elevation, 2-leaf boarded timber door with strapwork hinges set in relieving arch with blind trefoil in tympanum; 2nd stage: boarded timber shouldered opening set back behind parapet of 1st stage, E elevation blank, narrow opening to right of N elevation; 3rd Stage: each elevation gableted with pair of triple height pointed-arched bipartite windows with trefoil heads, louvred glass to lower stage, clock set in each gablet, flanked by trefoil and quatrefoil; pyramidal herringbone leaded spire.

E (FOUNTAINHALL ROAD) ELEVATION: asymmetrical; 9-bay; 4-bay nave to left, with tower adjoining to outer left (see above): gabled buttressed bays, bipartite pointed-arched traceried window to each bay, with trefoil, quatrefoil, cinquefoil and multifoil above each bipartite and set in gableheads respectively (left to right), stone finial to apex. 2-bay gabled transept advanced to right: 2 bipartite windows to ground floor, rose window set in gablehead, louvred opening above. Lean-to porch recessed to right, doorway to basement, tall pointed-arched window above; single storey, 2-bay entrance to ambulatory (linking apse to hall) at outer right, shouldered window to right, shouldered doorway to left, boarded timber 2-leaf door reached by stone steps; hall adjoining to far right (see below).

N ELEVATION: gabled; semi-circular-plan apse with 3 sets of 3 pointed trefoil-headed windows, shouldered louvred opening set in gablehead, stone finial to apex; obscured below by ambulatory linking apse and church to hall. Single storey, 5-bay, rectangular-plan hall: regular fenestration to N elevation, with doorway between penultimate bay to right and bay to outer right; traceried 3-light window with louvred opening above at left return; right return blank.

W ELEVATION: asymmetrical; 8-bay; gables without crowsteps; stair tower adjoining adjacent building to outer right; 3-bay nave flanking to left, gabled bays, bipartite pointed-arched traceried window to each bay, 2-bay gabled transept slightly advanced, 2 bipartite windows to ground floor, rose window set in gablehead, louvred opening above; piend-roofed lean-to bay to left, window to basement floor, tall pointed-arched window above; single storey bay of ambulatory adjoining to left, window to centre; hall adjoining to outer left (see above).

Predominantly diamond-pane leaded windows and stained glass. Grey slate roof with lead ridges, purple-grey roof to apse; lead roof to spire. Stone skews with decorative skewputts; diamond-plan wallhead stack with circular can.

INTERIOR: recently redecorated (2000); galleries added 1881. Rectangular-plan porch to S, stairs with iron balusters to S gallery; panelled and boarded timber doors; timber boarding below dado. Nave and aisles; decoratively panelled galleries to S and also in E and W transepts; Father Willis organ to S gallery, installed 1890. Elongated cast-iron columns with stiff-leaf capitals supporting pointed-arches of colonnade along aisles; pitched pine pews. Truncated pointed-arched roof supported on timber trusses with colonette brackets. Semi-circular-plan chancel apse to N, with decorative timber Gothic rood screen fronted by pulpit reached by steps, with sounding board; boarded timber roof in herringbone pattern. Ambulatory to N of church, including stairs to E and W galleries, with iron balusters; late 19th-early 20th century bathroom including toilet and wash hand basin. Hall to N, boarded timber below dado, simple corniced roof with timber brackets and trusses.

Statement of Interest

Ecclesiastical building in use as such (2000). Rubislaw Parish Church is particularly unusual in that it is constructed of sandstone not granite, like the majority of churches in Aberdeen. George Washington Wilson was supposedly willing to cover the cost of the granite, but his offer came too late, as the contract had already been let. The church was built as part of the extension scheme, carried out by the Church of Scotland from the 1870's. Its aim was to aid the development and progress of the Established Church, which had suffered badly in Aberdeen at the time of the Disruption. At this time three new parishes were established: Rosemount, Ferryhill and Queen's Cross (which Rubislaw Church serves). The tower and spire, galleries and church hall were added to Rubislaw Church in 1881, to help accommodate the rapidly expanding congregation. Lyall suggests that the spire was built to compete with Queen's Cross (Free) Church opposite, designed by J B Pirie, 1870-1881 (see separate listing).

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