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St Peter's R.c. Church and Presbytery and 1-5 Chapel Court

A Category B Listed Building in Aberdeen, Aberdeen

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.1487 / 57°8'55"N

Longitude: -2.092 / 2°5'31"W

OS Eastings: 394531

OS Northings: 806431

OS Grid: NJ945064

Mapcode National: GBR SDB.BC

Mapcode Global: WH9QQ.TLZ2

Entry Name: St Peter's R.c. Church and Presbytery and 1-5 Chapel Court

Listing Date: 12 January 1967

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 354411

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB19973

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Aberdeen

County: Aberdeen

Town: Aberdeen

Electoral Ward: George St/Harbour

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

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Description

Church and Presbytery, James Massie, architect and joiner, 1803-4, porch to courtyard, 1817. Simple 3-bay Gothic church with crenellated entrance at NW corner of square-plan courtyard and lying at right angles to N. Courtyard entered via pend at 1-7 Justice Street to S (see separate listing) contains 2-storey, 3-bay dwellings to W and E (1-5 Chapel Court) and 2-storey and attic, 2-bay Presbytery to N (3-bays to garden elevation at N). Squared and coursed rubble granite, strap pointing to Church. Later piended dormers to presbytery.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: Church: entrance door with 4-leaf studded timber door with pointed-arched glazed tracery fanlight above. Tripartite rectangular window with stone mullions and pointed-arched Y-tracery openings to Church. 4-panel timber entrance door to Presbytery with multi-paned rectangular fanlight above.

No 4 Chapel Court, currently in use as church hall (2006).

Predominantly Y-tracery windows to church, 12-pane timber sash and case windows to Presbytery, Nos 1 and 4 Chapel Court. Grey slates, cast-iron rainwater goods. Gable and wallhead stacks.

INTERIOR: church: simple, white painted, interior with timber pews and pulpit. Glazed timber screen to S with timber gallery above. Segmental-arched opening to sanctuary at N. 2 fine carved gilded altarpieces (one undergoing restoration, 2006).

Presbytery: substantially altered, but retains some 6-panel timber doors, shallow-tread dog-leg stair with steeply curved timber banister and simple cornicing.

Statement of Interest

Ecclesiastical building in use as such. This simple Gothic Church, along with its presbytery and ancillary buildings forming Chapel Court is situated off the busy Castle Street area of Aberdeen. Built in 1803, St Peter's was the first permanent Catholic Church to be erected in Aberdeen after the Reformation and Aberdeen is itself remarkable in Scotland for having an unbroken Roman Catholic presence. The other buildings within the courtyard are good examples of local traditional architecture from the early 19th century. Reflecting the position of Catholicism in Scotland at the time, the complex is discreetly secluded in a courtyard.

The present building replaced a 1774 Catholic Church which was built on the site of the present presbytery with the chapel on the ground floor and a house above. By the beginning of the 19th century, the congregation had expanded and a new building was required. A new church was erected on the site of the previous one and the old church altered to become the current Presbytery. In 1860, after the opening of St Mary's Cathedral, Huntly Street (see separate listing) the church closed, although No 2 Chapel Court was used as a boys' school and the Church was retained as its chapel. In 1862, a Colony of Sisters arrived from Hammersmith in 1862 to occupy the Presbytery and the building is indicated on the 1st Edition Map of 1866-8 as a Home for the Aged and Infirm. The church was closed again in 1872 and finally re-opened in 1880.

The High Altar installed in 1895-9, the work of Belgian craftsmen and paid for by a parishioner, Miss Elsie Robertson.

Reference from previous List Description: Rev Charles Gordon's minute book.

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