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Concert Hall, Advocates' Hall

A Category A Listed Building in Aberdeen, Aberdeen

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.1482 / 57°8'53"N

Longitude: -2.0951 / 2°5'42"W

OS Eastings: 394343

OS Northings: 806375

OS Grid: NJ943063

Mapcode National: GBR SCW.PN

Mapcode Global: WH9QQ.SLJG

Entry Name: Concert Hall, Advocates' Hall

Listing Date: 19 March 1984

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 354418

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB19977

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Aberdeen

County: Aberdeen

Town: Aberdeen

Electoral Ward: George St/Harbour

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

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Description

James Mathews, 1869. 2-storey and basement, 5-bay classical Advocates' Hall. Tooled, coursed granite with ashlar dressings. String course above basement, band courses, cornice, blocking course. Entrance elevation to S with Doric columned and pedimented doorpiece to far left. Some segmental-arched openings to ground.

Predominantly 4-pane timber sash and case windows. M-gabled at rear. Coped gable and wallhead stacks.

INTERIOR: original room plan extant with excellent decorative scheme. Wide dog-leg stair with decorative iron balusters and timber newels. Round-arched stained-glass stair windows by Cottier & Co. Encaustic tiled entrance floor, classical chimneypieces, 4 and 6-panel timber doors, some with consoled decorative cornices. Library with original custom-built timber bookcases with steps and gallery. Excellent quality decorative deep plaster cornicing with dentils and console brackets. Working timber shutters. Ground floor room converted to form working Courtroom, but retains much original fabric.

Internal link connects to Town House (see separate listing).

Statement of Interest

This purpose-built Advocates' Hall follows the classical Aberdeen tradition with its uncomplicated and unassuming classical exterior. The interior contains an excellent decorative scheme with stained glass by Cottier & Co. The library in particular is especially fine and, rarely, retains an original decorative scheme, including galleried timber bookcases, by Arthur Clyne, a local architect. The Hall was built in a small, narrow lane to the rear of the Town House (see separate listing), to take advantage of the newly built Sheriff Courts within the Town House. It was built to replace the earlier Hall, built in 1837, designed by John Smith and situated at the corner of Union Street and Back Wynd (see separate listing).

The Advocates' Society has been in existence for around 450 years. For much of that time no solicitor could appear in the Sheriff Court if he was not a member of the Society. Currently, membership is open to solicitors who practise in and around the Aberdeen area.

James Matthews (1819-1898) was a prolific architect, working mainly in Aberdeen, Elgin and Inverness, and who was in partnership with his one-time trainee, A Marshall Mackenzie from 1877-93. Matthews output includes large public and smaller private buildings. He became Lord Provost of Aberdeen in 1883 and was mainly responsible for the City Improvement Act of 1883 which included the building of School hill and Rosemount Viaduct which gave improved access to the city. He is buried in St Nicholas Churchyard (see separate listing).

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