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Latitude: 57.1465 / 57°8'47"N
Longitude: -2.0911 / 2°5'27"W
OS Eastings: 394588
OS Northings: 806185
OS Grid: NJ945061
Mapcode National: GBR SDF.YG
Mapcode Global: WH9QQ.VMFR
Entry Name: 35 Regent Quay, Custom House
Listing Date: 26 May 1977
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 354423
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB19982
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: George St/Harbour
Traditional County: Aberdeenshire
James Gordon of Cobairdy, 1771. Well-proportioned 3-storey and basement, 5-bay townhouse with over-sailing steps to central doorway. Grey granite ashlar with raised margins and deeply chamfered quoins. Basement and eaves band courses; moulded cornice. Gibbs-style surround doorpiece and pediment. Later, small tapering stone entrance piers to streetline; low coped wall with cast-iron railings returning at far left to single-storey harled outshot with brick margins. 2-storey harled outshot to rear elevation.
12-pane plate glass to timber sash and case windows; grey slate to M-pile roof; twin stacks at right and left gable ends; clay cans; cast-iron rainwater goods.
INTERIOR: Original room layout retained. Multi-pane glazed vestibule with double-leaf door to main entrance hall. Pilastered and arched entrance hall. Fine stone staircase with square central well to rear of building rising to attic level; ornamental cast-iron balustrades; moulded timber handrail. Fine, dentiled cornicing to principal rooms. Run of shallow vaulting to basement.
35 Regent Quay is an exellent example of a Georgian townhouse, characterised by its fine attention to detail and elegant proportions, crucially sited overlooking the harbour. Built during the first phase of construction of nearby Marischal Street, No 35 is perhaps the finest example of its type within the central Aberdeen area. Originally a private mansion house built by wealthy landowner James Gordon of Cobairdy, the property became the official Aberdeen Customs House around 1892.
Established in the UK in 1823, the Customs and Excise board played an important role in the maritime life of Aberdeen throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, protecting the interests of the city through the control of imported and exported goods. HM Revenue and Customs vacated its offices here in March 2006. The building is currently in multiple use as offices for a number of local charities and businesses (resurvey 2006).
The harbour at Aberdeen accounts for the city's prosperity, representing the key to its history. Development of Aberdeen Harbour gathered momentum from the late 18th century when the physical restrictions caused by the shallow depth of the Dee estuary became problematic for increasingly heavy trade. In the 18th century, the Shiprow quayside was greatly increased forming the terrace which was to become Regent Quay. The 18th century buildings that line Regents Quay originally looked out over the sands and tributaries of the Dee, before the construction of Vicoria Dock (1848). John Wood's map of 1810 shows the location for the intended wet dock, running the length of the as yet unnamed Trinity, Regent and Waterloo quays, all designed by renowned engineer Thomas Telford during the 1840's.
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