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Market Cross, Old Aberdeen, Aberdeen

A Category B Listed Building in Aberdeen, Aberdeen

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Latitude: 57.167 / 57°10'1"N

Longitude: -2.1023 / 2°6'8"W

OS Eastings: 393914

OS Northings: 808467

OS Grid: NJ939084

Mapcode National: GBR SBV.WK

Mapcode Global: WH9QQ.P440

Plus Code: 9C9V5V8X+R3

Entry Name: Market Cross, Old Aberdeen, Aberdeen

Listing Name: Old Aberdeen Market Cross, outside Old Town House, High Street, Old Aberdeen

Listing Date: 12 January 1967

Last Amended: 11 June 2018

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 354443

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB20000

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Aberdeen

County: Aberdeen

Town: Aberdeen

Electoral Ward: Tillydrone/Seaton/Old Aberdeen

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

Tagged with: Market cross

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Old Aberdeen


A market cross was erected in Old Aberdeen when it became a Burgh of Barony in the late 15th century. The surviving original parts of this cross suggest that it may date to the first quarter of the 16th century.

The only remaining original part of the 16th-century cross is the knop, decorated with four coats of arms including that of Bishop Gavin Dunbar (1518-32) surmounted by the remains of crouching beasts. The shaft was renewed in 1951, and the stepped base is modern.

Statement of Interest

In 1724 the market cross was described as having an image of the Virgin engraved on the north and south sides of the top of the cross as well as having coats of arms of the kings of Scotland and three Bishops; Dunbar, Stewart and Gordon. The Council of Old Aberdeen sold the cross in 1788-9, but a fragment was discovered in a smithy in Old Aberdeen in 1841. In 1951 this fragment was erected on top of a shaft in front of St Mary's Church, High Street, by the University of Aberdeen. It was transferred back to its current and original location in 1993. Part of its special interest is that it incorporates a significant architectural fragment of the original 16th-century market cross of Old Aberdeen, erected by Bishop Gavin Dunbar (1518-32), whose other building works, including the Greyfriars and the heraldic ceiling in St Machar's cathedral, are still evident in the city.


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