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Willowbank Road, Willowbank House, Including Boundary Walls

A Category B Listed Building in Aberdeen, Aberdeen

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.1398 / 57°8'23"N

Longitude: -2.1095 / 2°6'34"W

OS Eastings: 393471

OS Northings: 805443

OS Grid: NJ934054

Mapcode National: GBR S9V.LY

Mapcode Global: WH9QQ.KSPW

Entry Name: Willowbank Road, Willowbank House, Including Boundary Walls

Listing Date: 12 January 1967

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 354557

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB20109

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Aberdeen

County: Aberdeen

Town: Aberdeen

Electoral Ward: Torry/Ferryhill

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

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Description

Late 18th century, additions and alterations by J & W Smith, circa 1843. 2-storey, basement and attic, 4-bay, T-plan classical villa. Coursed grey granite with finely finished dressings. Base course; raised margins; projecting cills; strip quoins; overhanging eaves to 19th century gables; canted dormers to attic floor.

NE (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: asymmetrical; flat-roofed, advanced Doric porch, painted white, to ground floor of penultimate bay to left, round-arched niche to inside left return, ashlar steps to centre and right, 2-leaf panelled timber door, flanked by glazed panels, letterbox fanlight; window to 1st floor above doorway, window to basement, ground and 1st floors of flanking bay to right, dormers to attic floor of 2 centre bays; gabled bay advanced to outer left, window to basement, windows to centre of ground and 1st floors set in recessed segmental arch; gabled bay advanced to outer right, tripartite window with balcony to ground floor, window to centre of 1st floor.

NW ELEVATION: symmetrical; gabled; flat-roofed bowed bay to centre of ground floor, 3 windows, eaves blocking course; remainder blank.

SW ELEVATION: asymmetrical; 4-bay; flat-roofed porch to basement in penultimate bay to right, irregular fenestration in bay above; regular fenestration to 2 flanking bays to left, dormer to attic of penultimate bay to left; gabled bay advanced to outer right, flat-roofed addition advanced to ground floor adjoining rubble boundary walls, windows to left and right returns.

SE ELEVATION: near-symmetrical; 3-bay; regular fenestration to basement, ground and 1st floors.

Predominantly 12-pane timber sash and case windows. Grey slate roof with lead ridges. Stone skews. Corniced wallhead, gablehead and ridge stacks with circular and octagonal cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: decorative Ionic columned entrance hall and staircase; some skirting boards, dado rails, cornicing and fireplaces survive.

BOUNDARY WALLS: low granite coped rubble walls to N; high rubble coped rubble walls to remainder.

Statement of Interest

Willowbank house is a prominently situated villa overlooking Archibald Simpson's Bon Accord Crescent (see separate listing). John Smith (1781-1852), one of Aberdeen's most important architects, and his son William transformed Willowbank for Alexander Gibb, from a traditional 2-storey and attic house, built by a wine merchant know as "the Black Prince", to a much larger villa with classical details, adding the flat-pitched gables, Doric porch, balcony and bowed bay. Alexander Gibb (1804-1867), was a civil engineer, and the son of John Gibb (1776-1850) who was also a highly successful civil engineer, working frequently with Thomas Telford, on important projects throughout Britain. In 1843 Alexander Gibb bought Willowbank and moved there with his wife Margaret Grant Smith, daughter of John Smith, which explains why he and his son were involved in the alterations. In 1850 John Gibb died but his family continued to live in the house until Alexander died in 1867. Owned by Aberdeen Business Centre 1999.

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