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42, 42a Marischal Street

A Category B Listed Building in Aberdeen, Aberdeen

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.1469 / 57°8'48"N

Longitude: -2.0925 / 2°5'32"W

OS Eastings: 394501

OS Northings: 806230

OS Grid: NJ945062

Mapcode National: GBR SD8.67

Mapcode Global: WH9QQ.TMRG

Entry Name: 42, 42a Marischal Street

Listing Date: 12 January 1967

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 355262

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB20438

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Aberdeen

County: Aberdeen

Town: Aberdeen

Electoral Ward: George St/Harbour

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

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Description

Circa 1789-1821. 3-storey and attic, 2-bay townhouse with fine Classical doorpiece on sloping site. Grey granite ashlar; eaves band. Central tripartite windows at 2nd and 3rd storeys with stone mullions. Recessed doorway with timber panelled door flanked by Tuscan columns supporting large fanlight. Cast-iron plant railing at 2nd storey window. 5-storey, 3-bay to side (N) elevation with regular fenestration; segmental arched pend to ground floor right and pair of attic dormers.

Multi-pane timber sash and case windows with glazed margins. Grey slate. Red brick stack to left gable with granite ashlar facing. Clay cans. Recessed cast-iron rainwater goods.

Statement of Interest

The Classical styling and unusual proportion of wall to window at upper levels of Nos 42 and 42A forms a significant part of Marischal Streets lengthy run, contributing to its refined character. Built between 1789 (Alexander Milne's map of that year shows earlier buildings on Virginia Street below) and 1821 where it can be seen on John Wood's map of that year. The north facing gable and ground floor stonework were constructed from granite salvaged from No 36 - 40, demolished in the early 1980's. Rougher masonry has been utilised below the line of the bridge.

Marischal Street (designed by William Law, 1767) is of great historic interest in terms of the early development of Classical Aberdeen. Formed on the site of the Earl Marischal's lodging and linking Castlegate with the Harbour below, Marischal Street is carried on embankments down a partly vaulted incline. It is the earliest example of this type of construction in Aberdeen, anticipating the larger scale development of Union Street and Edinburgh's South Bridge by 20 years. Originally having a fine granite bridge half way down, this was demolished and replaced in 1983 along with adjacent Nos 36-40 and 37-39 to allow the widening of Virginia Street below. The massive S facing gable of No 34 and 34A was constructed from fabric taken from the demolished buildings.

The buildings occupying the Southern half of the street are attributed to William Smith (d.1812), father of John Smith (the renowned Aberdeen architect - b.1781) and are generally grander and more varied. The street as a whole retains much of its original character despite the gradual move from domestic to commercial ownership throughout 19th century. It is thought to be the first street in Aberdeen paved with square granite sets.

Part of A Group with 3-60 (Inclusive Nos) Marischal Street.

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