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33 Regent Quay and 59 Marischal Street (Formerly Town and County Bank)

A Category B Listed Building in Aberdeen, Aberdeen

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.1466 / 57°8'47"N

Longitude: -2.0916 / 2°5'29"W

OS Eastings: 394555

OS Northings: 806192

OS Grid: NJ945061

Mapcode National: GBR SDC.SN

Mapcode Global: WH9QQ.VM5Q

Entry Name: 33 Regent Quay and 59 Marischal Street (Formerly Town and County Bank)

Listing Date: 12 January 1967

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 355291

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB20461

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Aberdeen

County: Aberdeen

Town: Aberdeen

Electoral Ward: George St/Harbour

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

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Description

Robert Gordon Wilson (Snr), 1901. Imposing, long and narrow 3-storey, 7-bay Neo-Classical commercial building making effective use of constricted, sloping site with single-bay entrance (S) elevation overlooking harbour. Polished grey granite ashlar with base course and channeled rustication to ground floor.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: Convex stone dressings to recessed round-arched door with decorative fan-light to S elevation; prominent pendentive key-stone. Central 1st floor opening with consoled balcony and broken segmental pediment above. Twin pilasters flanking at 2nd and 3rd storey; moulded plinths resting on band course. Heavily carved and dentiled pediment with tympanum containing central occulus and ornate scrolled stone-work; returns to balustraded parapet at E elevation. Segmental and triangular pediments to E elevation alternate at first floor openings, separated by double-height pilasters. Arched windows at ground floor; doorway with segmental pediment to outer left bay.

Fixed-pane arched windows to ground floor; timber, double-hung timber sash and case windows to remaining floors. Leaded roof.

INTERIOR: Main hall retains some original oak panelling; plaster cornice currently hidden above false lighting ceiling (resurvey 2006); arched stained glass windows to W wall featuring naval scenes; upper floors converted to flats.

Statement of Interest

Robert Gordon Wilson's prominent Neo-Classical bank building at Regent's Quay is well-tailored to its restrictive corner site providing an effective termination to the handsome Georgian houses of Marischal Street. There is a particular quality in the detailing and confident handling of the Classical style that sets the building apart. It makes good use of the oblique angle of the street as it joins Regent Quay allowing the principal elevation to be seen at some distance when approaching from the East. The Aberdeen 'Town and County Bank' was established in 1826 and functioned as a successful independent bank until its integration with 'The North of Scotland Bank' in 1907, subsequently known as the 'North Bank'. Robert Gordon Wilson, a prolific Aberdeen architect, was apprenticed to Alexander Ellis and later secured a place in the office of Alexander 'Greek' Thomson before becoming Ellis's partner.

Marischal Street (designed by William Law, 1767) is of considerable 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, the 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 36-38 and 37-39 to allow the widening of Virginia Street below.

The buildings occupying the Southern end 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 refinement and 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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