History in Structure

Folly, 27 Rubislaw Den North, Aberdeen

A Category B Listed Building in Aberdeen, Aberdeen

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Latitude: 57.1435 / 57°8'36"N

Longitude: -2.1432 / 2°8'35"W

OS Eastings: 391434

OS Northings: 805851

OS Grid: NJ914058

Mapcode National: GBR S52.NG

Mapcode Global: WH9QQ.1QQ3

Plus Code: 9C9V4VV4+9P

Entry Name: Folly, 27 Rubislaw Den North, Aberdeen

Listing Name: 27 Rubislaw Den North (Formerly Rubislaw Den House and Gordon House), Including Folly, Terrace Walls, Gatepiers and Boundary Walls

Listing Date: 7 October 1986

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 355322

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB20474

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200355322

Location: Aberdeen

County: Aberdeen

Town: Aberdeen

Electoral Ward: Hazlehead/Queens Cross/Countesswells

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

Tagged with: Folly

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Possibly Duncan and John Ross MacMillan, dated 1881. 2-storey and attic, 5-bay villa with Scots baronial and gothic details. Tooled coursed grey granite with contrasting light grey finely finished dressings. Battered base course; raised margins to basket-arched openings; ground and 1st floor cill course; dividing band course; machicolated parapet; crowstepped gables with inset segments.

S (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: near-symmetrical; entrance bay advanced to centre, curved outer angles corbelled to form right angles at crenellated parapet; roll-moulded basket-arched doorway, decoratively carved 2-leaf panelled timber door with small-pane fanlight, windows in curved angles to left and right, Italianate pilastered round-arched bipartite window to centre of 1st floor, corbelled stone balcony with tooled pink granite panel reading "They Haif Sayde Quhat Saye Thay Lat Thame Saye" (motto of Marischal College), bipartite windows flanking to left and right, with polished pink colonette forming central astragal. Regular fenestration to flanking bays to left and right at ground and 1st floors, gableted timber dormers to attic floor above; 3-light canted window advanced to ground floor at left, window to 1st floor, gableted timber dormer to attic floor; 5-light rectangular-plan window advanced to ground floor of bay to right, single window to 1st floor above, wallhead stack to attic. Modern addition to outer left.

E ELEVATION: near-symmetrical; 5-bay; roll-moulded reveals to windows. Engaged entrance tower to centre, battered base, crenellated parapet enclosed by angle turrets; round-arched doorway to ground floor, glazed replacement doors with fanlight above; bipartite window to 1st floor, central column and paired columns flanking, scalloped capitals; 3-light oriel window to 2nd floor; circular-plan angle turret to re-entrant angle to left, rising above roofline with crenellated parapet; narrow recessed bays flanking entrance bay, single window to 1st floor of each. Gabled bays advanced to left and right, 3-light bowed window advanced through ground and 1st floors with parapet forming balcony to attic floor, Y-traceried pointed-arched bipartite window to attic floor; deeply chamfered angles at ground floor, with window to each; finial to apex.

N ELEVATION: asymmetrical; 3-bay; regular fenestration to centre bay; gabled bay to left with regular fenestration to ground and 1st floors; gabled bay stepped forward to right, link to modern addition at ground floor, pointed-arched window to centre of 1st floor with stained glass and cusped tracery, rose window set in gablehead, finial to apex, angle turrets with conical roofs flanking to left and right.

W ELEVATION: ground floor predominantly obscured by later 20th century additions; gabled bay advanced to centre, with 3 narrow round-arched windows inset, near-regular fenestration to returns; recessed bay to left, lean-to addition to ground floor, pair of windows to 1st floor; gabled bay recessed to right, near-circular-plan 5-light window to ground floor, window to 1st floor above, round-arched pediment above flanked by consoles.

Predominantly 2-pane timber sash and case windows. Grey slate roof with lead and felt ridges. Stone skews with beaked skewputts. Coped gablehead, wallhead and ridge stacks with decorative square-plan cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: central 2-storey hall, arcaded and galleried at 1st floor; imperial marble stair with elaborate cast-iron balusters; coved ceiling; glazed inner ceiling light. Variety of period decoration to main rooms; cellar below terrace with window opening onto Rubislaw Den (seen 1986).

FOLLY AND TERRACE WALLS: late 18th-eary 19th century; curved terrace to SW of house, with pierced balustrade surmounted by recumbent lions; circular-plan folly viewpoint to S, with crenellated parapet.

GATEPIERS AND BOUNDARY WALLS: 2 pairs of square-plan ashlar gatepiers to NE and NW of house, chamfered angles and corniced necks, flanked by shallow quadrant walls; high rubble walls to N, simple square-plan piers with shallow pyramidal caps.

Statement of Interest

From the beginning of the 19th century Aberdeen rapidly expanded westwards from Union Street. Rubislaw Den North runs almost parallel to Queen's Road (on the site of Skene Road) which was originally surrounded by the estate of Rubislaw. In 1877 Rubislaw Estate was bought by the City of Aberdeen Land Association, who re-aligned Skene Road and sold off the estate in smaller plots. Streets became wider and villas with substantial gardens often replaced terraces. Prestigious architects were often employed to produce bold and unusual designs to reflect the wealth and individuality of the clients. 27 Rubislaw Den North is the most substantial villa in this area of Aberdeen. Unlike most villas on the street, it stands set back from the road on the site of modest 18th century house, from which the terraced grounds date. It was built for William Keith, a granite merchant, and was called Rubislaw Den House. From 1935-39 it was under the ownership of Ishbel Gordon, 1st Marchioness of Aberdeen, who gave the house its present appearance. 27 Rubislaw Den North was for a time the Gordon House Hotel, and is currently in use as Rubislaw Den Nursing Home.

External Links

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