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24 and 26 Upperkirkgate

A Category B Listed Building in Aberdeen, Aberdeen

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.1489 / 57°8'55"N

Longitude: -2.0985 / 2°5'54"W

OS Eastings: 394141

OS Northings: 806447

OS Grid: NJ941064

Mapcode National: GBR SCD.LZ

Mapcode Global: WH9QQ.QKYY

Entry Name: 24 and 26 Upperkirkgate

Listing Date: 12 January 1967

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 355528

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB20581

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Aberdeen

County: Aberdeen

Town: Aberdeen

Electoral Ward: George St/Harbour

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

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Description

Dated 1694 (see Notes). 3-storey, 3-bay townhouse. Harled sandstone with finely tooled sandstone ashlar dressings to 1st and 2nd floors. Large corbelled skewputts with sundials, probably originating from an early building; fenestration slightly offset above entrance. Later, ground floor shop frontage.

12-pane timber sash and case windows at upper levels; grey slate; broad harled ridge stack abutting right gable-end of adjoining building; clay cans. Cast iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: Some 18th century pine panelling to E wall of ground floor, probably relocated from the principal first floor apartments. Exposed rubble arch probably forming part of fireplace (now blocked). Early timber beams to double attic space with evidence of earlier hoist system; iron hooks attached to beams at regular intervals. Central well beneath floor of shop.

Statement of Interest

Nos 24 and 26 Upperkirkgate is a restored townhouse/commercial property that adds significantly to the varied run of buildings along the N side of this early street. The large corbelled skews, dated 1694, have sundials carved into their sides. It has been suggested that the skews may have terminated a wooden balcony, similar to the type which were at the now demolished house of Lord Byron in adjacent Broad Street. It is also possible that the skews originate from an earlier building, and the current building may be slightly later than 1694. A gap in the roof beams corresponds with the offset fenestration to principal elevation suggesting that a pulley system was built into the original structure for the purpose of the original owner's business. The hooks attached to attic beams may have been used to hang wet or dyed cloth, for example. A curving wooden staircase at the first attic floor leads to secondary attic space. The building was renovated in the 1980's.

Upperkirkgate stands on the site of one of the city's many ancient gates, or 'ports'. However, 'gate' in this instance may have formerly been 'gait' meaning walk or way. Most of what is visible in Upperkirkgate derives from the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but much evidence of earlier structures of previous centuries has been built into the later fabric. The buildings that lined the S side of Upperkirkgate were cleared from the 1930's onwards as part of a programme of slum clearances, and eventually to allow room for the St Nicholas House development.

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