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Gilcomston South Church, Union Street, Aberdeen

A Category B Listed Building in Aberdeen, Aberdeen

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Latitude: 57.1441 / 57°8'38"N

Longitude: -2.1088 / 2°6'31"W

OS Eastings: 393513

OS Northings: 805915

OS Grid: NJ935059

Mapcode National: GBR S9Y.FG

Mapcode Global: WH9QQ.LP0M

Plus Code: 9C9V4VVR+JF

Entry Name: Gilcomston South Church, Union Street, Aberdeen

Listing Name: Gilcomston South Church Union Street/Summer Street

Listing Date: 22 October 1990

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 355829

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB20676

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Aberdeen

County: Aberdeen

Town: Aberdeen

Electoral Ward: Midstocket/Rosemount

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

Tagged with: Church building

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William Smith.Opened 1868 as 2nd,more elaborate premises of United Free Church (see note).Hall torear (W and N facing) added circa 1880s.Large asymmetrical composition and free asymmetrical planning (see note).Simple Early English/Decorated (cusped plate tracery) with slight Italian influence (polychrome detailing).Picturesquely massed S (liturgical west) elevation,onto Union Street.

S elevation:square,4-stage tower at SW angle (corner pinnacles lost) rising to spire with lucarnes above;stepped angle buttresses;cusped arcade at second stage;s-faced void for clock mechanism,stage 3 (?never installed);belfry stage has simple arched opening on each face (currently gaping voids,originally filled with cusped plate tracery,quatrefoil in spandrel,on slender columns -see note on spire and tower).Trefoil corbel table with stylised floriated nailhead moulding at cornice below spire.Entrance gable,off-centre,with large plate-traceried wheel window (colonette spokes) and convex-sided triangle punched with quatrefoils above in gable (finial lost).Squatter polygonal belfry turret at SE angle,telescoping from wider base to narrower upper stages including open arcaded upper stage,and short spire above.West and East elevations:present a series of gablets to the street (transverse roofs over aisles;no clerestory).Lattice windows with zinc kames below;paired lancets above (altered glazing)with drip moulds and foliage-carved end stops,and a band of granite polychromy above drip moulds (voulloirs of pink and black granite).Low,single-storey gable of hall terminates west elevation facing Summer Street.Granite for wall fabric;soft sandstone for skews,buttresses,finials and mouldings all of which have been severly eroded.Slate roof with gabled and louvred roof ventilators.Cast-iron cresting replaced with zinc flashings.

Statement of Interest

The first permanent premises of the Free Church after 1843 was the simple granite box-auditorium of Huntly Street.An interesting example of asymmetrical planning as advocated 30 years earlier by the Camden Society and Ecclesiologists in England and to be advocated officially by the Aberdeen Ecclesiological Society,as late as 1886,almost twenty years after the opening of this church.Spire and Tower currently in poor repair:being taken down and reconstructed to original design,1990.

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