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23 Queen's Road at Queen's Gate and Forest Avenue, Albyn School for Girls, Including Gatepiers and Boundary Walls

A Category B Listed Building in Aberdeen, Aberdeen

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.1416 / 57°8'29"N

Longitude: -2.1323 / 2°7'56"W

OS Eastings: 392092

OS Northings: 805641

OS Grid: NJ920056

Mapcode National: GBR S6M.25

Mapcode Global: WH9QQ.6RWJ

Entry Name: 23 Queen's Road at Queen's Gate and Forest Avenue, Albyn School for Girls, Including Gatepiers and Boundary Walls

Listing Date: 17 June 1992

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 355880

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB20719

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Aberdeen

County: Aberdeen

Town: Aberdeen

Electoral Ward: Hazlehead/Queens Cross/Countesswells

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

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Description

Matthews & Mackenzie, 1879; 1962 entrance fronting hall, gym and changing rooms adjoining (not included in listing); later additions and alterations. 2-storey, basement and attic, 5-bay rectangular-plan villa. Tooled coursed grey granite to NW and SW elevations with finely finished dressings; Aberdeen bond granite to remainder. Rough-faced base course; architraved openings; dividing band course, corniced to NW elevation; round-arched pilastered windows to 1st floor of NW elevation; eaves course and cornice; overhanging eaves.

NW (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: symmetrical; pedimented central bay, porch advanced to ground floor with balustraded entablature supported on paired Tuscan columns, depressed-arched doorway with impost detail, pilastered panelled timber door with etched glass upper pane, flanked to left and right by etched glass panels, depressed-arched fanlight with turned spindles; bipartite window to 1st floor above. Regular fenestration to ground and 1st floors of recessed bays to left and right; 2 bays to left and right stepped forward, regular fenestration to ground floor, bipartite window to 1st floor of each, bracketed projecting cills. Piend-roofed dormers to attic floor.

SW (FOREST AVENUE) ELEVATION: 3 broad bays; stepped back central bay, tripartite window to basement floor, 3 windows to ground floor, tripartite window with bracketed projecting cill to 1st floor, tripartite rectangular dormer to attic floor; flues of wallhead stacks advanced from basement of flanking bays to left and right; single window to 1st floor at outer left and right.

SE ELEVATION: near-symmetrical; 5-bay; canted block advanced to centre bay of basement and ground floors, conservatory to ground floor with flat roof; 3-light shallow bowed window through basement and ground floors of 2 bays to left; regular fenestration to remaining bays; broad rectangular dormer comprising 5 tripartite windows to attic floor. 1962 addition adjoining to right.

NE ELEVATION: asymmetrical; single storey flat-roofed addition to right of ground floor; 2-light windows to ground and 1st floors of centre bay, bipartite dormer to attic floor. 1962 addition obscuring bays to left.

Predominantly 2-pane timber sash and case windows. Piended grey slate roof with lead ridges. Corniced wallhead and ridge stacks. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: good interior; some mouldings survive including panelled timber doors, architraves and cornices; tiled floor to entrance porch, fluted pilastered with Corinthian capitals to doorway which leads to main hall; Ionic pilastered and entablatured doorways to ground floor, decorative friezes and cornices; coffered plaster ceilings with decorative frieze; fine library with panelled mouldings to walls, garland swags in doorway entablatures, husks and medallions in frieze. Turned balusters to some staircases.

GATEPIERS AND BOUNDARY WALLS: shared with 17, 19 and 21 Queen's Road (see separate listings). Low square-plan granite ashlar gatepiers with pyramidal caps to NW, flanked by rough-faced granite walls with ashlar coping; tall pier surmounted by urn to Forest Avenue; granite and brick coped rubble walls to remainder.

Statement of Interest

B-Group with 17, 19 and 21 Queen's Road. From the beginning of the 19th century Aberdeen rapidly expanded westwards from Union Street. 23 Queen's Road is part of the later 19th century development W of Queen's Cross. Queen's Road is 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 the 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. Albyn School began its life in Union Street (at the W end, originally called Union Place). It was started by Miss Harriet Warrack, and was called the Union Place Seminary for Young Ladies, taking both day and boarding pupils. The school was built up by Alexander Mackie, who joined it in 1883, at which time the school was renamed Union Place Ladies School. 3 years later it moved to Albyn Place (Nos 4 and 6), and was renamed Albyn Place School. 1920 saw the beginning of the move of Albyn School to Queen's Road, when 21 Queen's Road was taken on as the boarding house (and continued to be used as such until 1994), at the same time Miss Oliver became the headmistress. 5 years later the school moved from Albyn Place to 23 Queen's Road, at which time it assumed its present name of Albyn School for Girls. When Miss Oliver retired in 1948 she gave the school to the Former Pupils Club (formed in 1906), and the Albyn School Company was formed, which instituted a Board of Governors to administer the school. In 1949 19 Queen's Road was bought (although it was used by the school between 1921 and 1924), and 10 years later 17 Queen's Road was the last villa to be added to the group. 23 Queen's Road is the largest villa in the Albyn School Group. It was originally known as 1 Queen's Gate, and was built for John Smith, an Aberdeen advocate. The house was remodelled internally in 1925, (when it was taken over by the School). 23 Queen's Road is a particularly well detailed villa, of Italianate inspiration, the airy classical interior is also of note.

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