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Skene Street and Esslemont Avenue, Aberdeen Grammar School, Language Block (Formerly Part of Westfield School)

A Category B Listed Building in Aberdeen, Aberdeen

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.1475 / 57°8'51"N

Longitude: -2.1148 / 2°6'53"W

OS Eastings: 393153

OS Northings: 806301

OS Grid: NJ931063

Mapcode National: GBR S92.TN

Mapcode Global: WH9QQ.HL5Z

Entry Name: Skene Street and Esslemont Avenue, Aberdeen Grammar School, Language Block (Formerly Part of Westfield School)

Listing Date: 6 December 2000

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 394818

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB47493

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Aberdeen

County: Aberdeen

Town: Aberdeen

Electoral Ward: Midstocket/Rosemount

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

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Description

A Marshall Mackenzie, 1898; remodelled J A O Allan, 1927 and 1929. 2-storey, basement and attic, 11-bay Scots Baronial former new Westfield School and Aberdeen Grammar School Gymnasium. Tooled coursed grey granite ashlar finely finished to margins. Base course; chamfered reveals; curved angles, corbelled to right angles at 1st floor; 1st floor cill course; crowstepped gables with inset narrow window openings, spherical finials to apex.

SE (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: near-symmetrical; 11-bay arranged 2-3-1-3-2; gabled entrance bay advanced to centre, architraved window flanked to right by architraved modern doorway to centre of ground floor; tripartite window to 1st floor above; bipartite window to attic floor; angle turrets corbelled-out from 1st floor, window to 1st floor, tripartite window above, conical spires with fish-scale slate roofs. 3-bay blocks flanking to left and right; tripartite windows to centre of ground floor, flanked to left and right by bipartite windows; gabled tripartite window to centre of 1st floor, breaking eaves, flanked to left and right by single windows. 2-bay gabled blocks advanced to outer left and right; pair of bipartite windows centred to ground floor, centre plane of 1st floor corbelled out, 2 bipartite windows to centre.

NE ELEVATION: symmetrical; 7-bay; 1st floor windows breaking eaves; window to centre of ground floor, blank above; 2 gabled bays flanking to left and right, bipartite windows to ground and 1st floors of each; single gabled bay to outer left and right, bipartite window to ground floor, single window to 1st floor.

NW ELEVATION: near-symmetrical; 11-bay arranged 2-2-3-2-2; gabled bay to centre, 2 single windows to centre, flanked to left and right by bipartite windows at ground and 1st floors. 2-bay blocks flanking to left and right, tripartite window to left of ground floor of block to right, flat-roofed porch with crenellated parapet obscuring bay to right, bipartite window to centre, doorway to left return, 2 bipartite windows to 1st floor above; flat-roofed porch with crenellated parapet obscuring ground floor of block to left, 2 bipartite windows, doorway to right return, 2 bipartite windows to 1st floor above. 2-bay gabled blocks advanced to outer left and right, pair of bipartite windows to ground and 1st floors of each.

SW ELEVATION: symmetrical; 7-bay; 1st floor windows breaking eaves; window to centre of ground floor, blank above; 2 gabled bays flanking to left and right, bipartite windows to ground and 1st floors of each; single gabled bay to outer left and right, bipartite window to ground floor of bay to outer right, ground floor of bay to outer left blank, single windows to 1st floors.

Predominantly 2-pane timber-framed windows with top hoppers. Grey slate roof with lead ridges, 3 regularly placed decorative octagonal timber ventilators along ridge, with conical fish-scale tiled roofs, weather-vane to apex of centre ventilator, decorative finials to remainder. Beaked skewputts. Coped gablehead stack and stack breaking pitch, with circular cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: simple interior with little detailing.

Statement of Interest

B-Group with Aberdeen Grammar School, Lord Byron Statue, French School, Lodge, Gates, Gatepiers and Boundary Walls... According to Groome Aberdeen Grammar School, though not the building which exists today, can be traced back as far as 1262, when it attracted "advanced pupils from the best primary schools, and has a close connection...with the university." (Groome p 11). The previous school, which Lord Byron attended, was built in 1757, on Schoolhill near the entrance to Gordon's College (see separate listing). Towards the middle of the 19th century it was decided that a larger school was required. There was a great deal of pressure to widen the subjects taught, and with only 4 classrooms and the same number of teachers the search for a new site began. Eventually the Skene Street site was chosen and there was a competition held by the Town Council for the design. James Matthews prepared designs for the school in the Italianate, classical and baronial styles, the latter being chosen and built for a cost of ?16,605. In 1898 A Marshall Mackenzie remodelled the existing Westfield School to the NW of Aberdeen Grammar School, and designed a new block to the S, which also included the gymnasium for the Grammar. Throughout the 20th century Aberdeen Grammar School was extended. In the 1920's Westfield School, comprising the new and old blocks, was incorporated. The school now forms the Language Block and French School (see separate listing) of Aberdeen Grammar School.

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