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Rosemount Viaduct, Bon Accord Free Church

A Category C Listed Building in Aberdeen, Aberdeen

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.1484 / 57°8'54"N

Longitude: -2.1098 / 2°6'35"W

OS Eastings: 393455

OS Northings: 806394

OS Grid: NJ934063

Mapcode National: GBR S9T.2C

Mapcode Global: WH9QQ.KLKB

Entry Name: Rosemount Viaduct, Bon Accord Free Church

Listing Date: 1 November 2002

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 396487

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB48974

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Aberdeen

County: Aberdeen

Town: Aberdeen

Electoral Ward: Midstocket/Rosemount

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

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Description

Alexander Ellis (Ellis and Wilson), 1896. 3-storey, 4-storey to rear and steeply inclined site, 3-bay gabled classical church with asymmetrical towers flanking entrance. Base course, projecting continuous stringcourse between floors, eaves course.

N (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: 2-leaf timber panelled door to centre flanked by paired Corinthian pilasters supporting projecting entablature terminating in blocked balustrade. Narrow, semi-circular-arched windows to flanking bays. Pilasters rising to gallery level tripartite, semicircular-arched window. Blind rectangular plaque with projecting margin to gablehead. Swan neck scrolls flanking shouldered pediment on plinth to apex of gable. Advanced, square-plan, 3-stage tower to outer left bay; arrowslit windows, projecting cornice, octagonal lantern with ogee cupola. Large, engaged, 5-staged, square-plan tower to outer right bay; arrowslit windows, oculi to 2nd stage, projecting cornice to 3rd stage, dentil-moulded cornice to 4th stage, 5th stage belvedere with balustraded semicircular-arched openings terminating in cupola.

S (REAR) ELEVATION: 3-storey, gable end with irregular fenestration. Blocked-in semicircular-arched window to centre of 3rd storey.

W (SIDE) ELEVATION: 6-bay, regular fenestration, smaller windows to middle storey. Projecting belltower to bar outer right.

E (SIDE) ELEVATION: mirror of W except outer bay to right obscured by abutting building.

Predominantly modern glazing except some original timebr frame sash and case windows to E elevation. Grey slates, lead flashing. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: rectangular-plan open nave and aisles with symmetrical balustraded steps rising to central pedimented precenter's platform to centre of N. Dado height, pitch pine panelling to nave and aisles, gallery supported upon cast-iron columns to sides and rear, turned balusters to gallery balustrade. Segmental arch supported upon carved timber Corinthian pilasters open to apse housing large timber organ casement to gallery level. Original pine pews to gallery and nave. Timber coffering, springers and braces to roof.

Statement of Interest

The building, by an improtant local architect, plays an important streetscape role within the heart of Aberdeen's city centre, forming a terminus to Rosemount Terrrace's tenements also by Ellis and Wilson. The foundation stone was laid 11 May 1895 and the church was officially opened 3 September 1896. Bon Accord was Ellis' last church building prior to his retirement in 1896. The quality and elegance of the predominatly timber neo-classical interior is revealed to be of late Victorian date rather than late 18th century by the presence of cast-iron supports and the elaborate organ works. The organ was installed in 1923 ans was the work of Ernest Henry Lawton of Aberdeen (1869-1947). The church was built at a cost of ?6523, ?4000 of which was raised by the sale of the site of congregation's existing church on Union Terrace to the Aberdeen School Board. The present cangregation were formerly known as Gaelic Congregation but changed their name on moving to Bon Accord in 1975. Ellis carried out numerous church commissions throughout the north east for various denominations including Free Church, Episcopal and Roman Catholic, such as St Mary's RC Cathedral, Huntly Street (in 1967 at Category B; see separate listing).

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