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Latitude: 57.1695 / 57°10'10"N
Longitude: -2.1262 / 2°7'34"W
OS Eastings: 392465
OS Northings: 808745
OS Grid: NJ924087
Mapcode National: GBR S7G.9Q
Mapcode Global: WH9QQ.92R3
Entry Name: 85 Western Road, St Machar Woodside Hall Including Boundary Walls, Gatepiers and Gates
Listing Date: 26 January 2005
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 397908
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50052
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Hilton/Woodside/Stockethill
Traditional County: Aberdeenshire
Dated 1904; extended 1915. George Jamieson, builder. Tall single storey, small basement and attic, 3-bay, rectangular-plan gabled Masonic Hall with arcaded openings, decoratively-astragalled windowheads, relief-carved 'square and compass' in gablehead and fine unaltered interior. Rock-faced granite with contrasting ashlar dressings and coursed squared rubble to sides and rear. Band courses. Keystoned, Doric columned doorpiece and pilastered windows.
N (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: symmetrical. Gabled elevation comprising steps up to deep-set centre door with decoratively-astragalled semicircular fanlight and windows in flanking bays linked at springing line by band course;
arcaded tripartite window in gablehead with eaves course appearing as cill course and circular plaque above in bolection-finialled gablehead with flanking stacks.
4-pane glazing pattern in timber sash and case windows. Grey slates. Coped ashlar stacks with cans. Ashlar-coped skews and beak skewputts.
INTERIOR: fine interior detail in place including timber architraves, panelled doors, tall dadoes and picture rails. Vestibule with black and white encaustic-tiled floor depicting Masonic emblem of square and compass enclosing letter 'G',
and 2-leaf part-glazed screen door with deep fanlight leading to museum with boarded reveals and panelled timber shutters; ante-room with fixed wall benches. Main Hall with coombed ceiling and moulded plasterwork cornices,
keystoned arch with fluted decoratively capitalled columns and stencilled Masonic symbols including 'BUILT 5908' [sic] and 'EXTENDED 5919' [sic] (see Notes); shuttered windows (blocked to exterior). Narrow winding stone stair with boarded timber walls leading to small vaulted polygonal crypt with fluted angle columns and mosaic tiled floor.
BOUNDARY WALLS, GATEPIERS AND GATES: low saddleback-coped boundary walls with inset ironworks railings with pyramidally-coped square-section ashlar gatepiers and gates to N. High flat-coped rubble boundary walls.
A fine granite building in almost original condition, St Machar's Lodge Number 319 is still used for its original purpose as the meeting place for the Masons and Eastern Star members as well the Royal Arch 280. Manuscripts held in the museum include a letter dated 25th August 1902 from Brother Hendry,
Secretary telling of several sites inspected with the best being the 'ground used as a garden on the south side of Western Road'. Located in the 'Tanfield' area, a Feu Charter being prepared on 23rd April 1903, records the Feu duty at two shillings per foot of frontage. It is not known why the decorative painted shields inside refer to '5908' and '5919' as the dates of the work (instead of 1904 and 1915): this may relate to a Masonic system of dating(?).
George Jamieson, Timber Merchant & Builder of the Great Northern Sawmills & Joinery Works, Woodside, prepared an estimate for works on 28th November 1902 with the following details: 'Carpenter £275, Slater £45, Plumber £35, Plasterer £70, Total £425'.
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