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143-153 (ODD NOS) UNION STREET (Ref:20527)

This building is in the Aberdeen Council and the Aberdeen Burgh. It is a category B building and was listed on 12/01/1967.

Group Items: N/A, Group Cat: B, Map Ref: NJ 9400 6105.


John and William Smith, 1844-6. 2-storey, 5-bay, turreted and castellated Tudor-gothic former Trinity Hall, now forming part of shopping centre (2006). Grey granite ashlar. String courses, cornice. Hoodmoulds. Pointed segmental arched window openings with simple tracery. Stepped, crenellated parapet punctuated by slender hexagonal ogee-domed turrets with similar clasping turrets to corners. Wide Tudor-arched opening to far right leading to shopping centre.

INTERIOR: not seen at time of resurvey (2006). Comprehensively altered to create former department store. Believed to contain timber hammerbeam ceiling. May contain fragments of the entrance gateway to the original 1632 Trinity Hall (see Notes).


The first building in Union Street not to be built in the classical style, this is a distinctive and prominent building which contributes significantly to the streetscape. Designed by the celebrated architects John and William Smith, it is situated at the South East corner of Union Bridge and is a particularly striking termination to the South side on Union Street. There are subsequent surrounding modern 20th century additions, but the building still retains a distinctive and unusual quality. It was built for the Seven Incorporated Trades, a body formed in the 16th century to protect the rights and privileges of traders and was a replacement for an earlier building on a different site, which was subsequently demolished. The entrance door of the old Hall was transferred to the new, and parts of this may still remain in the interior. By the 1840s, the Seven Incorporated Trades had become a charitable and social organisation. John Smith (1781-1852), was a native of Aberdeen, who established himself in architectural practice in the city in 1804 and whose father William, was also an architect and building in Aberdeen. John became the Master of Work in 1824 and designed many of Aberdeen's public buildings, showing an expertise in working with granite. With Archibald Simpson, (1790-1847), he was one of the major architects involved in designing the expanding nineteenth century city of Aberdeen. This building earned him the title `Tudor Johnnie'. William (1817-1891) was his son, who became a partner in his father¿s practice in 1845. Trinity Hall was his first commission. The Tutor Gothic design was reputed to have impressed Prince Albert sufficiently that he appointed William Smith as architect for Balmoral Castle. Union Street was developed after 1794, when a town council meeting asked the engineer Charles Abercrombie to find a way to connect the original steep, haphazard network of Medieval streets of Aberdeen to the surrounding countryside. His plan was for two streets, one of which would run from Castlegate to the Denburn and the other which would run from the Castlegate to the North of the town. The former became Union Street. This was a particularly difficult project to complete as the street had to cut through St Katherine's Hill at the East end and be built on a series of arches culminating with a large bridge at the Denburn. The street was to be lined with classical buildings, but the initial idea of having a long, uniform classical design that each new house would have to conform to was abandoned, as it was realised that different purchasers would require some control over the design Some variety was therefore conceded. Part of B Group with Nos 5-53, 67-89, 95-139, 143-153 (odd nos) Union Street, Nos 26-42, 46-62, 78-106, 114-144 (even nos) Union Street and St Nicholas Churchyard. References from previous List Description: Aberdeen Journal June 10th 1846. A.S.P.D. Chapman and Riley, p148. C and D Arch v.V p78. Currently undergoing refurbishment (2006).


1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map, 1866-8. Diane Morgan, Lost Aberdeen, 2004, p186. W A Brogden, Aberdeen, An Illustrated Architectural Guide, 1998 p97. Peter Watson, The Burgesses of Guild of the City of Aberdeen, 2002 from www.aberdeencity.gov.uk. Scottish Dictionary of Architects. www.codexgeo.co.uk www.scran.ac.uk

© Crown copyright, Historic Scotland. All rights reserved. Mapping information derived from Ordnance Survey digital mapping products under Licence No. 100017509 2012 . Data extracted from Scottish Ministers' Statutory List on . Listing applies equally to the whole building or structure at the address set out in bold at the top of the list entry. This includes both the exterior and the interior, whether or not they are mentioned in the 'Information Supplementary to the Statutory List'. Listed building consent is required for all internal and external works affecting the character of the building. The local planning authority is responsible for determining where listed building consent will be required and can also advise on issues of extent or "curtilage" of the listing, which may cover items remote from the main subject of the listing such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. or interior fixtures. All category C(S) listings were revised to category C on 3rd September 2012. This was a non-statutory change. All enquiries relating to proposed works to a listed building or its setting should be addressed to the local planning authority in the first instance. All other enquiries should be addressed to: Listing & Designed Landscapes Team, Historic Scotland, Room G.51, Longmore House, Salisbury Place, EDINBURGH, EH9 1SH. Tel: +44 (0)131 668 8701 / 8705. Fax: +44 (0)131 668 8765. e-mail: hs.listing@scotland.gsi.gov.uk. Web: http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/historicandlistedbuildings.

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Buildings are assigned to one of three categories according to their relative importance. All listed buildings receive equal legal protection, and protection applies equally to the interior and exterior of all listed buildings regardless of category.

ACategory A

Buildings of national or international importance, either architectural or historic, or fine little-altered examples of some particular period, style or building type. (Approximately 8% of the total).

BCategory B

Buildings of regional or more than local importance, or major examples of some particular period, style or building type which may have been altered. (Approximately 51% of the total).

C(S)Category C(S)

Buildings of local importance, lesser examples of any period, style, or building type, as originally constructed or moderately altered; and simple traditional buildings which group well with others in categories A and B. (Approximately 41% of the total).