Aberdeen City HER - NJ90NW0018 - KING'S COLLEGE

Print site NJ90NW0018 Feedback on site NJ90NW0018

Main Details

Primary ReferenceNJ90NW0018
NRHE Card No.NJ90NW7
NRHE Numlink 148162
HES LB No. 20092
Site Form Standing Structure
Site Condition Complete 2
Details Kings College, including King's College Chapel (NJ90NW0917), quadrangle, library and Elphinstone Hall. King's College, named for King James IV, was founded in 1495, built about 1498 - 1505 and arranged around a quadrangle, The Chapel and Ivy Tower are the only original parts of this range to survive. The west frontage of the quadrangle is by John Smith 1825-6, comprising a 2-storey Tudor gothic building with an archway into the quadrangle. The south and east sides of the quadrangle and library were designed by Robert Matheson 1860-2 and 1870-3 with additions by WW Robertson 1881 and 1894, and in 1914 by A Marshall Mackenzie. The Ivy Tower dating from the 16th century and is 4-storey, rubble built now partly enclosed in the Mathieson Buildings. The Cromwell Tower was begun in 1657 (dated 1658), reconstructed by John Smith 1825-6 and is 4-5 storey (altered from 6 storey), rectangular in plan with a battlemented top. Inside is a 16th Century tall oak screen separating nave and choir. It contained confessional cubicles and a staircase led originally to the library. The blocked door high in the south wall of the choir indicates the original position of the screen. The ceiling is a shallow wooden vault. The Elphinstone Hall was designed by A Marshall Mackenzie and son 1927-9 with alterations and additions by G Bennet Mitchell 1956. It is in late Scots gothic style of ashlar, with a cloister feature. A wing connecting the Elphinstone Hall and the library is by G Bennet Mitchell, ashlar built in simple late medieval style. The Chapel contains a war memorial window dedicated to Captain William Murison Smith Merson, 7th Battalion Gordon Highlanders, who was killed in action in November 1916. In front of the college stands a memorial to Bishop Elphinstone (NJ90NW1192), designed by Harry Wilson 1926, comprising a tomb chest with a recumbent bronze figure. In the pend of the quadrangle is a commemorative plaque to philosopher and Scottish enlightenment scholar Thomas Reid (1810-1796) who taught in the College. See NJ90NW0063 for cross incised stones built into the east end wall of the chapel. A watching brief in 1990 in the Library building recorded a circular structure, probably a support structure. A watching brief was carried out by Aberdeen City Council Archaeological Unit (ACCAU) in February 2002 on trial pits external to the chapel. A further watching brief was carried out by ACCAU in December 2002 on trial pits on the west side of the college for a soakaway. See also NJ90NW0917 - including excavation in the Chapel in 2003, NJ90NW0929 watching brief 2005 during works for floodlighting, NJ90NW0934 - watching brief; NJ90NW1018 - watching brief 1989 on trenches for floodlighting. A watching brief during conversion from University Library to Visitor and Conference Centre recorded no archaeological features. A desk based assessment was carried out by Cameron Archaeology in July 2020 prior to alterations to allow for formation of a new teaching block. Photographic survey was also carried out.
Last Update13/01/2021
Updated Bycpalmer
Date of Compilation13/09/2017

Easting: 394009.919877344, Northing: 808144.342233623

Google Map for NJ90NW0018

National Grid Reference: NJ 9400 0814

Event Details

Event DateEvent TypeOASIS ID
2003 Excavation
2005 Watching-Brief
1989 Watching-Brief
1990 Watching-Brief
2002 Watching-Brief
2020 Desk Based Assessment
2020 Building Recording

Excavations and Surveys

Artefact and Ecofact


Ecofact Notes

Monument Types

Monument Type 1Monument Type 2Monument Type 3OrderProbability