New King's was constructed in the relative recent past in the year 1913. This magnificent building looks much older with its High Towers and ivy clad walls. The reason for this was so it would be inkeeping with the rest of the 15th. and 17th. century buildings which stand around New King's. It is not a Church or a Chapel but part of the University of Aberdeen's many buildings of study and learning. On the lawn in front of New King's there is an interesting statue of a prostrate student with half an apple in each hand, symbolising the good and bad of education and learning, it is simply named "The Student"
Just beside St Machar's Cathedral is a large park with trees and plants. It is a place for relaxing, and attracts students and visitors when the weather is fine. It had been raining shortly before I arrived, so I was unable to go far or I'd have been drenched.
As mentioned in the previous tip, King's College was founded by Bishop Elphinstone.
On the lawn as you enter the college grounds, and in front of King's College Chapel is a bronze monument to him.
William Elphinstone (1431 - 25 October 1514),was a Scottish statesman, Bishop of Aberdeen and founder of the University of Aberdeen.
He was born in Glasgow, and educated at the University of Glasgow, taking the degree of M.A. in 1452. He practised for a short time as a lawyer in the church courts before he was ordained as a a priest. He went to continue his studies at the University of Paris, where he became reader in Canon law, and then, proceeding to Orléans, became lecturer in the university there. The University of Aberdeen was modelled on the French style of education.
The memorial is ornate with an effigy of Bishop Elphinstone supine on the top. The memorial is now also commemorating the staff and students who lost their lives in WW1 and WWII.
Streets are sometimes narrow [Thom's Close], others are cobbled [High St], and some are treelined [The Chanonry] . The majority of the buildings are built of stone [Old Town House] but there are some cottages that are particularly interesting among the larger grey stone buildings. Examples are at Blacksmith and Cooper Place.
King's College in Old Aberdeen is a formerly independent university founded in 1495 and a part of the University of Aberdeen . Its historic buildings are the centrepiece of the University of Aberdeen's Old Aberdeen campus, often known as King's College campus.
It was the first university in Aberdeen, the third in Scotland and the fifth in the United Kingdom. In 1495, William Elphinstone, the newly appointed Bishop of Aberdeen petitioned Pope Alexander VI on behalf of King James IV to create the facility to cure the ignorance of the people within his parish and the north . A papal bull was issued in February 1495 and a Royal charter the same year recognised Aberdeen's status as equal to the universities at Glasgow and St Andrews. In 1509 university life at King's truly began. The Chapel construction, begun in 1498 was consecrated in 1509 and dedicated to St Mary.
Following the Reformation, King's College was purged of its Roman Catholic staff . George Keith, the fifth Earl Marischal however was a moderniser within the college and supportive of the reforming ideas of Peter Ramus. In April 1593 however he founded a second university in the city, Marischal College.
In common with Marischal, King's College supported the Jacobite cause and following the defeat of the 1715 rising both were largely purged of their academics and officials.
Kings College Chapel is topped with an Imperial Crown, ie a closed crown, which appears to make a claim to imperial status for the Scottish monarchy. The original was lost in a storm in 1633, and the present crown is a reproduction. King's College retains more medieval woodwork than any other Scottish church, including the choir stalls and screen.
The Cromwell Tower was built during the 1650s-60s during the period of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland,. It was originally used for accommodation and had an ornate turret at its top. It continues as an observatory to this day.
Elphinstone Hall was constructed in 1930 and created a two-quadrangle arrangement, connected to the original King's buildings. The front of the Hall faces outwards, with its lawn effectively creating a central open space now bordered on the other sides by Old Aberdeen's High Street and the New Building ("New King's"), constructed in 1913. It is used for functions, dining and examinations.
The first church on the site was built about 580 AD, and the cathedral dates to about 1166. The ceiling , however, was installed in 1520 by Bishop Dunbar.
What to look for:
The Sanctuary Cross- part of the cross is 800 years old.
The East Window replaces the door to the central tower which collapsed in the 1600s. The stained glass shows scenes from the life of Jesus, some of Scotland's saints in the top corners. Machar holds the cathedral in his arms.
The Machar window is in the south-west corner. It tells the story of St Machar who was told by St Columba to travel east until he found a river shaped like a bishop's crook, and there to build a church.
There are also effigies [stone carvings] to two churchmen or canons and Bishop Lichtoun of the 14th century.
The church is surrounded by graves and memorials to many local families, and people connected to the church.
I particularly liked the grey rounded stone that makes up the upper part inside the church.
Since the Scottish Reformation in 1560 much of the details inside the Cathedral have been lost mostly due to destruction. The local artist Douglas Strachan created the stained glass window entitled "The Three Building Bishops" I liked the windows very near the roof of St. Machar's, they create a wonderful cascading light effect in the Church. The Heraldic Ceiling which was created by one of the Building Bishops, Bishop Dunbar, in 1518-32, still survives. The wooden ceiling has three rows of shields, the first, Scottish and English Kings (including those of the Union of the Crowns), the second row, European Kings and the third in line are the Popes and Bishops. The guides in the Cathedral were very helpful, pointing out the many details, they also have the job of manning the small Cathedral shop which sells various postcards and little momentos like fridge magnets and such. If you get the chance check out the Church which once was a Cathedral.
Opening times Monday - Sunday 9.00 - 17.00 April - October
Monday - Sunday 9.00 - 16.oo November - March
Please note Sunday Services 11.00 and 18.00
The Church is actually called Cathedral Church of St. Machar and is a Church of Scotland Parish Church for Old Aberdeen having lost its Cathedral status after the Scottish Reformation in 1560. The Church of Scotland has no Cathedrals and no Bishops. With this in mind, let me tell you a little of St. Machar Cathedral's history. The Ancient site of worship in Old Aberdeen was founded in 580 A.D. according to legend, by Machar, a companion of St. Columba of Iona, it became a Cathedral Church in 1131. The Church you see today was built between 1350 - 1520 During these long years of construction it was and still is known as the Church of the Building Bishops due to the many Bishops down the centuries contributing to the beauty and character if this remarkable Cathedral.
Opening times for visitors Monday - Sunday 9.00 - 17.00 April - October
Mionday - Sunday 9.00 - 16.00 November - March
Please note Sunday Service Times are 11.00 and 18.00
The Townhouse and No. 81 High Street have connections The foundation stone for No. 81 was laid in 1771 for the family home of McLean of Coll, Hugh McLean was the Magistrate in Old Aberdeen in the late 18th. Century. Consequently he was responsible for building the other Townhouse (or town hall) constructed in 1788. The Townhouse (Hall) has above its door Old Aberdeen's burgh arms which bears the motto "By harmony, small things increase" I thought this motto very apt given the sheer size and age of most of the buildings here. The Townhouse has recently undergone restoration work undertaken by the University and funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Aberdeen City. It is here you can pick up a leaflet giving information on the campus, the buildings and the history of this special place written by students and staff.
The gardens stand in what was once Cluny's garden established in the early part of the 17th. Century. They were transferred to the University on 26th. April 1898 by a deed of trust from Miss. Anne Cruikshank for the teaching and study of Botany as a pure science. I don't know much about science but I do love gardens. In light of the garden's time line, this place has some amazingly huge trees and shrubs, apparently they have over 2,500 species of plants but I never saw them all!!
Monday - Friday 09.00 - 16.30
Saturday - Sunday 14.00 - 17.00 May to September
Entrance is Free
The Powis Gates were erected in 1833-4 and were built in front of Powis House by the Leslie family. The house no longer exsists, all that is behind these lovely Castle looking gates is modern University buildings and we have all seen our fair share of those. Although the gates are topped by Turkish style minarets, the crescents are in fact the emblem of the Fraser Family who owned the estate before the Leslie Family. Old Aberdeen certainly holds onto the past with great style!!
Seaton Park is a large park in Old Aberdeen. We literally stepped out of the Cathedral gates and walked into Seaton's welcoming open spaces. The flower beds and trees were a riot of late summer colours and the little water fountain just charming on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Some parts of the park are quite hilly, but worth the effort to climb to the top to see the Victorian Walled Garden and the beautiful Old Stables adorned with creepers slowly changing their colour for Autumn. Why not take a picnic and relax a while in this lovely old park.
Aberdeen's King's College and Marishal College, in the city centre of Aberdeen, were amalgamated in 1861 and became The University of Aberdeen. Most of the learning and teaching is here in the many fine buildings at the Campus in Old Aberdeen. The Elphinstone Hall is a stunning building with its many arches, the halls are used for civic receptions and ceremonial occassions as well as teaching and learning. The buildings which form a quadrangle to the rear of King's College replace the original buildings and were build in the 1870's. We noticed the Heraldic statues with shields of Scotland and England which seem to guard the doors of the Adminstration Centre, but so far can throw no light as to their meaning except to say the English one is a lion and the Scottish - a Unicorn - ah maybe Scotland doesn't exist either - but of course it does after all King's College had the First Chair of Medicine in 1497 in the English speaking world and is still today a world leader in Medical teaching and medical research.
The little row of cottages, in Wrights & Coopers' Place is named after one of the six incorporated trades in Old Aberdeen, woodworkers and barrel makers. This would directly connect the barrel makers to The Old Brewery (described in a seperate tip) which sits directly behind the cottages. Wrights & Coopers owned land here which was feued (or leased out) this led to the building of the cottages in the early 19th. century. Grant's Place (photo 2) is also a little row of cottages but this time buiild in the earlier 18th. century. The cottages here are completed with curved overlapping roof tiles known as pantiles. The University of Aberdeen were successful in restoring this quaint and lovely type of housing in 1965. I'm so glad they did, it was such a pleasure wandering the old cobbled streets of a bygone time and losing yourself in History.
King's College Chapel was founded on the 10th. February 1495 by King James lV of Scotland. Bishop William Elphinstone got construction started when he received a Papal Bull from Pope Alexander lV. The Chaple is built from sandstone and the Master Mason, Alexander Gray, was involved in the Chapel's design. King's took five years to build and was completed on the 2nd. April 1500. The Closed Crown indicates that the ruling Monarchs would not accept a higher authority over them, there are only two of this type of Crown exsisting in Scotland, the other is St. Giles in Edinburgh. The Chapel suffered greatly during the Reformation and was closed for a long time, strangly, King's has only celebrated Mass twice since this time, the last being in the year 2000 to celebrate its 500 year history. It is in use today mainly for weddings and university ceremonials. We couldn't visit inside as there was a wedding that day, but I will return to visit and update on the inside.