New guide tells the story of Aberdeen City and South Aberdeenshire through its buildings

Research conducted at the University of Aberdeen underpins a new guide exploring the rich architecture of Aberdeen city and South Aberdeenshire.

It is the latest in the popular ‘Pevsner Architectural Guide: Buildings in Scotland’ series, which was founded in 1978 and provides the authoritative guide to the nation’s architecture.

The book tells the story of the region from the prehistoric to present day through its buildings.

It is the result of several years of research conducted by Joseph Sharples, Dr David Walker and Dr Matthew Woodworth in their time as research fellows of Aberdeen University, with assistance from Professor Jane Geddes.

To compile the book they visited every building and structure of significance in every village and town in the area.

Professor Geddes, who lectures in the History of Art, said “This volume completes the ambitious project to record all the significant buildings of Aberdeenshire and Moray, the northern volume having appeared in the Spring. Joseph Sharples produced a meticulous account of Aberdeen City and Stonehaven, pounding the streets for a whole year.

“The rest of the team travelled into the deep rural hinterland, recording the churches, villages and vast country estates. The area bristles with noble castles and ruins like Huntly, Kildrummy, Leith Hall, Crathes and Craigievar, but also ambitious country seats like Balmoral, Dunecht and Fasque. The survey takes in unspoiled ancient crofts, pack horse bridges, railways as well as model farms. As the area fills up with modern housing estates encircling old villages, it becomes increasingly important to understand the significance of the original heritage.

“The book opens up the rich architecture of the region, making it even more interesting to explore. The survey of Aberdeen in particular puts into perspective the contribution of the contemporary oil boom, contrasted with earlier periods when money was tighter, tools were more primitive, but the quality of investment in granite glory created the character of the great city.”

The series Buildings of Scotland  began with major sponsorship from the National Trust for Scotland and Historic Scotland, but the two Aberdeenshire volumes were supported by many sources including the principal donors: The Leverhulme Trust, The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, and Aberdeen University Development Trust and Friends of Aberdeen University Library.

The book will be officially launched on Tuesday 17 November, 18.30, in the Craig Suite, Sir Duncan Rice Library, where the authors will be 'in conversation' to talk about making the book. Copies are available at Yeadons bookshop, Elgin and Banchory, or Amazon.