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Old Aberdeen Town House

An unpretentious former municipal building at the head of the High Street, the Old Aberdeen Town House now forms the visitor gateway to the University of Aberdeen and its charming Mediaeval campus. Constructed in 1788 by local mason George Jaffrey as a centre of administration, justice and trade, the building comprises a simple Georgian box of grey granite ashlar, with a square clock tower and an octagonal domed bellcote above. This is topped by a golden weather vane. The tower contains a bell cast in 1754 by local craftsman John Mowatt.

Inside, the building has a flagstone entrance passage and two small prison cells on the ground floor. A staircase, still with its original timber balustrade, rises to meeting rooms on the two upper floors, each occupying the full width of the building.

The building fell from use in 1891 when Old Aberdeen was incorporated within the modern City of Aberdeen, and it went on to serve as a school, a Masonic lodge and finally a public library. It was fully restored by the University in 2004-05, with the assistance of a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

On the pavement outside stands the Mercat Cross of Old Aberdeen.


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