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King's College, Aberdeen

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Comments (43)

Neil Gregory, RCAHMS staff

King's College is without doubt a treasured place for the majority of people who studied at the University of Aberdeen. The quadrangle made up Bishop Elphinstone's Scottish Renaissance chapel - with its solid buttresses and its mighty stone crown - and 19th century teaching wings is the showpiece of the Old Aberdeen campus. It's an idyllic setting, a picturesque little enclave in the midsts of the big Granite City. During term time it bustles with students on the turn of each hour, spilling out of their lectures and tutorials. In the long days of summer this is replaced by a beautiful silence. I spent four years studying here, and the good part of a decade working at the Conference Centre in the heart of the quad where I met some of my closest friends. Basil Spence's drawing of King's College is one of many medieval buildings that he drew between 1925 and 1931 when he was an architecture student at Edinburgh College of Art. RCAHMS holds many drawings that architects did during their student years, both measured sketches of existing buildings and designs that they were challenged to come up with by their lecturers. I think that it's interesting to see what treasured places they chose when honing their skills.

7th October, 11:24 am

Sarah Flynn, Edinburgh

having studied for my masters degree at aberdeen university i am delighted to see that the kings college is amongst the top ten treasured places in scotland. coming from ireland it was always a pleasure to show visiting family and friends around campus. the graphics on the university prospectus drew me to the choosing aberdeen university above edinburgh. the history attached to the kings college is a great talking point amongst students and something i have no doubt we are all proud to have experienced.

15th January, 12:25 am

Cynthia E. Black Walker, Bakersfield, CA

The three finest years of my life were spent at Aberdeen University with classes at Kings and Marischal Colleges pursuing a BSc in Geology. There are rare times when architecture and purpose meld and achieve a higher place, and that has certainly happened at Kings College. I count myself incredibly fortunate for the opportunity to study here and precious are my memories of this special place!

9th January, 4:59 am

Helen Woodford Morgan, United Arab Emirates

It was the photograph of the quadrangle at King's with the tower and Elphinstone hall on the front cover of the prospectus that initially drew me to apply for a place at the University of Aberdeen in 1969. I have many happy memories of studying in this lovely environment and am glad to that it is still appreciated!

9th December, 3:51 pm

George K Yule, Aberdeen

The Kings College crown is the centre-piece of a campus that is cherished by Aberdonians and admired by visitors of all nationalities - it is more than worthy of carrying the title "Treasured Place"

7th December, 10:18 am

JM, Aberdeen.

I would second Fr. James' comments - The rare pre-Reformation woodwork, replete with ancient student's carved Latin graffiti; First use of the thistle (as already mentioned) and other nuggets of history frozen in the carved misericords; The Renaissance pulpit; The Art & Crafts Movement left its examples its woodwork too. Stunning stained glass windows; a gifted 16th C. icon relief; so many with stories attached. Whilst it is may be a happy memory for alumni, once one digs a little deeper, it has a further and more general significance as a treasure of Scotland's heritage happily, still alive and in use as a place of prayer and worship to this day.

7th December, 8:22 am

sandra, Aberdeen

This isn't just a monument to the past, it's a well loved and well used treasure. That's what our heritage should be about, enjoying things that link us to our past.

5th December, 5:13 pm

Maggie Whyte, Aberdeen

This is a most beautiful building. It's packed full of history as well as personal memories of the individuals who have been fortunate enough to pass through as students, staff or visitors.

28th November, 11:40 am

J Williamson, Scotland

As a student of the University of Aberdeen, I am constantly reminded of the beauty of this building, which is at the heart of the university campus. Good luck in the competition!

26th November, 9:53 pm

Ashish Vyas, India

Good Luck....

21st November, 3:24 pm

carina, china

good luck!



Region: Grampian

This illustration was drawn by the architect Sir Basil Spence whilst he was a student c.1929
Sir Basil Spence Archive

Votes: 2790


View more information from the RCAHMS database (Canmore) on King's College, Aberdeen