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Aberdeen, 17 Spital, Episcopal Convent And Chapel Of St Margaret Of Scotland

Chapel (19th Century), Nunnery (19th Century)

Site Name Aberdeen, 17 Spital, Episcopal Convent And Chapel Of St Margaret Of Scotland

Classification Chapel (19th Century), Nunnery (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) St Martha's Home; St Margaret's Convent; St Martha's House

Canmore ID 20085

Site Number NJ90NW 179

NGR NJ 94056 07407

NGR Description Centred NJ 94056 07407

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Aberdeen, City Of
  • Parish Aberdeen
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District City Of Aberdeen
  • Former County Aberdeenshire

Archaeology Notes

NJ90NW 179 centred 94056 07407

St Martha's House [NAT] (name centred NJ 94052 07440)

St Margaret's Convent [NAT] (name centred NJ 94060 07421)

Chapel (private) [NAT] (name centred NJ 94061 07394)

OS (GIS) MasterMap, November 2009.

Architect, Sir Ninian Comper, 1891. Only the chapel and one bay of the scheme to build this episcopal nunnery was completed. Under restoration by Lyon and MacPherson.

W A Brogden 1988.

Site Management (19 September 2012)

Particularly fine Gothic chapel with canted, buttressed and castellated apsidal chancel springing from steep hillside and adjoining 2-storey and attic, 2-bay convent wing with transomed and mullioned windows and distinctive V-plan bay rising through 2 floors. Squared and pinned granite rubble with polished ashlar dressings. Part of a wider former convent complex.

Place of worship no longer in use as such. Part of an 'A' Group including '15 and 17 Spital' (see separate listing) formerly linked and adapted as accommodation for Comper's 1890s convent scheme.

The former Episcopal Chapel and Convent of St Margaret is an exceptional and important example of its date in Scotland. Built at the close of the 19th century, it was a major milestone in the career of nationally renowned architect Sir J Ninian Comper as his first major commission. Occupying an imposing position on high ground visible from the sea shore, and on the main route to the University and Old Aberdeen, the Chapel and Convent group contribute significantly to the architectural interest of the city. The fine interiors are also of a particularly high quality.

The plans, which were held at the Convent at the time of the original listing, were approved on 24 September 1891 although building was not completed until 1898. After restoration work in 1988, the Convent was closed in the early years of the 21st century.

J Ninian Comper (1864-1960) was born in Aberdeen, the son of an Episcopalian clergyman, and was articled to Bodley and Garner from 1883 to 1887. Working in Scotland, England and Wales, his list of ecclesiastical commissions is vast, incorporating all aspects of restoration and additional work as well as new churches and memorials. Other churches designed by Comper include St Margaret's at Braemar and St Mary's at Kirriemuir (see separate listings) and St Cyprian in Marylebone, London.

List description revised 2011. (Historic Scotland)


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