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Aberdeen, Castle Street, Market Cross

Market Cross (17th Century)

Site Name Aberdeen, Castle Street, Market Cross

Classification Market Cross (17th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Castlegate, Merkat Cross; Mercat Cross

Canmore ID 20141

Site Number NJ90NW 23

NGR NJ 94496 06380

NGR Description Originally NJ 9440 0633

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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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 23 94496 06380 Originally at 9440 0633

(NJ 9449 0637) Cross (NR) (Market)

OS 25" map, (1926).

Not to be confused with NJ90NW 6.

A fine speciment of a large market cross, originally erected at NJ 9440 0633 in 1686, thoroughly repaired in 1821 and removed to the present site in 1827. The built understructure, hexagonal in plan and composed of a series of semi-circular arches supports a parapet, decorated with arms and royal portrait medallions. Within the parapet rises a carved column surmounted by the unicorn with the shield.

J W Small 1900; D MacGibbon and T Ross 1892.

Visited by OS (JLD) 22 August 1952.

(Additional bibliography and newspaper references cited).

NMRS, MS/712/83.

[Former index no. 106]. Descheduled.

Information from Historic Scotland: Certificate of Exclusion from Schedule dated 16 February 2009.

Architecture Notes


Aberdeen, Castle Street, Mercat Cross.

1686. Hexagonal. Built in Freestone. (designed and built by John Montgomery, a master mason from Rayne in Aberdeenshire. Removed to its present position in 1842.)

NBR: M&R.Dom.Arch.,Vol.V,212,562.


Infromation available in Aberdeen Public Library, Reference Section.

Fraser, G.M. The Market Cross of Aberdeen. 1908.

In Aberdeen in Bygone days.

In Aberdeen fifty years ago.

In Robbie's Aberdeen.

In Munro's Old Landmarks of Aberdeen. 1886.

Transactions of Aberdeen Philosophical Society. Vol IV, p.146.

Plans: Aberdeen Public Library, Reference Department.

The Market Cross on its removal to its present site, 1842. Lithograph by John Henderson from drawing by John Smith, City Architect.

Slides - Market Cross, 1812; Market Cross as Post Office 1821; Market Cross; Market Cross decorated; Medical Hall and Market Cross.

Ministry of Works Library:

Country Life, August 19th, 1965.

Non-Guardianship Sites Plan Collection DC23014-DC23020.


Publication Account (1997)

The market cross, later named the Flesh Cross, stood in front of the tollbooth (see Area 8), which was on site of the present day Town House, and in due course a fish cross stood further east in approximately the position of the extent market cross figure 30. The extant cross is a fine example of an early market cross. Above its arcade is a parapet divided into twelve panels; these contain armorial bearings of the Crown and the City, as well as bas-relief portraits of the Stewart monarchs from James I to James VII. A column with Corinthian cap, wreathed by thistles and roses in bas-relief, supports a coloured and gilt marble unicorn. The market cross was built in 1686 and was moved to the quieter end of the square in 1842. It is a scheduled ancient monument.

Information from ‘Historic Aberdeen: The Archaeological Implications of Development’ (1997).


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