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Marischal College is a large granite building on Broad Street in the centre of
Aberdeen Aberdeen (; sco, Aiberdeen, ; gd, Obar Dheathain ; la, Aberdonia) is a city in northeast Scotland. It is the List of towns and cities in Scotland by population, third most populous city in Scotland, one of Scotland's 32 Local government in ...

Aberdeen
in north-east
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...

Scotland
, and since 2011 has acted as the headquarters of
Aberdeen City Council gd, Comhairle Cathair Obar Dheathain , native_name_lang = , other_name = , image_skyline = Town House, Municipal Offices and Court Houses in Aberdeen.jpg , image_caption = Aberdeen Town House Aberdeen ...
. However, the building was constructed for and is on long-term lease from the
University of Aberdeen The University of Aberdeen ( sco, University o' 'Aiberdeen; abbreviated as ''Aberd.'' in List of post-nominal letters (United Kingdom), post-nominals; gd, Oilthigh Obar Dheathain) is a public university, public research university in Aberdeen, Sc ...
, which still uses parts of the building to house a museum. Today, it provides corporate office space and public access to council services, adjacent to the Town House, the city's historic seat of local government. Many Aberdonians consider Marischal College to be an icon of the "Granite City" and to symbolise the zenith of Aberdeen's granite-working industry. The construction of the modern college building began in 1835, following the demolition of previous buildings on the site, and was completed in its present form in the early 1900s. It is the second largest granite building in the world. Formerly the seat of the Marischal College and University of Aberdeen founded in 1593, the building was retained by the unified
University of Aberdeen The University of Aberdeen ( sco, University o' 'Aiberdeen; abbreviated as ''Aberd.'' in List of post-nominal letters (United Kingdom), post-nominals; gd, Oilthigh Obar Dheathain) is a public university, public research university in Aberdeen, Sc ...
which was created in 1860 by the merger of Marischal College and King's College. The buildings of Marischal College continued to be used for academic purposes until the mid-20th century and less and less until the early 2000s. During this period they were frequently rebuilt and expanded upon. In the mid-to-late 20th century, teaching and academic activities at the university began to move to King's College or
Foresterhill Foresterhill is an area in the city of Aberdeen, Scotland. It is the site of the city's main hospitals (Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, the Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital and the Aberdeen Maternity Hospital), as well as the medical school and medi ...
(for students of medicine) and by the early 21st century a new purpose for Marischal College was required. After a number of unsuccessful proposals, the majority of the building was leased to Aberdeen City Council to be restored and refurbished as office accommodation. The extensive renovation was completed on schedule and significantly under budget and the building opened to the public in June 2011. The university has retained the Mitchell Hall and a number of other significant parts of the building for its own use, in addition to the
Marischal Museum Marischal Museum was a museum in Aberdeen, Scotland, specialising in anthropology and artifacts from cultures around the world. Part of the University of Aberdeen, it was situated at Marischal College, a grand Gothic Revival architecture, neo-got ...
.


History

Marischal College and University of Aberdeen was the formal name of the former university which occupied the present Marischal College site. The College was founded in 1593 by
George Keith
George Keith
, 5th
Earl Marischal The title of Earl Marischal was created in the Peerage of Scotland The Peerage of Scotland ( gd, Moraireachd na h-Alba, sco, Peerage o Scotland) is the section of the Peerage of the British Isles for those peers created by the King of Sco ...
of
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...

Scotland
. The original charter of the university was lost by the early 18th century, but two near-contemporary copies exist – one of which was accepted by the courts in 1756 as being authentic. In this charter, Marischal College is described variously as a ''
gymnasium Gymnasium may refer to: *Gymnasium (ancient Greece), educational and sporting institution *Gymnasium (school), type of secondary school that prepares students for higher education **Gymnasium (Denmark) **Gymnasium (Germany) **Gymnasium UNT, high ...
'', ''collegium'' (college), ''academia'' (academy) and ''universitas'' (university). Marischal was the second of Scotland's post-mediaeval 'civic universities', following the
University of Edinburgh The University of Edinburgh ( sco, University o Edinburgh, gd, Oilthigh Dhùn Èideann; abbreviated as ''Edin.'' in post-nominals Post-nominal letters, also called post-nominal initials, post-nominal titles, designatory letters or simply ...
, created without
Papal bull A papal bull is a type of public decree, letters patent, or charter issued by a pope of the Catholic Church. It is named after the leaden Seal (emblem), seal (''bulla (seal), bulla'') that was traditionally appended to the end in order to auth ...
and with a more modern structure and a greater resemblance to the Protestant arts colleges of continental Europe. As such, both Edinburgh and Marischal came to be known as the 'Town Colleges' of their respective cities. The university was founded with the expressed aim of training clergy for the post-
Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity in Vatican City Vatican City (), officially the Vatican City State ( it, Stato della Cit ...
Kirk Kirk is a Scottish (and former Northern English) word meaning "church". It is often used specifically of the Church of Scotland The Church of Scotland (CoS; sco, The Scots Kirk; gd, Eaglais na h-Alba), also known by its Scots language nam ...

Kirk
. The College was constructed on the site of a medieval
Franciscan , image = FrancescoCoA PioM.svg , image_size = 250px , caption = A cross, Christ's arm and Saint Francis's arm, a universal symbol of the Franciscans , abbreviation = OFM , predecessor = , ...
Friary, disused after the Reformation. This building was later replaced by a William Adam designed building in the mid-18th century, however this, together with the Friary remains, were demolished entirely for the construction of the present building between 1835 and 1906. The college's
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
motto translates as "virtue is self-sufficient".
James Clerk Maxwell James Clerk Maxwell (13 June 1831 – 5 November 1879) was a Scottish mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as num ...

James Clerk Maxwell
FRS, FRSE (1831-1879), described as "the most famous and influential professor Aberdeen has ever had" was appointed as Professor of Natural Philosophy in 1856 and continued in that post until the merger of Marischal College with Kings College. The Mitchell Hall, where University of Aberdeen graduations previously took place, was built in the early 20th century. It is named for Dr Charles Mitchell, an ''alumnus'' of the university and a
Tyneside Tyneside is a conurbation A conurbation is a region comprising a number of metropolis in the background A metropolis () is a large city or conurbation which is a significant economic, political, and cultural center for a country or region ...

Tyneside
shipbuilder. A large stained-glass window dominates the hall, executed by TR Spence of London and representing the university's history. The building was commended by poet
John Betjeman Sir John Betjeman (; 28 August 190619 May 1984) was an English poet, writer, and broadcaster. He was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom, Poet Laureate from 1972 until his death. He was a founding member of The Victorian Society and a passionat ...

John Betjeman
following a visit to Aberdeen in 1947: :''"No-one can dismiss Marischal College, Aberdeen, when looking at the work of the present century. Wedged behind a huge town hall in an expensive and attractive mid-
Victorian Victorian or Victorians may refer to: 19th century * Victorian era, British history during Queen Victoria's 19th-century reign ** Victorian architecture ** Victorian house ** Victorian decorative arts ** Victorian fashion ** Victorian literature ...
baronial style, I saw a cluster of silver-white pinnacles. I turned down a lane towards them, the front broadened out. Oh! Bigger than any cathedral, tower on tower, forests of pinnacles, a group of palatial buildings rivalled only by the
Houses of Parliament The Palace of Westminster serves as the meeting place for both the House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Towns ...

Houses of Parliament
at Westminster.'' :''"This was the famous Marischal College. Imagine the Victorian tower with a spire on top, and all that well-grouped architecture below of lesser towers, and lines of pinnacles executed in the hardest white Kemnay granite and looking out over the grey-green North Sea and you have some idea of the first impression this gigantic building creates.'' :''"It rises on top of a simple Gothic one designed by
Simpson Simpson most often refers to: * Simpson (name), a British surname Simpson may also refer to: Arts and entertainment *''The Simpsons'', an animated American sitcom **The Simpson family, central characters of the series ''The Simpsons'' Organ ...

Simpson
in 1840. But all these spires and towers and pinnacles are the work of this century and were designed by Sir
Alexander Marshall Mackenzie Alexander Marshall MacKenzie (1 January 1848 – 4 May 1933) was a Scottish Scottish usually refers to something of, from, or related to Scotland, including: *Scottish Gaelic, a Celtic Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family n ...
. You have to see them to believe them."'' There is an
urban legend An urban legend or contemporary legend is a genre of folklore Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an attitude Attitud ...
that Marischal College was
Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler (; 20 April 188930 April 1945) was an Austrian-born German politician who was the dictator of Nazi Germany, Germany from 1933 to 1945. Adolf Hitler's rise to power, He rose to power as the leader of the Nazi Party, becoming Cha ...

Adolf Hitler
's favourite building in the United Kingdom and that he would have liked to use it as a residence if the outcome of the Second World War had been different.


University of Aberdeen

The
University of Aberdeen The University of Aberdeen ( sco, University o' 'Aiberdeen; abbreviated as ''Aberd.'' in List of post-nominal letters (United Kingdom), post-nominals; gd, Oilthigh Obar Dheathain) is a public university, public research university in Aberdeen, Sc ...
was created after the merger of Marischal College and
King's College, Aberdeen King's College in Old Aberdeen Old Aberdeen is part of the city of Aberdeen Aberdeen (; sco, Aiberdeen, ; gd, Obar Dheathain ; la, Aberdonia) is a city in northeast Scotland. It is the List of towns and cities in Scotland by populat ...
in 1860 under the terms of the
Universities (Scotland) Act 1858 A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington, are "stable, valued, recurring patterns of behavior". Institutions can refer to mechanisms which govern the behavior Behavio ...
. The following extract refers to this merger: :"''Universities of Kings College and Marischal College, Aberdeen. First Report of the Commissioners, 1838. 1837–38. Vol. XXXIII, 75p. Chairman: Lord John Cunninghame. :''The commissioners were in favour of a merger of the two colleges despite opposition from Kings College. They considered the unification as essential for the educational system of Northern Scotland although they disagreed with the proposed method of merger laid down by the last commission. The buildings of Marischal College were in very bad repair but new ones were under construction. Additions had been made in 1827 to Kings College buildings which were in a tolerable state of repair.''" Throughout the 20th century, Marischall college housed all sciences and medicine. Since about 1960, the college housed the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and Medical school. The building standing today, which replaced a number of older structures, was constructed between 1837 and 1844 by Aberdeen architect
Archibald Simpson Archibald Simpson (4 May 1790 – 23 March 1847) was a Scottish architect, who along with his rival John Smith, is regarded as having fashioned the character of Aberdeen Aberdeen (; sco, Aiberdeen, ; gd, Obar Dheathain ; la, Aberdonia ...

Archibald Simpson
. This 1837 building formed a U-shaped quadrangle, with a small entrance via an archway amidst unrelated housing on the west side. The building was substantially extended between 1893 and 1905 by
Alexander Marshall Mackenzie Alexander Marshall MacKenzie (1 January 1848 – 4 May 1933) was a Scottish Scottish usually refers to something of, from, or related to Scotland, including: *Scottish Gaelic, a Celtic Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family n ...
, and with its new "granite cage" front, enclosing the quadrangle, it became the second-largest granite building in the world (exceeded only by the near
Madrid Madrid ( , ) is the capital and most populous city of Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_ ...

Madrid
).


Renovation as Aberdeen City Council Headquarters

For many years, much of the building was derelict as university departments had moved to King's College or Foresterhill years or decades before. Up to 2009, the only parts of the college building chiefly used by the university were the Mitchell Hall (for graduations, concerts and other events), the Marischal Museum, and the Anatomy department, which was used for 1st year medical students until March 2009. It was also home to the University's debating chamber. In 2006 plans were announced for the renovation of the college as new administrative headquarters for the Council to replace the ageing St. Nicholas House across the street. The University leased the Marischal College site to
Aberdeen City Council gd, Comhairle Cathair Obar Dheathain , native_name_lang = , other_name = , image_skyline = Town House, Municipal Offices and Court Houses in Aberdeen.jpg , image_caption = Aberdeen Town House Aberdeen ...
for 175 years in exchange for £4.7 million. Work began in 2009 and the newly refurbished Marischal College was opened in summer 2011. The derelict internal spaces were completely demolished and replaced with a new internal structure which matched exactly to the existing walls and windows. The renovations restored the granite exterior, ornamentation and detailing to their original glory, and provided new public space for citizens accessing council services and state-of-the-art offices for council workers. The Council Chamber and democratic processes continue to be located at the Town House next door. The university retained the north wing comprising the Mitchell Hall, debating chamber and associated rooms, although as of May 2012 these are not yet open for use. In Spring 2011, the city erected outside Marischal College a statue of on horseback, holding up a charter. Outside the College there is a large modern fountain, known as the "dancing fountain" for its alternating patterns. The fountain was briefly shut in 2019 due to high levels of bromine, but has since been turned back on.


Greyfriars Church

Amongst the buildings demolished to make way for the new frontage of Marischal College at the turn of the 20th century, was the Greyfriars , built in 1532 and incorporated as part of the College in 1593. Following a dispute regarding the conservation of this church, a new church building was constructed within the Marischal College complex. It is incorporated into the College frontage, which includes the southern tower, notable for being surmounted with a spire. Following a merger, this church was later to become known as Greyfriars John Knox Church. The building is currently unused and is being offered for sale by the
Church of Scotland The Church of Scotland (CoS; sco, The Scots Kirk; gd, Eaglais na h-Alba), also known by its Scots language name, the Kirk, is the national National may refer to: Common uses * Nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis ...

Church of Scotland
for commercial or residential use.


Alumni

Notable alumni of Marischal College include:
(See
University of Aberdeen The University of Aberdeen ( sco, University o' 'Aiberdeen; abbreviated as ''Aberd.'' in List of post-nominal letters (United Kingdom), post-nominals; gd, Oilthigh Obar Dheathain) is a public university, public research university in Aberdeen, Sc ...
for eminent scientists, Fellows of the Royal Society, who have worked at Marishal College.) *
Alexander Bain Alexander Bain (11 June 1818 – 18 September 1903) was a Scottish philosopher and educationalist in the British school of empiricism and a prominent and innovative figure in the fields of psychology Psychology is the science of min ...
(1818–1903), philosopher, educationalist, Professor of Logic and Lord Rector of
University of Aberdeen The University of Aberdeen ( sco, University o' 'Aiberdeen; abbreviated as ''Aberd.'' in List of post-nominal letters (United Kingdom), post-nominals; gd, Oilthigh Obar Dheathain) is a public university, public research university in Aberdeen, Sc ...
* James Blair, (1656–1743), clergyman, founder of
College of William and Mary The College of William & Mary (also known as William & Mary, W&M, and officially The College of William and Mary in Virginia) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating informa ...

College of William and Mary
* Robert Brown (1773–1858), botanist; discoverer of
Brownian Motion Brownian motion, or pedesis (from grc, πήδησις "leaping"), is the random motion of particle In the Outline of physical science, physical sciences, a particle (or corpuscule in older texts) is a small wikt:local, localized physica ...

Brownian Motion
*
James Burnett, Lord Monboddo James Burnett, Lord Monboddo (baptised 25 October 1714; died 26 May 1799), was a Scottish judge, scholar of linguistic evolution Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of la ...
(1714–99), jurist, philosopher, linguist; thinker on evolution * Patrick Copland (1749-1822) * Robert Davidson (1804–1894), Pioneer and inventor of first electric locomotive (1837) * Sir (1837-1919), Ceylonese tea planter and politician * Sir David Gill, (1843–1914), astrophotographer * James Gregory (1638–1675), Scottish mathematician and astronomer * Cosmo Gordon (1736-1800) MP, co-founder of the
Royal Society of Edinburgh The Royal Society of Edinburgh is Scotland's national academy#REDIRECT National academy A national academy is an organizational body, usually operating with state financial support and approval, that co-ordinates scholarly research Re ...
, twice Rector of the College *
Robert HunterRobert Hunter may refer to: Arts *Robert Hunter (painter) (died 1780), Irish portrait painter *Robert Hunter (encyclopædist) (1823–1897), British editor of the ''Encyclopædic Dictionary'' *Robert Hunter (author) (1874–1942), American sociolog ...
(1823–1897), missionary, geologist and editor of Encyclopædic Dictionary * Alexander Keith Church of Scotland theologian *
Nathaniel Lardner Nathaniel Lardner (6 June 1684 – 24 July 1768) was an England, English theology, theologian. Life Lardner was born at Hawkhurst, Kent in 1684. He was the elder son of Richard Lardner (1653–1740), an independent minister, and of a daughter ...

Nathaniel Lardner
(1684–1768), English theologian * Sir
John Mowlem Burt Sir John Mowlem Burt (2 February 1845 – 20 February 1918) worked in the UK construction industry during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was part of the Mowlem firm of contractors and was from the third generation of the family that w ...
, contractor *
Sir James Outram, 1st Baronet Lieutenant-General Lieutenant general (Lt Gen, LTG and similar) is a three-star military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is ...
, General, hero of the Indian Mutiny, buried in
Westminster Abbey Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster, is a large, mainly Gothic Gothic or Gothics may refer to: People and languages *Goths or Gothic people, the ethnonym of a group of East Germanic tribes ...

Westminster Abbey
* Sir
Alexander Ogston Sir Alexander Ogston MD CM LLD (19 April 1844 – 1 February 1929) was a British surgeon, famous for his discovery of ''Staphylococcus ''Staphylococcus'' is a genus of Gram-positive bacteria in the family Staphylococcaceae from the ...

Alexander Ogston
, Scottish surgeon; discoverer of ''
Staphylococcus aureus ''Staphylococcus aureus'' is a Gram-positive bacteria, Gram-positive coccus, round-shaped bacterium, a member of the Firmicutes, and is a usual member of the microbiota of the body, frequently found in the Respiratory tract, upper respiratory ...
'' * Rev John Skinner (1721–1807), poet, historian and ecclesiastic. * William Trail (1746-1831), mathematician.


See also

* List of early modern universities in Europe


References


External links

*
e-Architect coverage of Marischal College Redevelopment

The Marischal Museum

The University of Aberdeen
{{authority control 1593 establishments in Scotland 1860 disestablishments School buildings completed in 1844 Category A listed buildings in Aberdeen Educational institutions established in the 1590s University of Aberdeen