"King's College, Old Aberdeen" Old Aberdeen Things to Do Tip by uglyscot

Old Aberdeen Things to Do: 15 reviews and 65 photos

  King's College Chapel
by uglyscot
  • King's College Chapel - Old Aberdeen
      King's College Chapel
    by uglyscot
  • part of the university at King's. - Old Aberdeen
      part of the university at King's.
    by uglyscot
  • inner quadrangle - Old Aberdeen
      inner quadrangle
    by uglyscot
  • Gateway to college - Old Aberdeen
      Gateway to college
    by uglyscot
  • Bishop Elphinstone - Old Aberdeen
      Bishop Elphinstone
    by uglyscot

King's College in Old Aberdeen is a formerly independent university founded in 1495 and a part of the University of Aberdeen . Its historic buildings are the centrepiece of the University of Aberdeen's Old Aberdeen campus, often known as King's College campus.
It was the first university in Aberdeen, the third in Scotland and the fifth in the United Kingdom. In 1495, William Elphinstone, the newly appointed Bishop of Aberdeen petitioned Pope Alexander VI on behalf of King James IV to create the facility to cure the ignorance of the people within his parish and the north . A papal bull was issued in February 1495 and a Royal charter the same year recognised Aberdeen's status as equal to the universities at Glasgow and St Andrews. In 1509 university life at King's truly began. The Chapel construction, begun in 1498 was consecrated in 1509 and dedicated to St Mary.
Following the Reformation, King's College was purged of its Roman Catholic staff . George Keith, the fifth Earl Marischal however was a moderniser within the college and supportive of the reforming ideas of Peter Ramus. In April 1593 however he founded a second university in the city, Marischal College.
In common with Marischal, King's College supported the Jacobite cause and following the defeat of the 1715 rising both were largely purged of their academics and officials.

Kings College Chapel is topped with an Imperial Crown, ie a closed crown, which appears to make a claim to imperial status for the Scottish monarchy. The original was lost in a storm in 1633, and the present crown is a reproduction. King's College retains more medieval woodwork than any other Scottish church, including the choir stalls and screen.

The Cromwell Tower was built during the 1650s-60s during the period of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland,. It was originally used for accommodation and had an ornate turret at its top. It continues as an observatory to this day.

Elphinstone Hall was constructed in 1930 and created a two-quadrangle arrangement, connected to the original King's buildings. The front of the Hall faces outwards, with its lawn effectively creating a central open space now bordered on the other sides by Old Aberdeen's High Street and the New Building ("New King's"), constructed in 1913. It is used for functions, dining and examinations.

Address: High Street, Old Aberdeen
Directions: 20 Bus from LittleJohn Street will take you to the front of the college

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Updated Jul 28, 2010
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse



“Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 1 4 0
Forum Rank:
0 2 1 1 5

Have you been to Old Aberdeen?

  Share Your Travels