Banff Preservation and Heritage Society and Museum of Banff

Listed Buildings in Banff

Listing is the recognition through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 that a building or structure is of ‘special’ interest.

Buildings are listed under Categories A, B and C(S)

A - Buildings of national or international importance, either architectural or historic; or fine little-altered examples of some particular period, style or building type. 
B - Buildings of regional or more than local importance, or major examples of some particular period, style or building type which may have been altered. 
C(S) - Buildings of local importance, lesser examples of any period, style, or building type, as originally constructed or moderately altered; and simple, traditional buildings which group well with others in category A and B or are part of a planned group such as an estate or an industrial complex. 
Note, buildings can qualify either for architectural or historic interest. Sometimes it is enough to have close historical associations. Listing covers a wide definition of buildings including walls, fountains, sundials, statues, bridges, bandstands and piers. It can also be  contribution to a group – planned burgh, town square, or model village. Vernacular is very often groupings.. so are the buildings round a mansion. Listing covers both the interior and exterior. 

Banff listings were mostly done in 1972 – the committee know the son of the Edinburgh architectural historian who did them. Some were added in 1995 – all of Campbell Street,for example which is C(S) and they are still adding – in 2004 they listed the central operations block and the control tower at Boyndie Airfield.

Any building put up before 1840 might be expected to be listed if its special character is substantially unimpaired. Later buildings are selected for their individual character and quality (normally not less than 30 years old). Changes which may seem minor such as stone cleaning, painting all or part of the property or replacing timber windows could have a major impact on the building’s character and therefore normally require listed building consent.

The planning authority can serve a Repairs Notice (compulsory purchase) if an owner deliberately neglects the building to justify its demolition and redevelopment of the site. The planning authority can buy the building at a price which excludes the value of the land for redevelopment.At 7 days notice the planning authority can undertake urgent works .. cost can be reclaimed from the owner.

Use traditional materials such as stone, lime, slates or pantiles, and wood – in the same material and to the same detail as the original -  as opposed to modern substitutes such as plastic or aluminium. Aberdeenshire Council maintains a central store of traditional material and fittings. Slates, pantiles,granite setts, cast iron rain goods, panelled doors and fire surrounds can all be found.

Though moulding profiles and section sizes are largely standard for historic windows, skills have diminished to the extent that it is rarely possible to rely on traditional working practices. Full working details are therefore needed.Unlisted buildings in conservation areas cannot be demolished without conservation area consent.  

We commend the work of the 
Banff Renaissance Project part of The Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI). This is the Heritage Lottery Fund's grant giving programme for the repair and regeneration of the historic environment in towns and cities throughout the UK. In May 2003, the Banff was forwarded as a candidate for inclusion in the Townscape Heritage Initiative programme.  The aim of the project is the rehabilitation of the historic core of the Banff Outstanding Conservation Area. 

Scheduled monuments are even more strictly protected than Listed Buildings.A scheduled monument is a monument of national importance that Scottish Ministers have given legal protection under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.  Although the majority are on land, a small number lie under the sea.

In Banff these are:

The Banff Aisle  16C

The Mercat Cross

The old walls of Banff Castle

Duff House

Banff has 240 listed; Macduff has 27; Turriff has 25. Peterhead 189; Elgin 254; Fraserburgh 108; Inverurie 55.


1              Banff Castle 1749-52 John Adam

2              Ingleneuk – 17th -18th C

3              1 High Shore -1675

4              Town Steeple – 1764 John Adam

5              Town and County Club - 1772

6              1 St Catherine’s Street – c1830

7              Banff Primary School – (Wilson’s Academy 1837 William Robertson)

8              Fife House – 1843-5

9              Town Hall 

10          The Harbour (Smeaton 1770-5 and Telford 1818)

11          The Bridge, also Smeaton 1779

12          The old kirkyard

A full list of buildings in all categories in the Aberdeenshire Council , featuring Banff in the address, description, notes or reference can be found on Historic Scotlands website.

A list of buildings in Banff town can be found on the attached file.

For further information on Listed Buildings the Historic Scotland website offers a wealth of information.


Historic Scotland - Listed Building Report Banff Town.pdf
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Banff Preservation and Heritage Society and Museum of Banff

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