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Provost Skene's House Aberdeen
Located in the heart of the Aberdeen town centre, Provost Skene's House is a rare surviving example of the
early burgh architecture.
The History Of Provost Skene's House
In Scotland a Mayor is called the Provost. Provost Skene's House is named after one of its owners, Sir George
Skene, who was a wealthy merchant and Provost of Aberdeen from 1675 - 1685.
Previous owners of Provost Skene's House include Alexander Knollis, a Laird, Bishop and Bailie Mathew Lumsden (cited in
The Haunted North: Paranormal Tales from Aberdeen and the North East by Graeme Milne).
Entry for Aberdeen Race For Life is now open.
During the Jacobite rebellion the house was used by Hanoverian troops as a billet. The Duke of Cumberland stayed at Provost Skene's House Aberdeen on his way to Culloden and for some time the building was known as Cumberland House.
Walter Duthie then Miss Elizabeth Duthie, who gifted the Duthie Park to Aberdeen, were owners and the building was used as house of refuge and renamed Victoria Lodging House (cited in
The Haunted North: Paranormal Tales from Aberdeen and the North East by Graeme Milne).
In 1953 the Queen Mother opened the House as a Museum.
Review Tour And Facilities Of Provost Skene's House
There is a fine lawn and pond with fountain outside the House, with seats which makes this a perfect picnic spot
on a lovely sunny day. The cafe sells a delicious selection of home bakes and a wide range of hot and cold drinks. The floor
in the cafe has a glassed section through which can be seen the cellars with an assortment of period curiosities.
Toilets are situated next to the cafe and by the entrance to the House.
Admission is free and you can take a free information sheet. A reasonably priced book about the House is available
There are some stairs to climb so this visit isn't suitable for disabled people.
The first room houses a display of olden household curiosities.
Through to the Dining Room there is a fine example of a mahogany table dating back to 1790. The plastered ceilings
are dedicated to Scotland, France and England with the plastered thistles, French de-lys and English roses.
The 17th Century Bedroom has the coat of arms of Sir George Skene plastered on the ceiling.
Provost Skene's House Aberdeen is closed on a Sunday. The opening hours are:
Monday- Saturday, 10am - 5pm.
Up a small flight of stairs is the Painted Gallery which has 10 painted panels of religious paintings which represent the
life of Jesus Christ from Annunciation to Ascension. No one knows why the paintings were commissioned or when and why
they were created, or indeed who painted the pictures.
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In another room called the Costume Gallery is a display of uniforms ranging from military, nurses, Royal Marines,
waitress, British Rail, Robert Gordon's Technical College, Cricketing, Boys Brigade, and Gordon Highlanders
uniforms. There are also examples of Bay City Rollers trousers, a Bishops Cassock and a Teddy Boy Coat.
The next room has a range of Seaton Pottery on display.
Going downstairs brings you to a late 19th Century Nursery with china faced dolls, Victorian books and scraps, a dolls house
and a rocking horse.
The next rooms are Bedrooms and the Regency Rooms.
On the way to the exit there is a wall mounted cache of flintlock muskets from 1758 - 1759. They were nicknamed
Brown Bess by the troops.
Ghosts of Provost Skene's House
There have been many reports of ghosts at Provost Skene's House. Many people, especially staff who have to lock up alone at night and in the dark have reported a presence in the building. Staff members have reported being followed by ghostly footsteps in the turret staircase.
Several visitors have reported being shoved or jostled by an unknown spirit and not being able to open the painted gallery door because someone or thing is pushing against it (cited in
The Haunted North: Paranormal Tales from Aberdeen and the North East by Graeme Milne.
The ghost of a woman has been sighted in the 17th century parlour room.
The Haunted North: Paranormal Tales from Aberdeen and the North East state that staff think she might be Elisabeth Aberdour, the wife of Mathew Lumsden. The same book cites a haunting in the old kitchen area of Provost Skene's House with the figure wearing an old dress and crinoline bonnet.
Provost Skene's House Candlelit Christmas Tours
During December the guides at Provost Skene's House take visitors round the building on an atmospheric candlelit Christmas tour where they talk about how
former occupants would have celebrated Christmas centuries ago and their customs and traditions. Booking is essential and the adult tour is only suitable for those
aged over 13 years. Each candlelit tour takes about 40 minutes and there is a shorter tour available for children.
Provost Skene’s House Exhibitions
The following are Provost Skene’s House Exhibitions that are free to view:
23 May – 1 August 60s SUMMER - A fun display of costume from the 1960s illustrating the eclectic mix of styles and fashions popular in this decade. At
Provost Skene's House.
28 February – 9 May TARTAN AND TWEED - Examples of traditional Highland dress and costume made from authentic tweed are displayed, for Homecoming Scotland 2009. At
Provost Skene's House.
Wednesday 1 April 12.30-1pm TARTAN AND TWEED - A talk by Alison Fraser, Keeper (Applied Art)
Admission free. Booking essential on 01224 641086
At Provost Skene's House.
Wednesday 4 March 12.30-1pm RAISE YOUR GLASSES - A talk by Victoria Ward, Assistant Keeper (Applied Art)
Admission free. Booking essential on 01224 641086 At Provost Skene's House.
13 December 2008 - 14 February 2009 - JEWELS: The Costume Gallery hosts a dazzling display of jewel coloured dresses that represent the twelve birth stones. From
rich amethyst to sparkling diamond and deep ruby these costumes offer a visual feast for the eyes and are guaranteed to get you into the festive spirit. At Provost Skene's House.
Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 December 2008 - PROVOST SKENE’S HOUSE CANDLELIGHT TOURS: 6.15-7pm and 7.15-8pm each day
Tickets £7 (£6 concessions and friends of Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums). Refreshments are included. Booking is essential on 01224 523700.
20 September - 29 November 2008 - Falling Leaves Autumnal Attire - The Costume Gallery at Provost Skene's House which re-opens with a rich display of outfits
inspired by the colours and motifs associated with Autumn. It includes a striking printed leather suit by the world renowned, North East fashion designer,
Throughout March, April and May - The Local Word and Image: 500 Years of Printing in Scotland at Provost Skene‘s House - 2008 brings with it celebrations of 500
years of printing in Scotland. This exhibition traces the development of printing in Aberdeen featuring items from Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums’ Collections as
well as from Aberdeen City Archives and Aberdeen Central Library. A second display, featuring prints gifted by Peacock Printmakers (now Peacock Visual Arts) to
Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums, examines printmaking as an artistic process.
26 January to 1 March 2008 - Costume Gallery: Local Brides at the Provost Skene's House. This exhibition presents a selection of desirable dresses and bridal wear
that were created by local designers and worn by Aberdeenshire brides.
From 3 November to 12 January 2008 - Costume Gallery Party Season: It’s that time of year again when we dive into our wardrobes in search of our glad rags - this
exhibition looks at glamorous eveningwear worn in the last two centuries, for those special social events at Provost Skene's House.
Early Glimpses Excavations within St Nicholas Church 2006
Until 31 August 2007 the exhibition Early Glimpses
Excavations within St Nicholas Church, 2006 will be at Provost Skene's House in Aberdeen City. This exhibition continues to examine the important archaeological dig which took place inside Aberdeen’s historic burgh church in 2006. New on display from August will be the second volume of the Kirk and Bridge Work Accounts, from Aberdeen City Archives. It covers the decades after 1670 and will be open at a page showing that as late as the 1680s the burgh authorities were still allowing, and charging, for burials within the church, despite it being prohibited by that time. The excavation and post-excavation projects are funded by the Kirk of St Nicholas Uniting.
Inside the Nursery
Throughout June, July and August the Inside the Nursery exhibition will take place at Provost Skene's House. This exhibition, explores life for children inside the Victorian and Edwardian Nursery.
Until the 4 August 2007 the Costume Gallery exhibition will take place at Provost Skene's House in Aberdeen city. It features the work of
Bernat Klein a Pioneering Textile Designer. Bernat Klein was arguably the first producer of arrestingly abstract designs for dress fabrics – which had their original inspiration in his own abstract paintings. This exhibition, featuring a selection of fantastic fashions from his 1970s collections, demonstrates his fascination with colour, explored in his painting and weaving.
The Roaring 20s - Flapper Fashions
Another Costume Gallery exhibition from the 18 August will be The Roaring 20s - Flapper Fashions. The 1920s was a decade of optimism, which was reflected in the fashions of the time. Simple, unstructured dresses meant easier dressmaking at home and affordable fashion for all. The symbolic flapper with her sleek hair cut and daringly short hemline emerged in 1926 and took the fashion world by storm. This exhibition of costume charts the rise and fall of the hemline and the flamboyant fashions of this truly exuberant decade.
On Wednesday 20 June 2007 there will be a free lunchtime talk from 12:30 until 1 pm. The title is Time for Tea and the talk is by Victoria Ward Assistant Keeper (Applied Art) who will discuss the passion for tea drinking in the 18th and 19th centuries. Admission is free but due to limited places booking is essential.
Dish of the Day
On Wednesday 22 August 2007 there will be a free talk called Dish of the Day at Provost Skene's House, Aberdeen. From pewter to porcelain - Victoria Ward Assistant Keeper (Applied Art), discusses dining ware for the 17th and 18th centuries from 12.30 until 1pm. Admission is free but booking is essential - phone (01224) 641086
Contact Address And Telephone Number Of Provost Skene's House
Provost Skene's House
Tel: (01224) 641086
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