Provost Skene

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George Skene
Provost Skene's House.jpg
Provost Skene's House
Provost of the city of Aberdeen
In office
Doorway to the house
The Skene grave, Kirk of St Nicholas in Aberdeen

Sir George Skene of Fintray (1619–1708) was a Scottish merchant in the Baltic trade who served as Provost of the city of Aberdeen from 1676 to 1685.[1] He was knighted in 1681.

He was a burgh commissioner for Aberdeen in the Parliament of Scotland from 1681 to 1682 and 1685 to 1686.[2]

On his death in December 1708 he was buried in the family plot at the Kirk of St Nicholas. The flat stone lies close to the west boundary wall around midway on its length.

Today he is most famous and widely known, not for his time as Provost, but for his house, which is a tourist attraction in Aberdeen.

Provost Skene's house[edit]

Provost Skene's House was built in 1545, and was bought by him in 1669.[3][1] It was opened to the public in 1953 as a 'Period House and Museum of Local History' by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. The rooms have been furnished in the styles of the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries. There are collections of coins and local history, while the Painted Gallery contains a series of religious paintings. The Costume Gallery presents regularly changing displays of period dress.

The house is much altered, but is a rare survival of Aberdeen's medieval burgh architecture. It is thought that George Skene commissioned the carved plaster ceilings in the 17th century. In an attic gallery a Renaissance painted ceiling, including strapwork decoration and religious scenes, was commissioned by a member of the Lumsden family.[4]

Rated a three star museum by the Scottish Tourist Board, the museum is free to the public.


  1. ^ a b "Sir George Skene". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  2. ^ Parliamentary Papers, Volume 62, Part 2. p. 584, 586.
  3. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "Broad Street, Provost Skene's House, including archway and south building (Category A Listed Building) (LB20156)". Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  4. ^ Edward Meldrum, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries Scotland, vol. 91 (1958–59), 85–103, "Sir George Skene's house in the Guestrow" (PDF).

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 57°08′54″N 2°05′51″W / 57.1483°N 2.0975°W / 57.1483; -2.0975