Artists impression of approach to the Tower

Benholms Tower or Wallace Tower as it is also known is a historic building dating from the early 1600’s and originally created as a ‘Town Lodgings’ for Sir Robert Keith of Benholm. Although built and named for Benholm, it got its more common name of Wallace Tower through a corruption of its nickname “Wall Hoose Close” after the public well that stood nearby. Over time the rest of the city encroached but it stood in the Nether Kirkgate of Aberdeen until the late 1960’s when it was removed to make way for Marks and Spencers in the new St Nicholas shopping centre.

There are many documents on the Internet detailing the history of the tower, but this report to the Society of Antiquaries in Scotland – predating the move from the city centre, is one of the most complete histories we’ve found.

The building in place on Netherkirkgate in 1940
Copyright HES

Rather than destroy the building completely however, it was dismantled and relocated several miles North to its present site on the Edge of Seaton Park, although it has now been left unoccupied and derelict for 20 years.
In its long history, the Tower has been many things; a variety of shops; private residence; public house; community resource and many more. TCDT want to see it occupied again, and have developed plans to bring the tower back into community use.
The plans involve the conversion of the ground-floor into a cafe area, the first floor into a hall or exhibition space (coincidentally the same purpose Sir Robert originally intended for this floor) and the upper floor to be converted into office space for local, small business use.
Since the change in business practices after the pandemic this upper floor is still intended for business and enterprise use, but has been redesigned to a more flexible open plan setup allowing options including artist workspace and coworker/remote working hub for those who may not have enough room at home for home working.

Planned ground floor layout
Planned layouts for the upper floors