Torry?s 1st Public House was
named ?Le Sandy Velle? c.1535
wis a burnie ca'ed the
ran doon oot o' far the Torry Brickworks cam to be, past
Jessie Petrie's Public-House
by the waterside.' When the Dee was
diverted to its present Channel in
several skeletons were unearthed in the grounds of
Jessie Petries Inn
a Hostelry that stood at the foot of
It is construed they were hidden there by Body Snatchers intent on
delivering them to the Medical Doctors at the College for dissection. It
is assumed they had been removed from St Fittick's and buried in the Inn
grounds pending further transportation which was frustrated.
the North East corner of the Kirkyard stands the "Watcher's
erected in the days when the seekers after medical knowledge were struggling for
the good of humanity against the obstacles raised by its own prejudices and
distrust, and when this lonely chuchyard was often pillaged of its newly buried
dead by the Body-Snatchers or "Resurrectionists" to supply Marischal College
with material for dissection. When the Dee was diverted into its present channel
on trenching the garden ground beside "Jessie
the foundations and part of the garden wall of which were still standing at the
2 skeletons were found, and tradition in the village tells how the
body-snatchers, caught at their gruesome toil, were pursued to the River, and
being unable to cross without detection, hid the bodies behind the
and were never able to recover them again.
Inns and Alehouses C1845 - There were in Aberdeen no less than 193
inn-keepers and vintners, including 6 principal Inns, viz. the Royal Hotel,
the Union Hotel, and the Aberdeen Hotel in Union Street, the Lemon Tree
Hotel, in the Huxter Row, Cruickshanks' Inn, in the
Schoolhill, and Macdonald's Temperance Hotel in Queen Street
The Aberdeen Hotel was on
the north east side of Union Bridge
opposite Trinity Hall
Machray's Hotel was on the
south side of Union Street opposite St Nicholas Street - Possibly
a Temperance Hotel
Mollinson's Hotel was on Union Street at the
corner of Shiprow.
Ferry Boat Inn near the old
Blockhouse run by Willie
Fittie Ferry - Harbour ferries, such as the one from Footie to Torry,
survived in several ports, well into the 20th century. The Fittie Ferry was used until the 1930s. In the 19th century Footdee had a
large number of public houses. The local joke was that the pubs never opened because they never
closed in these remote seaward areas.
Steam-yacht Tavern, Footdee
c.1840 James Bate
Rising-Sun Tavern, 11, Huxter Row, Alexander Barron, Vitner
Crown and Eagle Tavern, Exchequer Court, 9 Exchequer Row
Afflecks Tavern was in Exchequer Row
Lochside Bar, Loch Street, John McKay,
Proprietor of the "Real McKay"
Blend of Fine Old Highland Whiskies.
Always a popular Quayside venue
the left on descent of Shiprow (Inset) was spirit dealer William Arthur's
at No's 13-15, this block was demolished around 1900, and most of the other buildings were
also removed in the 1920's because the area became very run down.
The Bonny Wife's
Inn stood in the Gallowgate at the beginning of the 17th Century
Some 7 Public Houses were on the
Guestrow - Including Red Lion Inn Court
Skipper Andersons House stood in
the Castlegate in the
17th Century and was the temporary residence of the distinguished leaders during
the civil wars of the Covenant.
Lemon Tree Hotel
Tree Hotel, Huxter Row, off
Castle Street, which was demolished to make way for the Town House in
the 1870s. The title was transferred to a house in St. Nicholas Street
and more recently to the Lemon Tree arts venue in West North Street. Huxter
Row was a narrow street running from Broad Street, parallel with
Union Street, to the old Town House or Toll Booth and then joining
Union Street at right angles. The street derived its name because of the
Booths of Hucksters - small traders. The Lemon Tree Tavern
looked out towards Castle Street from the internal corner of Huxter
Row. Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce
first meeting (formerly Aberdeen and
North of Scotland Trade Protection Society) took place within the cosy confines
The Lemon Tree Tavern
a much-loved favourite of the traders and businessmen of mid-19th
Aberdeen as a 'house where the excellence of the food was matched only by the
No doubt with much regret, within a few years the gathering of gentlemen bade
farewell to the
Lemon Tree Tavern
and to the memory of ?such creamy
was wont to place upon the table? to reconvene at a new meeting place at the
alas had a less rosy future ahead. It, along with some other local taverns, were
demolished when work began on the construction of the Town House in
and an irreplaceable serving of local history was lost to progress and
development. Huxter is a corruption of Huckster which suggests it was a
street for street Pedlars with small stalls or carts.
For Sale by Public Roup -
In the House of Joseph Mitchell, Vintner at the Sign of the Lemon Tree,
Aberdeen, upon Saturday the 1st of June next, betwixt the Hours of 3 and 4
The Estates of John Walker
and Company, Fancy Warehousemen and Hardware Merchants, No.2 Broad Street,
Aberdeen, and of John Walker and George Lowery, as Individual Partners thereof,
and as Individuals were sequestrated on the 5th day of March 1847. The first
deliverance is dated the 5th of March 1847. The meeting to elect Interim Factor
is to be held, at twe lve o'clock at noon, on Monday the 15th day of March 1847,
within the Lemon Tree Tavern, in Huxter Row, in Aberdeen; and the meeting
to elect the Trustee and Commissioners is to be held, at twelve o'clock at noon,
on Monday the 12th day of April 1847, with in the Lemon Tree Tavern, in
Huxter-row, in Aberdeen.
THE Estates of P. M.
THOMSON & COMPANY, General Ironmongers in Aberdeen, as a Company, and Peter
Marshall Thomson, General Ironmonger there, an Individual Partner of that
Company, as a Partner thereof, and as an Individual, were sequestrated on the
24th day of March 1852. The first deliverance is dated 11th March 1852.
The meeting to elect Interim Factor is to be held at 12 o'clock noon, on Tuesday
the 6th April 1852, within the Lemon Tree Tavern in Aberdeen ; and the
meeting to elect the Trustee and Commissioners is to be held at 12 o'clock noon,
on Tuesday the 27th April 1852, within the Lemon Tree Tavern in
Aberdeen. A composition may be offered at this latter meeting; and to entitle
Creditors to the first dividend, their oaths and grounds of debt must be lodged
on or before the 24th day of September 1852. All future Advertisements
relating to this sequestration will be published in the Edinburgh Gazette alone
SEQUESTRATION of JOHN
WILSON, Farmer, Kirktown, Dyce, and Cattle Dealer and Insurance Broker,
Aberdeenshire. JOHN DUGUID MILNE, Junior, Advocate in Aberdeen, Trustee on the
sequestrated estates of the said John Wilson, with concurrence of the
Commissioners, hereby intimates, that a meeting of the Creditors will be held
within the Lemon Tree Tavern, Huxter Row, Aberdeen, on Monday the 12th
day of April 1852, at 12 o'clock noon, for the purpose of receiving an
offer of composition from the said John Wilson on the debts owing by him, and
for determining whether the said offer shall be entertained for consideration ;
for which purpose the said general meeting of Creditors is hereby called, in
terms of the Statute
Commercial Life doesn't change much does it.
6 Little Belmont Street
This is an old established inn and is in fact Aberdeen's oldest pub having
witnessed and taken part in the City's history for almost
Hostelry which had sympathised with the
cause began to flourish as a
1800s Since then it has been recognised as a mecca for
both locals and visitors to the City.
Many of the Aberdeen hostelries were
kept by women and none is more remembered than
to run the pub following the death of her
affectionately known by her
the pub was taken on
by Alex Mitchell thus ending a period of 60 years association of the
with the pub. "The
is off the original bar in the right window which appears to have changed little since the days when "Ma
was the celebrated Hostess.
Ma Camerons Inn
was owned by
and family for many years.
City Royal Bar on the Gallowgate,
just prior to demolition - "The City Royal"
called affectionately "Guvelocks" which was the name of an old nearby
street. It is at the right of the Gallowgate en-route to Mounthooly. The arched part to the right leading to a backie and an illegal
bookie, seems to be already demolished. you can see the boarded up windows of Sheloohan's shop, which was right opposite Berry Lane. The
Bookie in the Backie
The Lang Bar
interior at 55
an narrow linear establishment still trading as a pub
- 43 Regents
Quay Pub; Staff and Clientele.
was a Burton Brewery and 2nd only to Bass but fell on hard times and were
merged with Ind Coope.
Allsopp & Sons, Ltd., (Brewers) 136 Mid Stocket Road
In my childhood the pub was always significant for the smell of hops
emanating from the interior and a St Bernard dog that was anchored to the
doorway. Bill Posters were always a feature for the Tivoli shows,
Boxing and Wrestling at the Music Hall. The plank of wood on the
pavement may have been a skid for the cellar.
It has always been a popular Quayside venue
Charlotte Street Tavern
Charlotte Street. c.1938
- Andrew Kelman, Spirit Dealer, Richard Currie - Licensee?
Located West of George Street.
Allsopp & Sons, Ltd., (Brewers) 136 Mid Stocket Road
Well O' Spa Bar
- 1 Spa Street.
Hays Lemonade delivery? &
long standing medical school drinker posing as customer.
of Wales, St Nicholas Lane.
1850, this is one of the best known pubs in Aberdeen and also
one of the most easily missed being tucked away down a Lane just off
St Nicholas Street
off Union Street. I have been told that the pub was in danger of being closed
down but was saved after a long campaign and hopefully its future is now a
lot more secure. Inside is an unexpected collection of rambling rooms
and alcoves that makes the place feels quite compact despite actually being
quite a large pub. The low ceilings and dingy lighting all help to create
the intimate ambience and the bare floors, panelling, barrel tables, pew
seats, old brewery mirrors, original fireplaces and a thankful lack of any
soft furnishings or modern intrusions help to retain its traditional, old
fashioned interior. The bar itself is said to be one of the longest in
Scotland but then Aberdeen also has the
Lang Bar. Unique is the
granite trough at the front of the bar for spillage, spitters perhaps in
pipe smoking days and sawdust.
Late 19th century. Pair
of commercial and residential buildings stepping down in height from left to
Prince of Wales Public House with late 19th Century timber gantry
occupies both buildings at ground floor. Grey, picked granite ashlar with strap
pointing. Nos 9, 11: 3-storey and attic, 3-bay; base course, timber fascia
to Public House, string and cill courses between 1st and 2nd floors, eaves band.
Regular fenestration, sloping cills, ogee-flip detail to lintels. Tripartite,
canted dormers at wallhead with distinctive, slated bellcast roofs and apex
finials. No 7: 3-storey, 2-bay (4 bay at ground floor with main entrance
to Public House at 3rd bay); timber fascia continues; eaves band. 2 widely
spaced, marginlesss openings at 1st and 2nd floors. Projecting metal signage
with `Prince of Wales Feathers'.
INTERIOR: to public House: 2 bracketed, dentiled and corniced timber gantrys;
long hardwood bar.
Plate glass timber sash and case windows to upper floors. Many openings boarded
(2006). Public House with timber panelled doors flanking pair of fixed pane,
astragalled windows. Grey slate, mansard roof with ashlar skews and skewputts;
broad end stacks; clay cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods.
Constructed separately, Nos 9 and 11 and No 7 St Nicholas Lane are now
integrated at the ground floor by the
Prince of Wales Public House. Both
buildings are simple in style with traditional strap pointing. They follow the
slope of the street and make a good contribution to the narrow streetscape
(Windows at upper floors and dormers blacked out ( 2006). The 2 Mid 19th
century timber Gantrys and the long hardwood bar run the full extent of the
ground floor's considerable length. The Southern gantry has an intricately
carved frieze and dentiled cornice. The Northern most gantry is thought to have
been relocated from the
Lemon Tree Public House (mark II) on Broad Street, whose
owner, William Coull, bought the
Prince of Wales
Torry Bar -
Baxter Street/Sinclair Road gave magnificent views
out over the navigation channel of the Harbour from the Tower Windows and
the Towns Profile rising from the surrounding industry and
this would be a real tourist haven if it still survived - alas knocket doon
- nae foresiight
Ye Old Frigate Bar was
also active in the old lane at 57 Netherkirkgate.
Then I was a wee tee-totaller and not
allowed inside these hop laden adult yet very mysterious atmospheres.
I used to bump into my paternal Granny from Torry on her way to the
'Hen Hoose' a
affectionate name for a pub which catered for lone women customers and she would search her purse to find you a
'ticky' a thrift flower stamped thrupenny piece while she swanked around in
her ostentatious Leopard skin coat intent on gossiping with other
abandoned solitary females.
Peep Peep's Bar My Da's
stop on the way hame fae werk. Opposite a grain Store at the bottom of Commerce
Street which was burned down and was then rebuilt. The door had a counter balance
of a bag of McDougal's Self Raising Flour which would raise and lower as the door
opened and shut. Kids could return Pint Screw-top Beer Bottles they found
for 3d each. But only if they were the McEwans IPA Label.
Bar at the corner of James Street and Virginia Street opposite Bisset's Works
and the Virginia Steps and could be approached via Castle Lane
better known as Hangmans Brae from Castle
Terrace. A typical small corner pub. See's Half a croon fer a drink
Hard times in the slums of the Harbour area.
The Schooner - formerly the Empire Bar was on
Cross Quay - Lower Market Street
54 Guild Street - once a den of senior Harbour trade citizens now a den of
Market Arms, Exchange Street c.1848
The History of the
Grill - 213 Union Street
The bar occupies the ground floor of a typical grey granite
terraced range of the early 1830?s. The name has not changed since its time
as a restaurant in 1870, when it was owned by George Watson,
the same surname as the present licensee but no relation. For over 30 years
the premises operated as a ?Restaurant & Dining Rooms?, complete with a
?Billiard Saloon? and ?Electric Light?. Sometime after the turn of the
century the premises were converted to a pub and were acquired by Mr John
Innes in 1925.
Shortly thereafter the pub was refurbished to its present
form under the local architects Jenkins
and Marr. They took the opportunity to remodel the pub and include
the unusual oxidised-bronze fascia panels and scroll work on the exterior.
The interior was panelled in mahogany veneer, with a finely-carved back
gantry and clock, all done by Mr G Fordyce of Archibalds. The outstanding
oval-shaped moulded plasterwork was done by plasterers A Watt and R
McGilvery, and their apprentice J McHattie. The long mahogany bar counter
had to be manhandled in through the Langstane Place windows after stopping
the traffic on Crown Street as it made its way up Windmill Brae. The back
windows actually had to be removed twice to make way for the counter because
the first attempt resulted in the counter being the wrong way round!
It wasn't until December
that women were officially served in The Grill, following the introduction
of the Sex Discrimination Act of
This was followed sometime after by the construction of a ladies toilet in
When the pub reopened after the 7-month long refurbishment, John Innes hung
a sign in the window which said ? No Ladies, Please?. For nearly 50 years
this remained the policy, despite an invasion by female delegates attending
the Scottish Trades Union Congress at the Music Hall in April 1973.
This demonstration made front page headlines in the national press and the
police had to be called to disperse the thirsty ladies!
The Hairy Bar,
Aberdeen. Also known officially as the Aberdeen Arms was on West
North Street, Aberdeen. The owner Robert Abercrombie Snr,
collaborated with his son Robert, and
Charlotte Abercrombie, in C1947. A fine wood panelled bar
with a piano played by Alexander Abercrombie or the owner Robert Fergus
Abercrombie. Cyril Ross, was a part time bar man in this Bijou L
shaped bar. The Pub was in the basement 'sunks' of the street below pavement
level next to the Bus Stop on the corner of Farrier Lane. The
affectionate name is no longer used for new licensed premises opened at the top
of Cairncry Road when the original was closed. Aberdeen
Arms was the proper name for The Hairy Bar. Officially changed to
Murdo's before moving to Cairncry.
Murdos is a community pub in the north of the City. Surrounded by 3 council
estates, the pub is the community?s meeting point. On
the left is owner Robert Fergus Abercrombie Snr with his son Robert jr
on the right.
Abercrombie, was the owner, a brother Alexander Abercrombie and Cyril
Ross, part time bar man
Early maps show the site as the Red Lion Inn and this was something of a
doss house then as reported by Fraser H
One of my regrets is not
having a pint in 'Bella's Bar' (C S MacDonald's or
MacDonald's) on East North St before it
Bella's Bar was the last in Aberdeen to still have sawdust on the floor a
practice prevalent in Butcher's shops to soak up blood and gore. A common
The Old Red Lion
Inn which was situated in Red Lion Brae now Firhill Place off
the Spital and dates back to pre 1750's
this Inn was used by the Aberdeen Philosophical Society every 2nd
and 4th Wednesday in the month at 5pm between 1758 and 1773.
It was better known as the Wise Club. There was a later Red Lion
Tavern which moved slightly within the area. The present Red Lion
Pub at 190 the Spital dates from 1903. The Firhill was
further west and was the site of the Firhill Well or Gibberie Wallie
McKilligan's Corner Woodhouse Bar, McKilligan's
Corner, Stoneywood dates from the turn of the century when it was still
safe to play in the streets. McKilligan had been a barman at the
Station Hotel (now the Staging Post), but saved enough to buy this
bar. There used to be a living room on the ground floor and later a small shop.
The cottages behind the bar have gone, but it is still in business.
The Swan Bar
- and Lounge was next to Loch Street Post Office just before their closure. These buildings
were at the northern end of the area which was to be demolished for the Bon
Accord Centre Development. The Swan Bar at No.34 was one of the older pubs
in Aberdeen and its manager for many years was George Baxter, founder of
Aberdeen Darts Association. On its last night on 14th April 1987, it was packed
with regulars sad to see their favourite haunt closed down. The Loch Street Post
Office, which had been opened in 1939 (GR) was closed on 13th April 1987, the staff
being redeployed to other branches. Were there ever swans on the Loch -
maer likely cleckin' gulls.
2 High Explosive bombs and one Incendiary bomb fall on Loch Street, destroying
McBride's Bar and 89 Loch Street.
Blue Lamp - Gallowgate
The infamous Blue Lamp Public House
at 121 the Gallowgate a
favourite with the University Students and Climbing Fraternity later to become a
Mecca for Jazz Aficionados. Next door was Soapy Ogden's opulent Factory Facade.
To the right was an old warehouse which was annexed and converted to another bar
and Jazz Venue
McEwan's was the best buy in beer - a lovely creamy pint that
took some time to pour - alas homogenised into bright party beer for quick sale
and the convenience of lazy cellar men.
Star & Garter - Crown Street.
Fine old and well appointed but dated Edwardian Pub with grand Ornate Plaster Ceiling
and cut glass Mirrors which fell out of favour with the competing 80's Giant Gin
Palaces of former Banks. A welcome refuge from the bustle of the Grill which was but
across the street in Langstane Place - alas nae maer.
The Royal Oak Bar, 5-9 Marischal Street
Later 18th century. 3-storey with attic and basement, 5-bay classical townhouse
with later public house to ground floor on sloping site.
with raised margins; moulded eaves course; regular fenestration to 1st and 2nd
floors. Central 5-light box dormer in mansarded roof. Ground floor public house
with symmetrical frontage; stugged ashlar basecourse; large tripartite fixed
pane windows flanking recessed 2-leaf door; further recessed entrance at far
left. 12-pane timber sash and case windows. Grey slates. Ashlar coped
skews at right gable; large granite ashlar ridge stack with later red brick
upper section; clay cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods.
Marischal Street (designed by
William Law, 1767)
is arguably the most significant example of Georgian town planning in Aberdeen.
The refined classical styling of No.s 5-9 contributes much to the predominantly
unaltered character of the Streets lengthy run. The building was constructed
when plans for the street were first laid out, and
where the Northerly end of the street is shown as complete on Alexander Milne?s
map of that date.
This pub was popular with seamen and owing to the risky design of large glass
windows it was regularly smashed from within or without. The added
handrails gave little protection to the glass. Note the magnificent Globe
Lights that illuminated the frontage.
Now occupied by Old Blackfriars Public House