The Romans in Scotland
Julius Agricola Roman Governor of Britain, invades Scotland, reaching a line
between the Rivers Clyde and Forth by AD 82.
Julius Agricola invades northern Scotland.
In AD 78-9 Agricola brings the north of England under Roman control. In 80 he
establishes a line of defensive outposts across Scotland's narrowest point,
between the Clyde and the Forth. In the following three years he presses
steadily further north into the wilds of Caledonia (the Roman word for Scotland,
from the name of its leading tribe). Finally, in AD 84, he wins a major victory
over the Caledonii at an unidentified place called Mons Graupius - probably
almost as far north as Aberdeen.
The Battle of Mons Graupius takes place at a location still uncertain. The
Julius Agricola convincingly defeat the Caledonians under
Calgacus. They fail to press home their advantage, however, and instead
establish a defensive line of forts extending north east from
Loch Lomond to
Stonehaven to guard the exits from the main highland glens.
The Romans withdraw from Scotland to a defensive line between the Rivers Solway
and Tyne. This is fortified as Hadrian's Wall from AD 121.
The Romans advance again, to a line between the Forth and Clyde and build the
The Romans withdraw to Hadrian's Wall once more.
Roman Emperor Septimius Severus launches the last campaign intended to conquer
Scotland, establishing a
major base at Cramond, on the site of a fort built in AD 142.
Septimius Severus dies in York. His successor Caracalla abandons territory north
of Hadrians Wall and in 212 the Romans withdraw from what will later become
Scotland for the final time.
The first raids take place in western Scotland by the strong Irish tribe, the
The Picti, or the Picts, push the Romans back from Hadrian's Wall. "Picti" is
the Romans' disparaging slang for their northern neighbours, meaning the painted
(or tattooed) ones.
c. 750 Aberdeen
is founded as a fishing settlement
has grown into a busy little port and market town. It is given a Bishop.
is given a Charter (a document giving the people certain rights). Aberdeen has a
population of around 3,000.
now has a Castle
arrive in Aberdeen
The Castlegate was certainly the main street and market-place by 1290, being
referred to, then, as a forum.
Many a funny thing happened.
Coat of Arms - Bruce, who, in testimony of exertions, granted them permission to
bear as the arms of the town, "gules, three towers triple towered, within a
double tressure counter flowered argent, supported by two leopards proper, the
motto in a scroll above 'bon accord,' " (that having been the watchword on the
night when they rose against the English); Circa1308
English Sack and Burn Aberdeen
Black Death reaches Aberdeen
leper hostel is founded outside Aberdeen
population of Aberdeen is about 4,000
College is founded
Earl Marischal’s Hall
dating from about 1540 was next to Pitfodel’s Lodging on the south (harbour)
side of the Castlegate. This was the town house of the Keiths of Dunnottar, the
Earls Marischal. It had been the Abbot of Deer’s town house but became the
property of the (Protestant) Keiths following the Reformation. It consisted of
a group of buildings surrounding a central courtyard with gardens attached. It
is from this house that Mary Queen of Scots is believed to have witnessed the
beheading of Sir John Gordon in 1562 following the defeat of the Gordons of
Huntly at the Battle of Corrichie.
Skene's House is built
the reputedly haunted Guestrow (from Ghaist-Raw),
or Ghost Row the main remnant is the beautifully restored 16th century George
Skene’s House, long known as Cumberland’s Lodging following its requisition by
the infamous Duke of Cumberland on his way to Culloden Moor in 1746 and his
subsequent Highland Clearances.
Battle of Craibstone
was fought on 20 November between the Gordons and the Forbes So called due to
its proximity to Craibstone Croft, the battle was
won by the Gordons who forced the Forbes into retreat in approximately one hour
with the loss of sixty men.
College is founded
The aristocracy were
beheaded, by sword or, later, by Aberdeen’s own patent guillotine, the Maiden,
last used in 1615
Marquis of Montrose and his men plunder Aberdeen
Battle of Justice Mills
Market Cross is built - Mercat Cross
The Tolbooth (Left), dating from 1394, but rebuilt in 1615 and
nowadays largely concealed by the front age of the Town House, built in
1867–72 in Flemish-Gothic style.
A Jail, and then the Town Hall
The Mercat Cross at its original location.
streets of Aberdeen are lit by oil lamps
Royal Infirmary is built
New Inn built by the Free masons in 1755, visited by James Boswell and Dr. John
son in 1773. The Freemasons had their Lodge on the top floor, hence the adjacent
Lodge Walk. The New Inn was replaced by the North of Scotland Bank, later the
Clydesdale Bank, built in 1839–42 as the corner-piece of Castle Street and King
Street, and now a pub named after its illustrious Architect Archibald Simpson.
Earl Marischal’s Hall was purchased by the Town Council and demolished in 1767
to allow ‘the opening up of a passage from the Castlegate to the shore (or
harbour) and erecting a street there’, that being Marischal Street. Before then
there had been no direct route from Castle Street to the Quay, and the growth of
trade at the harbour made a new street absolutely necessary. Marischal Street
was (and still is) a fly over, possibly the first in Europe, vaulting Virginia
Street by means of ‘Bannerman’s Bridge’. It was also the first street in
Aberdeen to be paved with squared granite setts, the first street of the new,
post-medieval Aberdeen and it is the only complete Georgian street remaining in
Aberdeen today. Bannerman Place was the other side of the railway sidings
opposite Fish Street which may have been a fish market before the railway
shunters commandeered the space.
The same view from the relocated Mercat Cross a with amore accurate photographic
perspective and less artistic licence and retro Lighting Standards.
Robert Gordon Institute of Technology opens
Robert Gordon’s College, built 1739 to the design of William Adam, father of the
Adam brothers, Robert and James, who are commemorated by the
the name of which refers to dolphins – a classical symbol of brotherhood.
Pier is built
has a population of 27,000
The construction of Union Street from 1801 and the development of the ‘New Town’
west wards of the Denburn encouraged the wealthy and fashionable to migrate in
that direction, and the old or medieval town deteriorated through out the 19th
century. The Castlegate became squalid and dangerous and was notorious for the
number and brazeness of the prostitutes, who catered for the soldiers in the Bar
racks and the seamen from the harbour.
Andrews Episcopal Cathedral is built
Accord Square is laid out
The Bridge in Union Street, over
the valley in which the Denburn runs, is a very elegant structure, shewing a
single arch whose span is 132 feet, and the height to the top of the parapet 56
gains gas street light
Railway reaches Aberdeen
and Marischal Colleges join to find Aberdeen University
Park is laid out
Park is laid out
Art Gallery is built
Wallace statue is erected
first electricity generating station in Aberdeen opens
trams begin running
Park is laid out
gains its first cinema
in Colour 1936
Northern Hotel opens
Accord swimming pool is built
Typhoid Hits Aberdeen 1964
Nicholas House is built - more's the pity
production in Aberdeen ends
first North Sea Oil arrives in Aberdeen
new Fish Market is built
Bon Accord Shopping Centre opens
Dock is built
is made a unitary authority
Maritime Museum and the Gordon Highlanders Museum open