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Fountainhall House

Fountainhall House, now 130 Blenheim Place, an 18th century 2-storey house with period gateway and ironwork, commemorates, through its original name of Fountain Haugh, the days when reservoirs and 6 cisterns dotted the  haugh area.  The old 1706 cistern from Fountainhall is now in Duthie Park.

The 2nd Fountain-house was on the north side of Desswood Place (Old Fountainhall Road), about 160 yards from the lower end of Whitehall Place. This house remained entire till 1905, when it was removed and rebuilt in Duthie Park.
 

James Mackie and John Burnet, 1706. Small rubble cistern house built into hillside. Flat-arched opening to centre of South Elevation with large lintel, metal plaque above reading "Old Well from Lands of Fountainhall, erected in connection with the first city water supply 1706, Re-erected 1903". Rectangular pool in front, with 4 stone steps on each side leading down to water; brick and stone lined vaulted inner chamber.

Fountainhall Road perpetuates the name of one of the quaint old properties of the district, although in a corrupt form. The small property on which Fountainhall House came to be built upon was originally part of the lands of Gilcomston, within a stone-throw of the Gilcomston Dam. In 1753 this lot of the Gilcomston lands was fued to Alexander Dyce, merchant in Aberdeen, who thereupon, it is concluded, although definite proof has never been found, erected the house , which came to be known as Fountainhall House.  The name Fountainhall first appears in Taylor's map of 1773.  The ground there contained some of the old stone Fountains or Cisterns, used from 1706 as storage wells for the Aberdeen water supply, and on this account the neighbourhood was spoken of as Fountainha'. This, however, is not "Fountainhall," but local enunciation of "Fountain-haugh," or hollow.

James Gordon - Map of Aberdeen 1661

Fountainhall House which took its name from the adjacent 2nd Water Cistern on Old Fountianhall Road is now 130 Blenheim Place, butted askew to a row of 1890s closely spaced granite houses but once a well proportioned two-storey country house with  pavilion roof and a bow porch facing the old Fountainhall Road.

The first owner from the mid-18th century may well have been Alexander Dyce the great grandfather of William Dyce, one of Aberdeen’s outstanding painters, but from 1773-1803 the house was definitely owned by the Dr's Skene, father and son in succession, both practicing Medics and Professors of Natural History at Marischal College, in succession.

Milnes Map 1789

Professor Patrick Copland purchased Fountainhall House in 1803 and lived in it with his family until his death in 1822.  For the following 30 years it was owned by Copland’s sons Alexander and Charles, with their mother having lifelong tenancy. After a brief spell as a manse and then a merchant’s home, the Lumsden family owned the house for some 90 years, during which time Aberdeen swept past it, almost engulfing it.

The large surrounding ground that extended to what is now Desswood Place was a casualty but the house itself largely survived both as a comfortable dwelling and as a memorial to bygone days.

This is still a private residence so do respect their privacy.

1828 John Wood - Plan of the Cities of Aberdeen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The lower picture is probably taken near the old gateway and wall to Fountainhall House on the adjacent named Desswood Place

 Ordnance Survey of 1867

Desswood Place was laid out in 1888 by the City of Aberdeen Land Association in what was then a relatively rural area in the west end of Aberdeen but it was rapidly being filled with large granite houses for the more prosperous citizens. It was named after Alexander Davidson of Desswood who was Chairman of the Land Association for many years. Desswood was his country property near Kincardine O'Neil on Deeside.

 

 

 

 

 

New Fountainhall Road


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Last modified: 01/09/2013