The Doric Columns
New Inn 1755 ~1839 (Anderson's Hotel)
Archibald Campbell's House stood on the site now occupied by the premises of the North of Scotland Banking Company, - and was a well known place of festive entertainment, in the City of Bon Accord, a 100 years ago. It was in that house, subsequently known as "The New Inn,'* about, or soon after, midnight of 26th December, 1768, - at which season, in consequence of the 20th December being held, in that part of Scotland, as one of the half-yearly money terms, many gentlemen from the country districts visit Aberdeen, - that, in the progress of a convivial meeting, a quarrel arose between John Leith of Leithhall, and James Abernethy of Mayen on Deveronside; which, from its fatal termination, attracted at the time considerable public attention and was commemorated in a Ballad still remembered in some parts of the country. The origin of the dispute seems to have been forgotten; but the party then assembled had evidently entertained no apprehension of its terminating disastrously, as, on the two disputants leaving the room, the only remark which seemed to have been made was by one of the gentlemen still remaining in the apartment, who casually observed that "Leith would take care to keep out of harms' way." In a short time, the sound of fire-arms out of doors having been heard, the portion of the company that had remained at table rushed out in order to ascertain the cause, when Leith was found lying on the Plainstones, nearly opposite to Archibald Campbell's House, wounded, (and, as it soon proved, mortally), by a pistol bullet in his forehead. The unhappy gentleman died on the 3rd day thereafter. His adversary, reported to have been slightly wounded on the thigh, evaded justice by immediate flight to the Continent. It is said that one of the balls fired on the occasion was to be seen, for many years, sticking in a neighbouring lamp post. - (The Book of Bon-Accord, 1889, p. 156). In the Scots Magazine for 1768 is chronicled the death, at Aberdeen, on 26th December, 1768, of John Leith of Leith-hall, Esq. In reference to that occurrence, the Editor of the Black Kalendar of Aberdeen (Edition 1840, p. 77), observes:- " It has been stated, though we do not place unhesitating reliance on the story, that the quarrel between Leith-hall and Mayen might have been settled but for the interference of Patrick Byres of Tonley, who urged Mayen to the deed, and even loaded his pistol. It is certain that he left the country along with Mayen." Mr. Abernethy was indicted to stand trial at the Circuit Court of Justiciary, held at Aberdeen, in May, 1764, before Lord Auchinleck. In the Scots Magazine, for 1764 it is recorded that " At Aberdeen, James Abernethy of Mayen,- Esq., was outlawed, for not appearing to stand trial on an indictment for the murder of John Leith of Leith-hall, Esq."
One would not expect Dr Samuel Johnson to be greatly taken with the town, for it will be recollected that he could not obtain lodgings in the New Inn until it became known that he was a friend of the Advocate Boswell: and John Wesley to the discredit of Aberdeen be is said had the misfortune to be struck by a potato on the arm when he visited the town in 1761, the only occasion on which he was assaulted in Scotland. Yet the good man bore no grudge, and gave his testimony to the excellent qualities of the Aberdonians, as well as to the marvellously good singing which he heard in the Parish Church of Monymusk.
Lodge Walk was owned and laid out by the Freemasons, who had their meeting rooms on the 2nd Floor of the New Inn in Castle Street, there was extensive stabling in this service street for the Inn but the street itself was dark and 'doore' and not very grand and there was also an arch link to King Street through a Pend with a large gate with a wicket door. G M Fraser further relates, it came to be the site of the Courthouse and Jail, and to any Aberdonian of the 20th Century the term "Lodge Walk" was synonymous with "Police Headquarters" .
– aye Ma, the hae taen hem tae Lodge Walk.
The Athenaeum - Union Buildings c.1819
Built 1819-22, Architect Archibald Simpson, burnt out in 1973, rebuilt by Thomson Taylor Craig and Donald 1977.
The Athenaeum - Union Buildings, Union Street
Part of the the
Union Buildings Complex it was designed as a Reading and Newsroom for the
Citizens of Aberdeen and was owned by Alexander Brown, bookseller. In
1888 it was sold to James Hay and it was then converted into a
Hotel and Restaurant. In 1973 a massive fire destroyed the interior
of the building which has now become offices.
The square building on the left is the Athenaeum designed by Archibald Simpson.
Archibald Simpson, 1819-1822. 4-storey and attic, 11 x 5 bay, impressive classical former reading room and tenement building with shops with round-arched openings to ground, altered following a fire in 1973. Prominently positioned at crossroads with distinctive ionic columns to former reading room rising through 1st and 2nd floors of 5-bay section. Smooth granite ashlar. Base course, band course, cill course to 3rd storey. Blocking course. Rounded corner with bowed glazing to Noorth-west. To East: symmetrical elevation with slightly advanced central 3-bay section with central timber door and with 4 tall Ionic columns with attic above, separating 3 large windows. Decorated wallhead panel above. To North, slightly advanced central 5-bay section with swagged wallhead panel. Multi-pane round-arched timber windows to ground with fanlight glazing pattern. Predominantly 12-pane timber sash and case windows to upper floors. Some plate glass to shop fronts. No 17, former Tbacconists, with round-arched timber mouldings. Grey slate. Mansard roof.
early classical buildings
to be built on
this large and impressive building was designed by the renowned local
and is situated at a particularly important junction in the City. Its Ionic
columned elevation provides a dominant terminating vista to the West of
the Castlegate. The grand
on the East elevation originally indicated the
of the former Library.
The simple classical style is typical of granite buildings of this period
before sophisticated cutting techniques were developed. Planned as the major
thoroughfare in an increasingly wealthy and confident City, Union Street was
a bold and confident project which required major Engineering to complete.
The 3-bay section to the West (No.s 17-21) was the 1st to be built in
followed by the rest in
Cordiner's started life in 1870 as a small boat building business in Aberdeen. Today, over 135 years and 5 generations later, their Timber Business in Sinclair Road is still run by the Cordiner family. Mr Alfred George Cordiner was born in 1908 and the 1st Directorship he had was in 1989 at Victoria Restaurants (Aberdeen) Limited. His most recent Directorship was with James Cordiner & Son Limited where he held the position of "Timber merchant".
Lemon Tree Hotel
The Lemon Tree Tavern looked out towards Castle Street from the internal corner of Huxter Row. Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce's 1st meeting (formerly Aberdeen and North of Scotland Trade Protection Society) took place within the cosy confines of The Lemon Tree Tavern in Huxter Row, a much-loved favourite of the traders and businessmen of mid-19th century Aberdeen 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 Finnan haddocks, such magnificent partan claws as Mrs Ronald was wont to place upon the table” to reconvene at a new meeting place at the Royal Hotel.
The Lemon Tree alas had a less rosy future ahead. It, along with some other local taverns, (Bon-Accord Hotel) were demolished when work began on the construction of the Town House in 1867 and an irreplaceable serving of local history was lost to the very Gods of Progress and Development that patronised it. Ach - Jist Knocket Doon
Tree Hotel, Huxter Row, off
St Nicholas Hotel c.1866
St Nicholas Hotel graces the corner of St Nicholas Lane advertising it seems an Alloa Brewery and the marble statue of the Young Victoria graces the Plinth opposite and set well back to the base of the cast iron railings.
The statue of Queen Victoria was sculpted by Alexander Brodie. The statue was inaugurated in 1866. The marble began to show weathering damage and was moved to the vestibule of the Town House in 1888. The plaster model of the statue can still be seen in the Music Hall. The shop gable end then sported an opticians sign at Queens Corner before being altered, rendered and painted over in later years. This marble statue was moved to the Town Hall as a result of sooty sulphuric acid deterioration and a later now more representative and 'older' Bronze Queen erected in a new position further forward on this prime civic corner above old Putachieside.
The St Nicholas Spire and East Church is just visible above the St Nicholas Hotel.
The City Hotel was at the opposite end of that block of buildings c.1857
Imperial Hotel 1869~ (Carmelite Hotel)
- Stirling Street
As one of the few secular buildings in Aberdeen to be built in the
this is a particularly unusual and distinctive building. Situated on a
site, there is fine external decoration. The Gothic revival style became popular
in the mid 19th century, partly as a result of thinkers such as
who advocated the superiority of the
period and its Architecture. Initially used for religious buildings, the style
later 19th century expanded into domestic buildings, as here. Often portrayed as
a reaction against the severity of classicism, the Gothic style makes this
building a rarity in the classical cityscape of Aberdeen. The
painted glass in the interior is of some quality and the images depict
various heraldic symbols including the pre
Royal Scottish Coat of Arms, the Royal Shield and decorative thistles and roses.
takes its name from the
which was associated with this area in the 13th century. Their house seems to
have been bounded on the North by The Green and the site of this Hotel may have
been situated within the House confines. As the Carmelites preferred to position
their Friaries away from the Main City, this suggests that this area would have
been outside the Medieval precincts of Aberdeen.
Waverley Hotel 1870~ (St Magnus Court Hotel) 20-24 Guild Street
A Single Axle Cart Horse drinks deeply from Fidler's Well in Guild Street with the Waverley Hotel and the Alhambra in the background. Caledonian Railway Station stands opposite behind the cart.
The Waverley Hotel once the Caledonian Railway's Hotel (now St Magnus Court) is a well-detailed building in the Scots Baronial style which makes a distinctive addition to the streetscape of Guild Street. The adjoining building to the North continues the design of St Magnus Court and establishes a uniform appearance to the whole block, enhancing streetscape character. The use of ashlar and contrasting tooled granite is unusual. The shallow segmental arched windows, distinctive timber mouldings to the dormers and the contrasting banding are features of both buildings. Exchange Street and the surrounding area was redeveloped in the mid-late 19th century as a mixed use area with Housing, Commercial Buildings and Industrial units. This building was constructed on the site of a previous sawmill. Guild Street lies close to the station and this hotel was one of a number in the area which helped to accommodate an increasing number of travellers.
Dated 1870. 3-storey and attic,
5-bay hotel and commercial building with Scots Baronial detailing and later,
similar adjoining domestic and commercial building to North. 12-bays to East
(Stirling Street) and West (Exchange Street) and 6 bays to North (Imperial
Place). Public House to ground at East and West with timber stallrisers and
fascia. Tooled granite with contrasting band courses and flush banding, ashlar
to ground. Shallow segmental arched openings (some alterations to ground).
Piended dormers with narrow timber moulding. Crowstepped gables to West and
Palace Hotel - 159 Union Street 1874~1941
Union Street looking west from Union Bridge, with the Palace Hotel on the left and the Commercial Union Assurance building on the right. The hotel was built in 1874 for Messrs Pratt and Keith, milliners, who occupied the street level area. It operated as one of a chain of LNER hotels. Its upper storeys were destroyed by fire on 31st October 1941, with loss of life, and the building was entirely demolished after the war.
The GNSR had mixed success with Hotels including the famous but overly ambitious Cruden Bay scheme. This started in 1891 with the acquisition of the Aberdeen Palace Hotel. This was modernised and included the then new idea of electric lighting. This was a great financial success, Built 1874 for Messrs Pratt and Keith, Milliners, who occupied the shops at the street level entrance area, and a warehouse below. by Alexander Marshall McKenzie Architect. It operated as 1 of a chain of LNER Hotels, the Palace Hotel was taken up by the Railway for the benefit of travellers. Its upper stories were destroyed by fire on 31 October 1941 and the building was partly demolished after the WW2 as it was claimed as damaged beyond repair by the fire during which 6 staff lost their lives (5 Chambermaids). It may be that post war austerity had a hand in the decision and or the dated aspects of the interior yet the the magnificent granite facade is intact. The fire started in the Grill Room which was to the right of the Main Entrance (see below). Final demolition took place in 1950 for the C&A Modes Building - now a Travelodge. The Palace Hotel, had been a North of Scotland Railway Hotel from 1891 and was taken over by the LNER in 1923.
Ach - Jist Knocket Doon
Palace Hotel after the fire in 1941 that sealed its fate looking from the Bank premises opposite down Bridge Street.
The Stock Room was on the 2nd Floor and 3
more storeys were below Union Street in the service road off Bridge Street
Palace Hotel: Banquet on 22 October 1909 in honour of C.S. Terry. In the back row (standing), are Mrs Johnston of Newton Dee, Prof. Baillie, Lady Fleming, Dr W.G. McNaught, Bishop Chisolm, Lady Elgar, Prof. Terry, Lord Aberdeen, Sir Edward Elgar, Mrs Rowland Ellis, Sir John Fleming, Sheriff Crawford, Mrs Dunn, and Bishop Rowland Ellis.
Bath Hotel 1879 ~ (Royal Hotel)
1-3 Bath Street is just off to the left in this artists Picture and was the site of the Bath Hotel now renamed The Royal Hotel with its splendid Architecture. It was once a Turkish Bath Emporium.
The Royal Hotel - formerly the Bath Hotel and Turkish Baths - on Bath Street, resembling an immense French Chateau - also the impressive Venetian Gothic façade of the former Palace Theatre (1898) on Bridge Place. The main thoroughfare of Bridge Street itself was laid down in 1865-7, swooping over the old route in from the south to link Union Street with Aberdeen Joint Station, Guild Street and the Harbour area.
This site is a topographically and historically complex area. As elsewhere in Aberdeen, the Victorian streetscape of Bridge Street, Bridge Place and Bath Street was superimposed or built on top of the Closes and Wynds of the Medieval Burgh. Windmill Brae effectively goes underground, passing below Bridge Street and now terminating at the Denburn Railway
Station Hotel 1894~ 74-80 Guild Street
& Wilson, 1894 (No 80 to left) and R G Wilson 1900 (No
78 to right). Hotel comprising 2 internally linked buildings; to right,
4-storey, 2-attic and basement, double gabled Baroque Hotel and to left,
slightly recessed, 3-storey and basement, 13-bay Classical former Railway HQ
with distinctive arched entrance doorway. Tooled and ashlar granite. 1st storey
cornice, cill and string courses. No. 80 (to left): central decorative consoled
wall-head panel. Slightly advanced wide-arched Baroque entrance porch with
banded pilasters with chamfered panelling flanking central timber and glass
2-leaf swing door and wide plate glass sidelights. Large Diocletian fanlight
above. Some decorative detailing, including Lion´s head at the apex and palmettes.
No 78 (to right): pilastered ground floor with continuous fascia. Off-centre
canopied 2-leaf timber and glass swing entrance door with glass and timber
sidelights. Shallow canted 7-light oriel windows with central round arched light
to 1st and 2nd storey at outer bays. Round-arched openings above. Central
decorative panel with small arcaded parapet above to 3rd storey. Swan-necked
apex capping to gables with stacks above. Late 20th century extensions to rear
Hastie's Hotel (Inn at the Park)
Horse drawn 'double decker' seating 40. in 1880 Union Street. Behind the car are the Town & County Bank, Aberdeen Temperance Hotel, Duffus Lodgings and Family Hotel ran by brother and sister William and Jane Duffus, and the Aberdeen Song School - formerly the Bon Accord Music Hall
Situated towards the
this is an early example of a classical building possibly and the first in the
City by the renowned Aberdeen Architect
It forms an essential component of the planned streetscape of Union Street. The
probably later attic windows within the wall-head stacks to the street elevation
are unusual. The simple Classical style is typical of granite buildings of this
period before sophisticated cutting techniques for this hard stone were
developed. Planned as the major thoroughfare in an increasingly wealthy and
confident City, Union Street was a bold and confident project which required
major engineering to complete. The buildings which aligned the street had to
reflect this sense of grandeur and confidence as the visual appearance of the
street was of the utmost importance.
There is some disagreement about the date and aAchitect of this building.
Brogden suggests that this is a
built as a replacement for an original
structure. Cuthbert indicates that Simpson built this building in
for a John Morison of Auchentoul and that this was Simpson´s 1t Commission in
Aberdeen. Simpson was working in London at this time in the office of
Morison had asked Laing for a design for a house, but when he looked at the
plans, Morison had preferred a design by the young Simpson. The attic storey is
thought to be a later addition. The building appears on the 1st Edition Ordnance
Survey Map of
Bon Accord Music Hall.
Hotels in chief are the Imperial, Palace, Douglas, Lemon Tree, City, Forsyth's, Adelphi, Waverley, and (William & Jane) Duffus' Temperance: clubs are the Royal Northern (1854), the City, the Aberdeen Club (1862), and the New Club (1867).
Mollinson's Hotel was on Union Street at the corner of Shiprow.
Adelphi Hotel, 10 Adelphi Court; Prop N Moncur - was on the right as you entered the pend from Union Street and across the short lane. Imperial Hotel, 21 Adelphi Court
The Allison Hotel (Temperance), 4 Bridge St Aston Hotel, 160 Union St Balmoral (Temperance), 52 Market St
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