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Seaton Park

Seaton Park Race Day

Seaton House. The house was acquired by Aberdeen City Council in 1947 and was demolished in 1963 after being destroyed by fire. Previous owners had been the Hay family since 1849. The house was of three periods. the oldest portions in the north-west wing, dating from the mid 17th century were built by James Gordon, a Baillie of Old Aberdeen in 1661, who died 1714. The most interesting part was the south block, built of brickwork with dressed work in sandstone, the piended roof slated; the main entrance doorway in the central section under the pediment and three-light window was grand classical architecture. It was built around 1715 for Gordon's son-in-law, Colonel John Middleton, MP for the Aberdeen Burghs and the Architect was possibly Middleton's friend James Gibbs. The north-east wing was early 19th Century in date. The mansion-house itself stood nearer the river and was built with hand-made bricks from the Seaton brickfield. It was designed by James Gibbs in 1725 and was a fine example of a Georgian mansion of the Classic Renaissance style.  The remaining stable block and kitchen gardens are still imposing in their architecture and layout

Lord James Hay (1788 - 1862) was active during the Napoleonic Wars, and was present at Waterloo. He became Colonel of the 86th Regiment of Foot in 1854, and was a director of the Aberdeen Railway Company, serving as Chairman for the period 1848 - 1854.  His marriage to Elizabeth Forbes produced 4 children, though only 3 survived. Their eldest daughter, Margueritte Louise, married the French artist, Gudin, later Baron Gudin; a 2nd daughter, Georgiana, remained unmarried; and their son, James Gordon, who inherited the Estate was father of Malcolm Vivian Hay (1881 - 1962), last Laird of Seaton.

Seaton Park
Formerly the grounds of a private house, is on the edge of the grounds of St Machars Cathedral. The Cathedral Walk is maintained in a formal style with a great variety of plants providing a popular display. The park includes several other areas with contrasting styles to this.  This 27-hectare park lies to the north of the city and was purchased by the Council in 1947 from Major Hay. Beside the park's south gates stand the fortified towers of St Machar's Cathedral.  There are many fine areas in the park from the flowerbeds to the rose beds and up to the walled garden beside the old stables, which have been converted for housing.  The Cathedral Walk is always a resplendent sight in midsummer and one of the most popular with visitors to the city. Seaton Park is also an access point for the River Don and a walk has been established from the park to the City Boundary.

Seaton Park Racecourse.

One of the last races in Seaton Park at a meeting held on Saturday 22nd and Monday 24th September 1928. Horseracing had taken place in the City regularly in the 19th century when there was a Racecourse at the Links. Its popularity had declined but racing was revived in Seaton Park in 1923 when 30,000 people attended. The 1928 Meeting was not a great success since less than 1000 spectators attended on the Saturday, although 3000 attended on the Monday despite intermittent rain. The entrance fee to the ground was 1/6 (7.5d) and to the Paddock 4/- (20p) with licensed bars, refreshments and teas available. The fields were not large with only 5 runners in the main events. The Bon Accord Handicap, run over 7 furlongs, had prize money of 25 sovereigns. The last race on the Monday was the Consolation Handicap (for beaten horses). Only 3 horses ran, with "Lolita" winning by 6 lengths. The 3rd horse "Peggy Maitland" was so far behind that her owner/jockey had to walk her past the post. An application made in 1956 to restart horseracing was turned down by the Town Council.

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Last modified: 01/09/2013