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Sea Beach Route

BATHING STATION ROUTE - Castle Street to the Sea Beach.
Route 9 - Castle Street, Justice Street, Park Street, Constitution Street, and the Links.

On leaving Castle Street the car enters Justice Street, a name which recalls that this street was the way the condemned criminal was often taken to the place of public execution. Justice Street leads to 3 such places, the Heading Hill, on the east side of Commerce Street, opposite the Castle Hill, and its name explains the nature of the punishment inflicted there. Between the 2 hills, on the site now occupied by Commerce Street, on the right, during the witch mania of the last decade of the 16th century, about 30 individuals were  burned alive
here. Of these poor people, mostly women, many were condemned on their own confession of unlawful dealings with the powers of evil. Justice Street also led via Park Street to the Gallowhill, on the east side of King Street, by way of the Thieves Bridge.  Proceeding along Constitution Street, there is passed on the right St. Peter's Catholic School with its granite statue of "Priest" Gordon, who was held in great respect some 50 years ago for the work he accomplished in the City. On the left, after crossing the Railway, is the Granite Works of Alexander Macdonald & Co., Ltd., one of the oldest of the stone-polishing and monumental yards in the City, while on the right are the disused Cotton Mills formerly belonging to Robinson, Crum, & Company. (Cotton-spinners, Bannermill - Manager, Charles Sefton c.1853)


The Links, or "People's Park," which the line now crosses, is over 400 acres in extent, and is one of the greatest boons which Aberdeen possesses.  It is the recreation ground of the citizens par excellence, and affords in the ample space from Dee to Don sufficient room for all kinds of games. Cricket and football are provided for, and there is a public golf course of 18 holes stretching northwards from the Broad Hill. Another attraction to the Links is the handsome Bathing Station, erected by the Town Council in 1895 and largely added to in 1898. Facilities are given in the establishment for indulging in all classes of baths, while there is a large swimming pond, measuring 90 feet by 35 feet. On the beach in front is a safe  bathing ground and a supply of Bathing Coaches for the convenience of bathers. During the summer, attractions of a varied character are provided in the form of Pierrot entertainments, bands, and  other forms of amusement.

Northwards from the Bathing Station  promenade or esplanade has been formed for a distance of nearly a mile, and it is intended ultimately to extend it to the Don, and when this is done the city will possess a marine drive which should prove an addition to the present attractions of the beach.  Looking Citywards from the Bathing Station, there will be observed, almost facing the Links, at the foot of the Broad Hill, the City Fever Hospital while southwards from the Banner Mill, which occupies the middle foreground, will be seen the Gas Works, also the property of the Corporation. It was within the grounds occupied by the Gas Works that James Gibbs or Gibb, the famous architect, was born in 1694, at the house known then and long after as the " White House at Futtiesmyre."  South of the Bathing Station is the Battery, and the walk ought to be continued through the village of Footdee, or the Fishers' Squares, to the North Pier.

The keeping of the entrance to the harbour has always been a source of trouble and great expense, from the fact that a " bar " tends to form at the entrance. This is attributable partly to the river flowing into the tidal waterway, but chiefly to the sandy nature of the bay and coast northwards. In 1770 Smeaton designed a breakwater for the north side of the entrance, which was completed at considerable cost, while a further extension was commenced in 1810 from designs by Telford. On 5th September, 1874, the then Duke of Edinburgh laid the foundation stone of an extensive addition made at that time with a view of securing a greater depth of water at the entrance. The North Pier forms a delightful promenade, and from the raised platform at the east  end an extensive view of the greater part of the Aberdeenshire coast can be obtained. The south side of the entrance channel is protected by a breakwater erected in 1875.

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Last modified: 01/09/2013