The Doric Columns
Virginia Street. was laid down in 1768 on the reclaimed Shorelands, as were Commerce Street, Sugarhouse Lane, Water Lane, Pork Lane (Mearns St.), James Street and the lower end of Marischal Street. Until then, the waters of the Harbour had extended to the foot of the Castlehill at high tide. The name of Virginia Street. refers to the expanding trade with the Americas, as does that of nearby Sugarhouse Lane. Two Medieval bronzes found in Virginia Street were held at James Dunn House Museum - Schoolhill - (a museum nae maer).
Shore Lane, from Regents Quay to Virginia Street
South side and West end of Virginia Street showing the Shore Porters Society on the corner of shore Lane taken from Bannerman Bridge, Marischal St. -
Just off scene to the left was a flight of stairs leading to Bannerman Bridge on Marischal Street. Scottish Baronial Architecture was employed to embellish the structure. Where is that detail in modern times.
Opposite this building was the old multi storey Shire Horse Stables now demolished. The hard worked Clydesdale Shire Horses were lead up slippery timber barred ramps to tiered stables for overnight rest and feed.
Porters used mostly horse drawn four wheel large flat bed carts, these were large horses, especially bred for heavy haulage, and plough work on the farms the best know breed was “The Clydesdale” also they were known as “Shire Horses“. These were huge animals, but in almost all cases were very docile and easy to handle. When the carters came back at night we would help in taking the harness off the horses, there stable mangers were filled with hay and they always had a bucket of oats mix.
At one time the Harbour area possessed a great number of granite warehouses, but these have become increasingly uncommon and survivors of this quality are rare. The timber hoist doors and regular fenestration are particularly distinctive features of these warehouses. Warehouses are an important part of Aberdeen's commercial and social history.
They are a visible reminder of the harbour's importance to the prosperity of the
expanding 19th century city. The
Nos 6-10 Virginia Street
originally contained several houses and workshops, which were bought for £320 in
The Shore Porter Society.
They were then initially converted into shops and dwelling houses in
the building was converted into a bonded warehouse and used as to provide
additional storage facilities to the warehouses at
5 and 7 Weigh-House Square.
No 5 Weigh-House Square was purchased in 1906 by the Society from
an Aberdeen merchant. Begg had purchased the building in
and it is assumed that the conversion to a bonded warehouse dates from this
time. It is now a general warehouse.
No 7 Weigh-House Square
was erected circa
on the site of previous tenements owned by the Society and was built as a bonded
warehouse. It remains as such.
Ellis & McHardy occupy the Regents Quay End - Originally Coal Merchants they developed into Oil Distribution
Prying With the Pynours, 1498 - 1978, an Intimate Look at the Aberdeen Shore Porters Society and Their Times
Established in 1498 – 6 years after Columbus discovered America – The Shore Porters Society began as a group of porters, or ‘Pynours’ who worked at Aberdeen Harbour and formed, for their mutual protection, what must be one of the oldest co-operatives in existence.
In 1666, as the Great Fire of London raged, the Superannuated Members Fund, or Property and Warehousing Department, was founded as one of two distinct trading units to provide for retired and sick partners. The other unit was known as the General Haulage Department, the Horse and Van Department, or simply the Working Department. For centuries the Society was a semi-public body under the control of Aberdeen Town Council, but by 1850 – the year before the Great Exhibition – it was completely independent.
Pynours Tablet Mounted in the Square Tower Tollbooth in Leith
Residence 23 Virginia St set well back from the roadway and under the old Sick Children's Hospital was typical of a number of old houses built beyond the old shorelines.
Magical ancient properties with gates and white painted arched closes from another age were occupied by poor families and perhaps squatters.
The Leiper's was one such family who commanded the area like a child street gang.. The ground sloped steeply upwards as was the topography of Castlehill. Josie Lieper while 'playing' on oor 'greenie' below Castle Terrace with a bayonet fixed to a metal lance stabbed his own foot right through and lay in agony until a senior citizen deftly extracted the bayonet in a soldierly manner. Josie promptly hopped to his feet and and single legged it home urgently using the dangerous weapon as an improvised and still stabbing crutch.
Gordon's Court, 23 Virginia Street
First Floor West Room>
"Robert Gibbon and sons, merchants" and owners of the ship Castle Forbes at 11 Virginia St, Aberdeen, the business is still listed there with that name in Aberdeen Directories 1824-25 and 1825-26,
Captain Robert Gibbons
Walker's Court, 30, Virginia Street
Bannerman Bridge - Marischal Street in the distance
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