The Doric Columns
William Chalmers, of Westburn was born in 1695 and died in 1770. He married Helen Molieson or Mollison and they had a daughter, Helen Chalmers, who died in 1800. Chalmers was Provost of Aberdeen twice, from 1738 to 1739 and again from 1746-1747. He laid the foundation stone for the Infirmary in 1740 and was responsible for starting the Poor Hospital. He was also the 1st Provost elected legitimately after the Duke of Cumberland quashed the Jacobite Council that ruled Aberdeen in 1745-6 and established in its place - albeit briefly - a Military Dictatorship under Cumberland's appointed Governors.
Westburn House was designed by Archibald Simpson and built in 1839. It was a private house and was purchased by the Council in the early 20th century. Westburn House was utilised in various ways such as a Tearoom, Restaurant and a Creche. The Mansion House, for many years the residence of the David Chalmers Family, the well-known news-printers, was acquired by the Town Council and opened to the public in 1901.
Chalmers, D. & Co., Printers & Publishers of Aberdeen Journal, Aberdeen, Scotland, 1811.
The original Estate of Westburn extended to 22 acres and was purchased for the sum of £14,000 with subsequent works bringing costs to a total of £18,717. The old house of Westburn was converted into refreshment rooms and the grounds around Westburn House had been formed into a public park with its formal walled garden turned into bowling greens and tennis courts. The public park now includes a children's cycle track and play area, and has become known for an excellent grass bowls facility. An open section of the Westburn (or Gilcomston Burn) runs through the park and the guitar shaped Paddling Pond feature has been added to it. There is a more ‘open’ feel to the grounds, which are readily visible to traffic on the adjoining roads, and this contrasts significantly to the contained intimacy of the Victoria Park opposite it.
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