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Aberdeen, Union Terrace Gardens

Garden (19th Century)

Site Name Aberdeen, Union Terrace Gardens

Classification Garden (19th Century)

Canmore ID 146565

Site Number NJ90NW 188

NGR NJ 93816 06250

NGR Description Centred NJ 9380 0620

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Aberdeen, City Of
  • Parish Aberdeen
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District City Of Aberdeen
  • Former County Aberdeenshire

Archaeology Notes

NJ90NW 188.00 centred 938 062

NJ90NW 188.01 centred NJ 938 062 archway, arcades and balustrades

NJ90NW 188.02 NJ 93912 06106 gentlemen's public toilets

Originally a public bleaching green. Planned 1867 and started 1868 by James Matthews.

NMRS, MS/712/83.


Field Visit (24 June 2011)

A field visit was made to assess any additional recording which might be required to update the RCAHMS record for Union Terrace Gardens, following the local authority developing proposals for the City Square project.

Photographic Record (9 May 2012)

RCAHMS photographed Union Terrace Gardens in May 2012. At this time a major international competition to redevelop the gardens had taken place with Diller Scofidio and Renfro/Keppie's 'Granite Web' entry chosen as the winner. A referendum took place in March 2012 in which the general public backed the development of the 'Granite Web' by a slim majority over those who wished to keep the gardens in their current state. The project was scrapped by Aberdeen City Council in August 2012 after Labour Party, who were opposed to the redevelopment, became the largest party in the May 2012 City Council election.

RCAHMS' survey focussed on the topography of the gardens as several of the competition entries, including the winning one, proposed covering over the Aberdeen-Inverness railway and the bypass, and making radical modifications to the gradient of the naturally sloping site that originally led down to the Den burn. The survey also included details of existing street furniture and views from various levels within the gardens of nearby landmarks such as Archibald Simpson's Triple Kirks and Frank Matcham's His Majesty's Theatre. RCAHMS' visit also provided an opportunity to upgrade holdings on the public toilets within the park.

Information from RCAHMS (NG), January 2013.

Watching Brief (2 October 2017)

NJ 93850 06200 (Canmore ID: 146565) A watching brief was carried out on 2 October 2017 in advance of proposed redevelopment work. The excavation of four test pits revealed no finds or features of archaeological significance.

Archive and report: NRHE

Funder: ESG

John Gooder – ACCESS Archaeological Condition Services

(Source: DES, Volume 18)


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