Aberdeen (Scotland)


Aberdeen, is a county in Scotland; it is also called Aberdeenshire. It is bounded on the north and east by the North Sea, on the south by the counties of Kincardine, Angus, and Perth, and on the west by the counties of Banff and Inverness. Buchan peninsula forms the eastern section, and the Cairngorm Mountains occupy the west and the south, rising to an elevation of 4,296 feet at the summit of Ben Macdhui. Within the county’s area of 1,957 square miles, the main relief regions are:
(1) the southernmost of the eastern Scottish Highlands, which reach the sea between Aberdeen and Stonehaven in Kincardineshire;
(2) the western Uplands, a foothill region cut through by rivers rising in the Highlands; and
(3) the Buchan platform, the rolling lower eastern region at an elevation of 400 to 600 feet, reaching to the coast. The northwestern and southeastern extremities of the lower county have easy connections with the Moray Firth region via Banff and with the Scottish Lowlands via Stonehaven, the latter route commanded by the ancient city of Aberdeen, which is the county seat.
Aberdeen (Scotland)
The county’s geology consists of a series of metamorphic and sedimentary rocks, folded and faulted with a general south by southwest to north by northeast trend, and massive intrusive granites. The whole area has been much dissected by river erosion and is heavily glaciated. Glacial erosion during the Pleistocene period has left many upland corries, or basins, and the deep glens of the rivers Dee and Don are glacial troughs. The northern coast is cliffed, while the eastern coast has sand dunes.

The climate is generally equable, with rainfall averaging 30 inches a year, varying according to exposure. The highlands benefit from prolonged winter snow cover, and there are quasipermanent snow patches in the Cairngorm Mountains.

Farming, except for hill sheep grazing, is largely confined to the Lowlands. Stock rearing and fattening are the main activities, with the Aberdeen Angus and Aberdeen Shorthorn for beef. Oats, turnips, and hay are the chief crops, barley is of limited importance, and there is minor production of such specialties as seed potatoes.

Climbers and winter ski parties take accommodations in villages in the upper glens and use the barren and generally depopulated moorlands of the Highlands. The Cairngorm National Na-ture Reserve (60 square miles) contains red deer, ptarmigan, mountain hare, foxes, and»wild-cats. Some of the grouse moors of the lower hill country, owned or rented for shooting, are giving way to forest plantations, principally of fast-growing coniferous species. Roe deer are found in these woods, and there is excellent salmon fîsh-ing in the rivers, especially the Don and the Dee.

Royal Deeside is a popular tourist area, cen-tering on Balmoral Castle, a royal residence built in the 1850’s for Queen Victoria. Ballater, at the head of the Deeside railway, is a summer resort, and Braemar is a elimbing center. Other small settlements are minor fishing ports or marketing centers, but the city of Aberdeen is increasingly functioning as the port and commercial center for the whole region.

The area was originally inhabited by Picts. While there is little evidence of Roman occupa-tion, there are numerous crannogs, or lake dwell-ings. Vikings and Danes raided the coast, and in the 12th century the Saxons, Scandinavians, and Flemings arrived. Beginning in this period, the great families arose, and Anglo-Scottish rivalry became prevalent. Subsequent history is to a large extent the history of the city of Aberdeen.


ABERDEEN, is a city in Scotland with the status of a royal burgh. It is the county seat of Aberdeenshire and the chief port, commercial center, and market city in northern Scotland.

Aberdeen is situated on the estuaries of the rivers Dee and Don on the North Sea, about 125 miles by road northeast of Edinburgh. The lower Don follows a steep course, the ravines providing water-power sites, but it has a shallow estuary. The lower Dee valley is wider, with flat terraces and a gentle fail, and has been devel-oped as the harbor. The suburbs now extend across both river barriers. There is a 13-foot tide, and harbor installations include stone piers to protect the exposed mouth of the Dee. The per-sistent sandbars are regularly dredged.

Aberdeen is the largest regional distributive trade center for Scotland north of the Lowland. It is also a principal supply port for the Orkneys and Shetland Islands. Granite quarrying (especially gray granite at Rubislaw) and polishing (using some imported colored stone) are carried on in the burgh, which is known as the Granite City. It is a major fishing port and a ship-repair center. Whitefish landings, shipped south by rail from the fish auctions, are important, but herrings have declined. Boxes are made for fish packing, using local wood. There is a large paper-making industry, employing imported pulp and esparto grass, and some specialized textile manu-facturing. Aberdeen regional airport is located at Dyce, a suburb 6 miles to the northwest.

Little is known about Aberdeen between the time of its founding, in the 8th century or earlier, and the settling of the Flemings, about 1130. Old Aberdeen on the Don, originally Kirktown of Seaton, grew up around St. Machar’s Cathedral, the bishopric being inaugurated in 1137. New Aberdeen became a local trade center by virtue of a succession of royal charters, the first dated about 1178. The two settlements grew separately, though the cathedral was only a mile and a half from the center of the new market town, and only in 1891 were they united administratively. Aberdeen University was chartered in 1860, by the union of King’s College, founded in 1495 as St. Mary’s College, and Marischal College, a Prot-estant university founded in 1593.

Trade grew following the building of the Brig o’ Balgownie across the Don to the north in 1320, and the Bridge of Dee to the south, completed in 1530. In the early 17th century, Flemish weavers founded woolen and stocking manufacture. Linen was manufactured from the 18th century, though textile making declined following 19th century development of textile factories in areas closer to coalfields. The harbor improvement acts (from 1780), the coming of the railway (1850), and the introduction of steam trawling (from 1882) combined to promote the growth of a major fishing industry and the expansion of granite production.

Aberdeen’s position on the coast and its pleasant climate, excellent golf links, and hand-some architecture have brought a summer resort trade and many retired people to the city. St. Machar’s Cathedral, a fine granite structure, and St. Nicholas, the burgh church, were once com-plete Norman buildings. Some traces of the Norman period remain in the church, but none in the cathedral, the rebuilding of which was completed in 1520.

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