aberdeen - Aberdeen; aberdeen - Third largest city of Scotland (1940 official estimate). It stands on a bay of the North Sea, between the mouths of the rivers Dee and Don, 130* m. by rly. N. of Edinburgh. It is the county town of Aberdeenshire, a parl., royal and num. bor., a county in itself, a university city, and the chief seaport of N. Scotland, and is served by the L.M.S. and L.N.E.R.
Aberdeen formerly consisted of two contiguous towns-the episcopal burgh of Old Aberdeen, extending N. towards the Don, and the royal burgh of New Aberdeen, lying N. and W. of the Dee. These have been amalgamated since 1891. In Old Aberdeen are Kin's College and S. Machar Cathedral, the nave of which is now a parish church.
New Aberdeen, known as the granite city-sometimes the silver city-because of the predominance of grey granite buildings, has many imposing public edifices,, notably Marischal College with a tower 260 ft. high, the municipal and county buildings, the market hall, the post office, the royal infirmary, Trinity or Trades Hall, Gordon College, the grammar school, and His Majesty's Theatre. King's College and Marischal College together form the university of Aberdeen. The city possesses an art gallery and museum, with a " hall of remembrance " attached as a memorial to men of Aberdeen who fell in the First Great War. Cowdray Hall, close by, named after its donor, Viscountess Cowdray of Dunecht, was opened in 1925.
Of the city's ecclesiastical buildings, the principal are the contiguous East and West churches- formerly the church of S. Nicholas -with a spire 190 ft. high, and a peal of 36 bells --and the Roman Catholic cathedral. In Union Terrace are statues of Wallace and Burns; in Union Street statues of Victoria and Edward VII; in front of Gordon College a statue of General Gordon, and in front of the grammar school one of Byron. The "Mercat" (market) cross dates from 1686.
Besides the fisheries and fish-curing establishments for which Aberdeen is noted, many other important industries flourish in the city. There are shipbuilding yards, engineering, chemical, granite-polishing and paper works, and woollen, linen, and cotton factories. There is a commodious harbour, with docks covering an area of nearly 97 acres. Off the S. entrance is Girdleness Lighthouse. The tramways, water, gas, and electricity supplies are municipal undertakings, and the fish market is one of the largest of the United Kingdom. The B.B.C. maintains local broadcasting studios. There are golf links and several public parks, Duthie Park of nearly 50 acres being the largest, and the vicinity of the fine sandy beach has been considerably developed as a pleasure resort, with esplanade and dance-hall. The corporation baths are among the finest in the country. The Hazlehead estate (832 acres), purchased by the corporation in 1920, contains many fine walks, golf courses, and an intricate maze, the latter a gift to the city from a former lord provost. Two members are returned to Parliament. Pop. 180,800 (estimated 1946).
An important place in the 12th century, Aberdeen was granted a charter by William the Lion in 1179. Its people espoused the cause of Robert the Bruce, from whom it received large grants of land, and it was burned by Edward III in 1336. During the Civil War it suffered at the hands of both Royalists and Covenanters; outside the city, Montrose Sept, 13, 1644, the second in his series of victories for Charles I, and plundering and massacre followed. In 1715 the citizens elected a Jacobite town council, and in 1745 a levy of ?1,000 was exacted from the town on behalf of Prince Charles Edward Stuart.
The name Aberdeen should properly have been Aberdon, i.e. mouth of the Don. The Latin form is Aberdonia and the people of the city are commonly spoken of as Aberdonians.