Aberdeen Historical Timeline

Exploring the rich history of Aberdeen, journey back into the 12th century when Aberdeen was first granted a bishop, during the time of the Romans Aberdeen was known as Devana and later adapted the name Aberdon, which could possibly mean mouth of two rivers from the words ‘aber’ and da-aevin’.

The city of Aberdeen grow quickly between the 12th and 13th century, the city started to take shape, having its first castle and stone church and mint built during this century as well as Alexander II granting the town’s merchants the right to hold a market here every week and later in 1273, the city was granted the right to hold annual fairs and later in the 13th century Aberdeen had strong trading routes with Germany.

Aberdeen Timeline

1137
Aberdeen was given a bishop, a sign of its growing importance.
1168
A ‘hospital’ was founded where old priests and poor people were given food and shelter.
1179
Aberdeen was granted its first royal charter by King William the Lion.
1200
The population of Aberdeen would have been around 3,000.
1257
Aberdeen Grammar School was founded.
1296
After a victory against the Scots, King Edward I was in Aberdeen as part of a tour of the east coast of Scotland.
1297
The forces of William Wallace retook Aberdeen for the Scots.
1336
Aberdeen was burned by the English army.
1350
The Black Death reaches Aberdeen
1363
A leper hostel if founded outside Aberdeen.
1383
An Aberdeen priest, John Fordun, wrote “Scoticronicon” – a history of Scotland from Noah to 1383.
1394
Aberdeen received a Charter to build a tolbooth.
1424
The north transept of St Machar’s Cathedral was founded by Bishop Leighton.
1450
The population of Aberdeen is about 4,000.
1489
The original burgh of Aberdeen was made into a burgh of barony on December 26th.
1527
The Dee bridge was built.
1532
A blockhouse was built to protect the harbour.
1545
Provost Skene’s House is built.
1593
Provost Ross’ House was built. It is the second oldest residential house in Aberdeen.
1636
A House of Correction was built at Aberdeen.
1651
English troops built a fort on Castle Hill using stones from the ruins of St Machars cathedral.
1697
St Nicholas House is built.
1694
Aberdeen’s paper-making industry began.
1721
Oil lamp street lights were introduced in Aberdeen.
1721
The first Episcopalian meeting house, St Pauls, was built.
1721
Aberdeen’s first rudimentary fire engine was introduced.
1748
Scotland’s oldest daily newspaper, the Press and Journal, was founded as the Aberdeen Journal.
1771
Granite production in Aberdeen ends.
1775
The Robert Gordon Institute of Technology opened. The building of Aberdeen harbour’s North Pier began. It was completed in 1780.
1780
The Royal Aberdeen Golf Club was founded.
1795
A police act was passed which led to the formation of a body of men responsible for sweeping and lighting the streets.
1800
A mental hospital or asylum was founded.
1803-04
St Peter’s RC Church was built. It was the first Roman Catholic church constructed in Aberdeen since the Reformation of 1560.
1805
Union Bridge, named after the Act of Union of 1801 which united Britain and Ireland, was built. Union Street was built around the same time
1827-30
The new bridge across the River Don was built by the civil engineers John Smith and Thomas Telford.North Church, now
1850
The railway arrived in Aberdeen, making it possible to export cattle to other parts of the country. A non-tidal harbour was created with the building of dock gates.
1868-74
The Town House was built. Designed by Peddie & Kinnear it was for many years the most prominent landmark in Aberdeen. The course of the River Dee was diverted to improve the harbour.
1871
Victoria Park was opened.
1874
The City hospital opened
1879
Union Terrace Gardens, in the centre of Aberdeen, was opened.
1882
Aberdeen’s first steam trawler was introduced.
1891
Aberdeen Prison was built.
1891
The two burghs of Old and New Aberdeen were united.
1894
The first electricity generating station in Aberdeen opened.
1899
Aberdeen’s first electric trams were introduced.
1901
Westburn Park was opened.
1908
Aberdeen gained its first cinema.
1934
Aberdeen airport was opened, During WW2 it was used as an RAF base.
1934
The city’s boundaries were extended.
1940
Bon Accord swimming pool is built
1971
Granite production in Aberdeen ends
1975
The first North Sea oil arrived at Aberdeen.
1982
The Fish Market is built
1985
The Trinity Shopping Centre (now the Mall Trinty) was opened.
1990
The Bon Accord Shopping Centre opens.
1992
Gordons College was made a university.
1994
Westburn Park Tennis Centre was opened.
1994
Telford Dock was built.
1994
Persley Walled Garden was opened.
1995
Trinity Centre opens.
1996
Aberdeen is made a unitary authority.
1997
The Maritime Museum and the Gordon Highlanders Museum were opened.
1997
The new Aberdeen RNLI lifeboat station, at Victoria Dock Entrance in York Place, was opened.
2003
The redevelopment of the Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre was completed in April.
2005
The Royal Aberdeen Golf Club hosted the Senior British Open. The Davidson Paper Mill was closed.

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