Thursday, 21 October 2010

Victorian Vandals

There's always been much talk amongst the chattering classes in Aberdeen about the Victorian "vision" of the city. About how "The Victorians got it right". About how the expansion of the town through Rubislaw, Rosemount and Ferryhill and the creation of the most iconic buildings and scenographic vistas of the city centre somehow represents a perfect moment in our civic history; an ideal Aberdeen.

Well, here at Other Aberdeen, we're always suspicious of idealism, we always feel we have to look around the back, as it were.

Those who believe that "The Victorians" could do no wrong blindly overlook some of the most egregious acts of vandalism which they perpetrated in our city. The development which the city underwent in the second half of the 19th century was done in a hurry. Some evidence remains...

Fountainhall. Depicted in the 1867 Ordnance Survey - deep in the countryside - a working estate.
Fountainhall - being devoured by the Victorian terrace of Blenheim Place which is orientated on a different line and butts rudely into the NW corner of the house, the majority of which has been demolished.

Rosebank House - above the Ferryhill Mill, just off the Hardgate.
Depicted in the 1867 Ordnance Survey with stately drive and formal gardens

Rosebank House today.
Split into flats and incorporated into a row of tenements

Granton Lodge - Off Cuparston Place (today's Great Western Road)
Depicted in the 1867 Ordnance Survey with large forecourt and extensive grounds.
Granton Lodge today.
Brutally hemmed in by tenements on Great Western Place, side-on and off-line to street.
Frontage completely obscured.

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