The Doric Columns
The places of out-door recreation and amusement are chiefly the following:-- The Links, a grassy, benty, and sandy tract, 2 miles long and 1/4 to 1/3 mile broad, along the shore between the mouths of the Dee and the Don. It is mostly only a few feet above the sea, but the Broad Hill rises to 94 feet. Cattle shows, reviews, &c., were held on the Links. To the north-west of the town, a Public Recreation Park of 13 acres was laid out in 1872, at the cost of £3000, with walks, grass, trees, shrubs, and flowers.
In the mid-19th Century there were no public parks in the City except the Links. By 1900 there were 6: Union Terrace Gardens, Duthie Park (which were gifted to the Town), Stewart and Walker Parks (which were purchased) and Westburn and Victoria Parks in the conservation area. Queens Links served as a Horse Racing Circuit
Situated next to each other, Victoria Park and Westburn Park cover 26 acres (110,000 m2) between them. Victoria Park opened in 1871. There is a conservatory used as a seating area and a fountain made of fourteen different granites, presented to the people by the granite polishers and master builders of Aberdeen. Opposite to the north is Westburn Park opened in 1901. With large grass pitches it is widely used for field sports. There is large tennis centre with indoor and outdoor courts, a children's cycle track, play area and grass Bowling lawn.
Stewart Park (11 acres), called after Sir D. Stewart, Lord Provost in 1893. The park contains whale jaw bones presented to the park in 1903 by the Captain of the Arctic whaler Benbow. There is an intricate fountain designed as a replica of an Italian lavabo which was sculptured by Arthur Taylor of Jute Street, Aberdeen. There are nearby all weather tennis courts and bordered-off cricket and football pitches.
This park opened in 1894 and is named after the then Lord Provost of Aberdeen, Sir David Stewart. Mrs. Taylor of' Woodside had left £800 for a play area and this was used to buy 14 acres close to Hilton House. Within the land acquired from the Hilton estate were 3 disused quarries, which were retained in part to make ponds that were stocked with fish. These have since been filled in but the park still provides opportunities for games and a quiet stroll enjoying the flowers.
A one-hectare park whose garden, surrounded by private housing, has streams, waterfalls, ponds, rockeries and rustic bridge that help to make this one of the most charming areas in the city. The garden is planted with rhododendrons, spring bulbs, heathers and alpines; the ponds are full of irises, aylesbury, mallard and muscovy ducks.
Peterhead granite is of excellent quality, resembling, perhaps, nearer than any other rock in this country, the Egyptian granite or syenite. It admits of being finely polished, and is now extensively used for that purpose by Mr Alexander Macdonald of Aberdeen, who has erected a steam engine for polishing granite, and has produced very fine specimens of his work, in chimney-pieces, pillars, pedestals, vases, &c. As granite can be polished at less expense and in a more perfect manner, by steam than by manual labour, it is likely to come into general use. The granite of Peterhead is not inferior to that of Stirlinghill, while it is clearer in colour.
Victoria Park - In 1871, Aberdeen Town Council decided to convert nearly 14 acres of Glennie's Parks, which had been used for cattle grazing, into a public recreation ground - Aberdeen's 1st public park. A view, taken around 1900, shows one of the main paths leading to a large granite fountain, which was designed by J.B. Bruce. a Category A listed fountain made of 14 different granites, presented to the public by the granite polishers and master builders of Aberdeen. Since the park is almost in the City centre, it is an oasis of peace with its mature trees and, in spring, there are masses of flowering bulbs scattered through the grass.
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