A Brief History of Aberdeen

Aberdeen is a city in the North East of Scotland which is home to about 200,000 people, giving it the third highest population in the country.

There is evidence of human settlement going back 8,000 years and it is easy to see why with it’s sheltered harbor around the deltas of the rivers Dee and Don.

The local stone is grey granite and consequently, most historic buildings are built out of it. This gives Aberdeen the names “The Granite City”, “The Grey City” and “The Silver City”. The high content of the mineral mica in the stone causes it to shine, giving off a silver like shimmer.

Aberdeen began to attract more and more residents when King David the First of Scotland proclaimed it a Royal Burgh in the 1100s. Burgh, or borough, comes from Latin and means the same as the modern day word suburb. In 1495, the city got its first university and began to flourish. But in 1647, an outbreak of the Black Death, or bubonic plague wiped out an estimated 25 per cent of the local population.

Aberdeen’s historic center is found within the old fortifications of the city, which was subject to many attacks over the centuries. It has been sacked, razed to the ground and rebuilt on a number of occasions.

When Scotland was fighting for its independence from England, Aberdeen was under the rule of England. In 1308, Robert The Bruce of Scotland laid siege and destroyed it. It was rebuilt by the Scots, but was again burned down by the English in 1336. Under English rule once more, the city was fortified heavily due to the feuding nature of the locals. Aberdeen remained a quiet city, mostly reliant on manufacture. But in the 1970’s oil was discovered in the North Sea and the city boomed as a result of the influx of offshore drilling work.