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trippinoneastereggs

City underneath Aberdeen?

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At a quiet spot at work tonight I wnet through a door I had never been through before and ended up in this cool basement thing. It looked like a living room or something with windows at the front and back which had been bricked up. But this was actually under street level.

My work is on Crown Street, just wondering if someone knows if there is a whole street under there or other parts of the city centre. I know about the tunnels and shit but never realised that there were actual dwellings under the city.

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isn't it just the basement windows?

most of the buildings on crown street have basements with windows

with a gap between the pavement and the wall to let light in

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There's similar things under Bridge Street, presumably the same reason why there's similar rooms and 'streets' under Edinburgh - Most of the streets are built higher than the original ground level to meet with other roads (in Edinburgh this is due to the affected streets being mainly on a hill) so they either 'encompass' old buildings or the space underneath them has been utilised by the buildings.

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There's similar things under Bridge Street, presumably the same reason why there's similar rooms and 'streets' under Edinburgh - Most of the streets are built higher than the original ground level to meet with other roads (in Edinburgh this is due to the affected streets being mainly on a hill) so they either 'encompass' old buildings or the space underneath them has been utilised by the buildings.

Yep, that's what I thought. I remember reading somewhere how Union Street is effectively on stilts above ground level and how in Aberdeen's early history they even considered building and under-street railway system because of this. I'm sure someone on here could expand on this further...

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isn't it just the basement windows?

most of the buildings on crown street have basements with windows

with a gap between the pavement and the wall to let light in

Naw its at the top of crown street, right under the pavement, before you get to the buildings with the wee basement bits.

I'd really like to know the extent of what is underneath the city centre, just find it really fascinating.

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Virtually the whole city centre is built-up on arches, to take it across the Denburn Valley & lift it out of the old medieval centre-route from the Castlegate to The Green, Windmill Brae, Justice Mill Lane & eventually the Hardgate. Centered on Union St, from a bit before Crown St to nearly the Castlegate, including Bridge St & Union Terace. The Arches that make-up Carnegies Brae & the Tunnels is one, whilst a bit of another is visible by the Steps to the Green from Virgin whilst another used to be Visible around Marischal St but may now be obscured. Many have housed stores & workshops over the years & in WW2, many were appointed as air-raid shelters - I understand a couple may still remain virtually untouched from this period. There will also be plenty of subsidiary arching to merge levels between all the old streets that link to the new ones.

Try Googling the "Aberdeen New Streets Act" or checking-out some of city histories.

It was Millennium Dome of its day, one of the biggest construction projects in Victorian Britain & the whole project bankrupted the City for years on end. Indeed, the initial concept was traffic-only, with wide & clear classically-appointed streets & elevated promenades, allowing easy movement between the various parts of the city centre.

In order to get out of the mess, the council of the day (nothing really changes, does it?), who were dominated by builders & granite merchants, sanctioned the development of property along the arches to save their arses & give us the city centre we know today.

I also remember a series of medeval tunnels & underground rooms were discovered in the area occupied by the old Co-op headquarters & the church beside it. Roughly in the space today bounded by the Blue Lamp, Aberdeen College, John Lewis & the Bon Accord Centre Car park.

The area under the Academy & Marischal College also has an interesting series of basements so I'd assume there are plenty more. Also a long disused Cold-War emergency control centre accessable from a building off Albyn Place. The large ROC command bunker from the same period in Northfield was demolished some years ago.

Yup, you may assume that I'm a bit of a troglodite! :D

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Virtually the whole city centre is built-up on arches, to take it across the Denburn Valley & lift it out of the old medieval centre-route from the Castlegate to The Green, Windmill Brae, Justice Mill Lane & eventually the Hardgate. Centered on Union St, from a bit before Crown St to nearly the Castlegate, including Bridge St & Union Terace. The Arches that make-up Carnegies Brae & the Tunnels is one, whilst a bit of another is visible by the Steps to the Green from Virgin whilst another used to be Visible around Marischal St but may now be obscured. Many have housed stores & workshops over the years & in WW2, many were appointed as air-raid shelters - I understand a couple may still remain virtually untouched from this period. There will also be plenty of subsidiary arching to merge levels between all the old streets that link to the new ones.

Try Googling the "Aberdeen New Streets Act" or checking-out some of city histories.

It was Millennium Dome of its day, one of the biggest construction projects in Victorian Britain & the whole project bankrupted the City for years on end. Indeed, the initial concept was traffic-only, with wide & clear classically-appointed streets & elevated promenades, allowing easy movement between the various parts of the city centre.

In order to get out of the mess, the council of the day (nothing really changes, does it?), who were dominated by builders & granite merchants, sanctioned the development of property along the arches to save their arses & give us the city centre we know today.

I also remember a series of medeval tunnels & underground rooms were discovered in the area occupied by the old Co-op headquarters & the church beside it. Roughly in the space today bounded by the Blue Lamp, Aberdeen College, John Lewis & the Bon Accord Centre Car park.

The area under the Academy & Marischal College also has an interesting series of basements so I'd assume there are plenty more. Also a long disused Cold-War emergency control centre accessable from a building off Albyn Place. The large ROC command bunker from the same period in Northfield was demolished some years ago.

Yup, you may assume that I'm a bit of a troglodite! :D

Cool info man, cheers. Tried Googling but not much info. Do you know of any sites i could read more into it with>

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one of the biggest construction projects in Victorian Britain & the whole project bankrupted the City for years on end.

Victorian?

And bankruptcy was 12 years after the completion of Union Street.

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Yup, Georgian, sorry!

IIRC, the bankrupcy stemmed directly from the construction of those new streets.

I've seen it attributed to the wetswards expansion into Rosemount, and also the expansion of the harbour but never the building of Union,George and King Streets

Perhaps the cost of these three streets put the cities finances on shaky ground, and the further developments were the final nail in the coffers*.

*Sorry about the bad case of Cynicitis at the end there.

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The shaping of modern Aberdeen began in the latter part of 18th Century. At that time Aberdeen was crowded onto St Katherine's Hill (at the east end of Union Street), above the harbour. Expansion of the city was restricted by the Denburn Valley to the west.

In 1796 Charles Abercrombie - a roads engineer and surveyor - suggested a bold plan - to remove the top of the hill and build a huge viaduct over the valley. This ambitious project began in 1801. The resulting 60-foot wide viaduct was one of the engineering feats of its time and was completed in 1805. It was named Union Street after the union between Britain and Ireland.

It is easy to forget that this street, lined with buildings on both sides, is actually supported on huge granite arches from near the Castlegate to around Crown Street. Only by using the old mediaeval roads on a lower level can you begin to get a concept of the scale. (Look at the arches from Correction Wynd and the green, then view the massive span of Union Bridge over the railway and the culverted Denburn.)

The construction of Union Street was followed by similar viaducts along Union Terrace and Rosemount Viaduct. This opened the whole area to the west and the resulting development probably precipitated the bankruptcy of the city.

It is said this is the root of the mean image the city gained through "music hall" jokes. With the administration bankrupt, influential visitors to Aberdeen had to do without the expected civic reception.

from http://www.scotiaweb.co.uk/Aberdeen/history.html

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Guest DustyDeviada

*Sorry about the bad case of Cynicitis at the end there.

You're forgiven, but where is Alan? Surely he'd be able to give us some first-hand knowledge of exactly what happened back in the day. ;)

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I am downhearted, due to my living room having become rubble and brick, and the wifey in the Spar opposite saying I shouldn't be staying in my flat while dry-rot treatment is being done (could explain why the downstairs neighbours have moved out!!), so if anyone discovers any habitable underground places, let me know!!! :)

I'm fascinated by this subject though.....I knew about the streets which went under the Union St arches, and can see how this might be the case on Bridge St too, but had no idea there were similar things in Crown Street. Any more detail on exactly where your works building is, TOEE??

I'm proud that 'Cynicitis' is spreading to you young folk, but I was worried when I first read it that soundian might have cistitis!!!!

I DO remember that the old shops on Broad Street (where St Nicholas House is), had bassments, as I have a vague memory of being dragged into one every so often by my mum in the late 50s/early 60s (that's 1950s/60s, Dusty!!!) to buy sheet music.

Maybe there's a whole different race (a la H G Wells) living down there, and only popping out to mug a passer by (or am I getting confused with Dundee?)

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I am downhearted, due to my living room having become rubble and brick, and the wifey in the Spar opposite saying I shouldn't be staying in my flat while dry-rot treatment is being done (could explain why the downstairs neighbours have moved out!!), so if anyone discovers any habitable underground places, let me know!!! :)

I'm fascinated by this subject though.....I knew about the streets which went under the Union St arches, and can see how this might be the case on Bridge St too, but had no idea there were similar things in Crown Street. Any more detail on exactly where your works building is, TOEE??

I'm proud that 'Cynicitis' is spreading to you young folk, but I was worried when I first read it that soundian might have cistitis!!!!

I DO remember that the old shops on Broad Street (where St Nicholas House is), had bassments, as I have a vague memory of being dragged into one every so often by my mum in the late 50s/early 60s (that's 1950s/60s, Dusty!!!) to buy sheet music.

Maybe there's a whole different race (a la H G Wells) living down there, and only popping out to mug a passer by (or am I getting confused with Dundee?)

Its the Vicky Wine on crown street near the top. Was thinking about it again tonight in respect to the right hon. Solution_devices, there are viewable bassments most of the way down crown street, i'm now wondering if they were covered up at the top of the street to widen the road or something or if Crown street was just built up a level.

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Guest DustyDeviada
I am downhearted, due to my living room having become rubble and brick, and the wifey in the Spar opposite saying I shouldn't be staying in my flat while dry-rot treatment is being done

Hey, if the wifey in the Spar opposite was an expert in construction and dry rot treatment I guess she wouldn't be working there. Tell her I told her to rap up. :up:

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Cool info pogo-

I used to believe that an underground route connected the Court House, bank, and church that may have led to the Harbour in the olden days, so imporatant peeps could have escaped an oncoming raid or something.

I find this side of Aberdeen - simply amazing -

Cheers.

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I mind being told of a 'hidden' street behing the Jessops on Market street ages ago. I thought it was just a wind up but who knows.

The other one I was told was that the pole thing on Justice Mill Lane (on the junction between the Foundry and Glentanar pubs) is to allow air out/in of an underground tunnel that runs right under aberdeen down to the beach. Again I thought someone was taking the piss.o_O

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The other one I was told was that the pole thing on Justice Mill Lane (on the junction between the Foundry and Glentanar pubs) is to allow air out/in of an underground tunnel that runs right under aberdeen down to the beach. Again I thought someone was taking the piss.o_O

No way thats pretty mental.

Little things that I've walked past 1000 times actaully have some explanation and story behind them. I frickin' love shit like this. It's very Indiana Jones-ish!!

I wonder if there's any hidden relics. I'm sure Aberdeen has some mass links to the masons and all that secret society stuff - there's bound to be a mass of indiscovered things just collecting dust.

Along with the Tivoli thread - class, just class. Aberdeen becomes more interesting by the post.

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I mind being told of a 'hidden' street behing the Jessops on Market street ages ago. I thought it was just a wind up but who knows.

The other one I was told was that the pole thing on Justice Mill Lane (on the junction between the Foundry and Glentanar pubs) is to allow air out/in of an underground tunnel that runs right under aberdeen down to the beach. Again I thought someone was taking the piss.o_O

Don't know about it being for an underground tunnel, but it's certainly a ventilator - I was under the impression that it was for the sewers though, to stop a build up of methane gas. I think there's one on Hutcheon street as well

Just done a quick search - it's certainly a ventilation shaft, but for what - who can say....

http://www.scottishironwork.org/datacat.asp?type=st

Regards

Flossie

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No way thats pretty mental.

Little things that I've walked past 1000 times actaully have some explanation and story behind them. I frickin' love shit like this. It's very Indiana Jones-ish!!

I wonder if there's any hidden relics. I'm sure Aberdeen has some mass links to the masons and all that secret society stuff - there's bound to be a mass of indiscovered things just collecting dust.

Along with the Tivoli thread - class, just class. Aberdeen becomes more interesting by the post.

True. I always look twice every time I go past that junction now. What you said earlier about important people getting from place to place underneath the city - that's what I was told the tunnels were for.

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Don't know about it being for an underground tunnel, but it's certainly a ventilator - I was under the impression that it was for the sewers though, to stop a build up of methane gas. I think there's one on Hutcheon street as well

Just done a quick search - it's certainly a ventilation shaft, but for what - who can say....

http://www.scottishironwork.org/datacat.asp?type=st

Regards

Flossie

Ah well, not as exciting as it sounds!

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Maybe there's a whole different race (a la H G Wells) living down there, and only popping out to mug a passer by

Or a la "Demolition Man" for those not literary inclined ;)

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Maybe there's a whole different race (a la H G Wells) living down there, and only popping out to mug a passer by (or am I getting confused with Dundee?)
Or a la "Demolition Man" for those not literary inclined ;)

I never trusted those Morlocks and as for Dennis Leary, what can I say? :swearing:

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