The rich heritage of Aberdeen’s harbour area is set to be explored in a new guide.
For those making the most of taking walks during lockdown the trail offers the chance to take in some of the city’s most iconic sights.
Landmarks designed by renowned engineers feature in the trail by the institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).
It features among others the famous Torry Battery, and the Leading Lights to the more recent Aberdeen South Harbour development at Nigg Bay.
First established in 1136, Aberdeen Harbour has undergone many changes and has been the subject of pirate raids, and has withstood being bombed by the Luftwaffe.
And more recently a new chapter in its history begun when work started on the £350 million Aberdeen South Harbour expansion project.
ICE Scotland’s Education and Inspiration co-ordinator Alison Ward said: “According to the Guinness Book of Records, Aberdeen Harbour is the oldest existing business in Britain.”
A roll call of famous engineers, including the renowned Scottish engineer Thomas Telford, and Robert Stevenson, the famed designer and builder of lighthouses, have been involved in the work of some of the most familiar harbour sights.
Telford worked on the extension on the North Pier in the early 1800s, he also completed the Inner South Breakwater.
Alison said: “This guide is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the fascinating engineering developments which been made during this time. It’s a short walk with a “who’s who” of historical engineering – you can actually see where the work of legendary engineer Thomas Telford builds on that of his illustrious predecessor John Smeaton.
She added: “Then there’s the fascinating engineering of the future – the new harbour extension has the largest concrete armour accropode units in the world, each fitted with a GPS tracking device to show harbour engineers if any have moved position.”
The ICE says the trail should take around one hour to walk around.
Each point of interest is numbered from Aberdeen Harbour towards Girdle Ness – but can be undertaken in any direction.
Alison said: “Some of the most impressive engineering can’t be seen though, as our new guide explains. The environmental impact of the new construction has been carefully managed to minimise disruption both on and offshore.
“Being be able to stand under Girdle Ness lighthouse, designed by Robert Stevenson, and look over the brand new harbour being built is an amazing experience”
- Aberdeen Harbour Leading Lights:
Built in 1842 it was designed by James Abernethy, the light tower is one of a pair that marks the centre of the channel into the harbour. The Leading Lights were awarded B-listed status in recognition of their historical significance.
2. Aberdeen Harbour:
The oldest part is the North Pier built from 1774-1780, and its first dock – the Victoria Dock was constructed from 1841-48.
The area close to the end of Victoria Docks3. North Pier
The original structure was the work of John Smeaton, and between 1811 and 1813 Thomas Telford was asked to extend it.
4. Inner South Breakwater
Thomas Telford completed it and added five new docks to the harbour.
5. South Breakwater
It was built between 1870-1873 under the direction of William Dyce Cay.
6. Torry Battery
This well-known landmark on the city’s landscape was built in 1860 to defend the area against the threat of Napolean III of France. It was last used defensively in the Second World War.
7. Girdle Ness
The lighthouse, designed by Robert Stevenson, came into operation in 1833. It was a state-of-the-art design and was built by James Gibb.
8. South Harbour
The expanded harbour at Nigg Bay will have 1,400m of new quays. It is the largest marine infrastructure project underway in the UK.