Chronology of Duthie Park


The ground is formally handed over to the Town Council on 21 August; the Earl of Aberdeen cuts the first turf.


Celtic cross memorial to the Gordon Highlanders’ Egyptian Campaign is erected (Date on memorial).


Official opening of Duthie Park performed by Princess Beatrice on 27 September; the day is declared a public holiday with great celebrations throughout the City. The model yachting pond (smaller than today) with adjacent small circular pond by Riverside Drive, the three linked ponds with rockwork, islands, stone-shelter and cast-iron bridge, the Temperance foundtain, ‘the mound’ with flagstaff, the east Polmuir gate lodge and north-west lodge, boundary walls, gates and railings, rockery and rootery are in place; other developments include a further open shelter or ‘verandah’ opposite the Riverside Drive entrance, and the Duthie fountain, erected shortly after the Park opens.

1885 (30 March)

Miss Duthie dies, aged 67.


The bandstand is erected; death of William McKelvie.


An old summerhouse incorporating stones from the old Tolbooth and the north transept of St. Nicholas is presented to the Park by former Dean of Guild, Alexander Walker (the building formerly stood in his garden at 25 Dee street). The building is positioned against the Riverside Drive Wall, by the west end of the model yachting pond.


The Hygeia memorial to  Elizabeth Crombie Duthie is placed in the Park; the second Gordon Highlanders’ memorial is erected.


The Town Council resolves to erect a Palm House or Winter Garden (this building is demolished following extensive gale damage in 1969 and replaced by the present Winter Gardens). The first cricket/tennis pavilion is erected (the building is altered in 1922).


The early 18th-century fountain-house at Fountainhall is taken from its original site and rebuilt in Duthie Park.


The McGrigor obelisk is relocated from the courtyard of Marischal College, Aberdeen, to Duthie Park.


Model yachting commences on the south-east pond.


The old cricket/tennis pavilion is remodelled and extended to accommodate bowlers; the bowling green and five blase tennis courts are formed.


The south-east pond is enlarged to provide improved facilities for model yachting.


The glasshouses in the Arthurseat House Walled Garden are demolished. A new range of glasshouses, forcing houses etc., are erected on the north side of the old Palm House/Winter Garden and connected to the building.


Demolition of Arthurseat House


A strip of ground along the west side of the Park is lost to the road widening. This work necessitates the demolition of the north-west lodge which is rebuild at/as No 72 Rubislaw Den South, Aberdeen; the present west lodge is erected on a new site 91.3m (100 yards) south of the old building. Alex McBean is appointed Parks Superintendent.


The new Bridge of Dee or ‘King George VI Bridge’ is commenced and opened by the King and Queen on 10 March 1941; development of Kincorth ‘satellite’ housing estate on south side of the River Dee.


The remaining walls of the Arthurseat House walled garden are removed; the area is levelled for a ‘children’s playfield and playground’.


Arrol Winning is appointed Parks Director. A severe gale destroys the flagpole; the Council decide not to replace it.


A 3-phase programme for building new workshops in the Park commences; arrangements are made for the introduction of a putting green on the east side of the Park.


For safety reasons, the south-west entrance at the junction of Great Southern Road and Riverside Drive is closed to vehicles; the verandah or shelter by Riverside Drive east gate is demolished.


The Parks Department becomes responsible for the management of Allenvale Cemetery, which is acquired from Aberforth Holdings Limited (famous violinist Scott Skinner is buried in the cemetery).


David Welch is appointed Director of Leisure and Recreation


The old Palm house or winter Garden is demolished following extensive gale damage.


Construction of the new Winter Gardens commences phased over a period of approximately 10 years.


Various architectural artefacts, sculptural monuments and items of historical interest are salvaged from City redevelopment schemes and located in the Park.


Park Manager, Tom Brayshaw, retires.


The Duthie Park restaurant is opened


Duthie Park Centenary Parade commemorating the cutting of the first turf; the City re-enacts the procession at the Park’s official opening in 1883; the day is finished with a fireworks display.


The mound is considerably extended by the addition of almost 200,000 tons of rubble and debris taken from various city sites; six Clydesdale horses are operating in the Park hauling plant loads.


A new Japanese garden designed by Takashi Sawano is laid out in the central court of the Winter Garden.


The Duthie Park Trust takes over management of the park


David Welch is appointed Chief Executive of the Royal Parks, London (he had become a private sector consultant a few years prior to this).


The bandstand, Hygeia monument and McGrigor obelisk undergo repair.


Aberdeen Arts and Recreation Department regain management of the Park.


Northsound 21 years celebration concert.



Renaming of the Winter gardens ‘David Welch Winter Gardens’.


Queen’s Jubilee Celebrations/ Visit by Queen and Duke of Edinburgh. ‘Free at the Dee’ concert.


Princess Anne officially opens David Welch Winter Gardens


Friends of Duthie Park set up. ‘Free at the Dee’ concert.


Opera and Ballet big screen events.


Bid to Heritage Lottery Fund for Park restoration.


Re-submitted bid to Heritage Lottery Fund for Park restoration. 125 Year celebrations.


Friends of Duthie Park website relaunched.


Duthie Park officially ‘reopened’ following the restoration.


New Friends website relaunched courtesy of AVC Media.

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