Aberdeen history tells the story of a city capable of maintaining its standing and history while constantly evolving. With a population of approximately 200,000, it is Scotland’s third largest city and has become one of the world’s energy capitals in recent years. Aberdeen’s story dates back beyond recorded history, yet new chapters are being authored as we speak.
For nearly 8,000 years, there have been people living in what is now known as Aberdeen. History shows that prehistoric settlements were once present in the area between the rivers Don and Dee. Aberdeen itself won recognition as a “Royal Burgh” from Robert the Bruce in the early fourteenth century. At that point, it began to grow socially and economically.
You do not need to look hard for signs of the past in Aberdeen. History is all around you! The University of Aberdeen opened in 1495 and is still recognized as a top school today. While the glittering buildings of the past hundred years dominate the landscape, there are still many older structures that bear witness to the city’s long history.
Aberdeen leveraged its status as a Royal Burgh to facilitate its early growth. In time, it became a major location for commercial fishing and shipbuilding. The rivers and port led to the creation of a vibrant textile industry, as well.
Interestingly, Aberdeen has continued to thrive even as those industries have fallen on hard times. The old fishing boats were replaced by deep see fishing operations and now those have even began to disappear. The shipbuilding industry is not nearly as active as it was in years past and many of the old textile mills that that were once part of the city’s economic backbone have been demolished.
Many cities would crumble under this combination of forces, but not Aberdeen. History has not always been kind to the city, but it has always found its way. Today, it is a key player in the world of energy. The oil industry has replaced the old profit centers and offshore rigs now pump crude from the North Sea where the old boats once patrolled for fish.
The city has also managed to thrive thanks to a growing electronics component. The old mills have been replaced by modern offices populated by electronics designers and engineers.
Aberdeen’s history stretches over centuries and while signs of the past remain in place, they are supplemented by modern additions that have allowed the area to win the Britain in Bloom competition no less than ten times.
Few cities have demonstrated the kind of adaptability on display in Aberdeen. History has a way of bringing once proud cities to their knees and fueling the growth of new hot spots. Aberdeen has stood up to the challenge of change, demonstrating exception resiliency and an instinct for positive change.