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Follow the old road from Brig o Dee to Windmill Brae and learn its stories

According to local architect and historian, Edward Meldrum, "the only entry to the burgh from the south was by way of the steep decline now called Windmill Brae, at the lower end of which was a ford and this served until a bridge was built over the Denburn"; this ancient road was called the Hardgate and stretched from the Brig of Dee, which had origins in the 14th century, by the Justice Mills, named after the Justiciars or travelling senior judges who visited the city to dispense the law directly from the King, then down by the site of the stone circle, indicated now only by the 'Lang Stane', to Windmill Brae where a windmill stood from 1680, and crossed the stone bridge, latterly known as the Bow Brig into Medieval Aberdeen when it was based in the Green. The Hardgate was the site of the Battle of Justice Mills in 1644; other skirmishes took place near the Crabstane between rival clans; churches flourished and changed ownership; ancient pathways were diverted with the coming of Union Street; the Hardgate truly is the companion to Ash Tree Way, Aberdeen’s other most ancient thoroughfare.  

Start point - Bridge of Dee, off Riverside Drive up from Lorne Buildings
End point -   Windmill Brae
Length: 3.16 miles (our longest tour)
Terrain mostly on pavements, some slopes, esp Windmill Brae, grassy areas in Riverside Drive.
Approx: 2.5hrs

 

 

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Hidden Aberdeen Tours (founded 2011) is wholly owned by Dr Fiona-Jane Brown as a sole-trading operation which occasionally works with contractors.


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