Aberdeen FC's Pittodrie Stadium had the first football dugouts (Photo: douglasmack/Shutterstock)
Aberdeen FC's Pittodrie Stadium had the first football dugouts (Photo: douglasmack/Shutterstock)

10 fascinating facts about… Aberdeen

Aberdeen – the oil capital of Europe – is Scotland’s third most populous city.

It outperforms other major cities in the UK in terms of jobs, skills, income and environment, but it’s also got a fascinating history.

Here’s 10 fascinating facts.

Nicknamed ‘The Granite City’ Aberdeen is famous for its locally quarried granite stone which was used to build London’s Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square, Waterloo Bridge and the Thames Embankment. Another 640,000 cubic feet of Aberdeen granite went into the construction of the Forth Rail Bridge.

At 480 feet deep, the Rubislaw Quarry is the biggest man-made hole in Europe. The fine grey granite from the quarry is visible in the majority of Aberdeen’s buildings. It closed in 1971 and is now full of water.

Sir Winston Churchill was granted the Freedom of the City of Aberdeen in 1946.

The Press and Journal newspaper, which serves northern and highland Scotland and is published in Aberdeen, was launched in 1747. It is Scotland’s oldest daily newspaper and one of the longest-running newspapers in the world..

There are more than 30 places called Aberdeen around the world. Towns and cities called Aberdeen can be found in places as far afield as Canada, Australia, Hong Kong (whose main harbour is Aberdeen Harbour) and South Africa.

Aberdeen FC’s Pittodrie Stadium had the first football dugouts (Photo: douglasmack/Shutterstock)

Donald Coleman invented the football dugout at Aberdeen’s Pittodrie Stadium in 1923. Pittodrie was the first all seater stadium in Scotland and the second all-seated stadium in Great Britain, after Coventry City’s former ground Highfield Road.

Hazlehead Park is popular with sports enthusiasts, walkers, families and picnickers – and is also home to Provost Alexander’s Maze, Scotland’s oldest maze.

Just under half (48.1%) of the recorded crimes in Aberdeen City are classed as crimes of dishonesty (e.g. theft, shoplifting etc). This is slightly higher than the Scottish average of 46.8 In contrast, the incidence of fire-raising) and vandalism is lower in Aberdeen (17.5%) than Scotland (21.0%).

Since 1991, the population of Aberdeen City has increased by 6.3%. During this period the population has had periods of decrease as well as increase. The decrease in population between 2015 and 2018, after the oil industry crisis, followed an 11-year period of year-on-year population increases.

Aberdeen FC remain the only Scottish football club to have won two European trophies. Under Sir Alex Ferguson, the Dons won the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1983 when they beat Real Madrid 2-1, then followed it up later that year to beat SV Hamburg, the European Cup winners, to lift the European Super Cup.The self-seal envelope was developed in Aberdeen.