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Aberdeen barracks - Gordon Highlanders

#1
Morning all,

I'm feeling a bit lazy so hoping someone can help me - don't point me at Google I'll do that on the weekend.

My mother-in-law has asked me to sort out her family tree and the best info she has is back to her grandfather who was born in 1902 in 'Aberdeen Barracks' his father was supposedly in the Gordon Highlanders.

The scottish records online are not covered by my ancestry subscription so to save me a bit of cash does anyone have any info on 'Aberdeen Barracks' they can help me with.

I'm after things such as:

Location
is it still in use?
Images
If still in use does it have an archives onsite or any idea where the records for 1902 and earlier would be held?

Sort of hoping someone can give me some local info, I have a mate in Aberdeen who could probably go and have a look see but knowing this place we probably have someone who lives in the barracks above the archives.

Thanks

S_R
 
#3
I just wonder if "Aberdeen Barracks" in 1902 is more likely to refer to the former Castlehill Barracks, rather than Bridge of Don? There was also a barracks in King Street.
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#9
My point is you say Gordon Barracks were built in 1935, I'm showing there was a barracks by the same name for quite some time before at the same location.
 
#10
Castlehill Barracks Aberdeen was built around 1794 and was the home of various units throughout its service. The Gordons Depot was there from about 1880 until the Gordons vacated it and on 15 March 1935 they marched the 4 miles North to Bridge of Don. At that time the Gordon Barracks were in open countryside and had been built on farmland. Gordon Barracks became the Highland Brigade Depot, Then the Scottish Division Junior Soldiers Depot finally closing in 1986. The TA moved in a year later and still occupy the site. There are a number of developers interested in the site and private housing is encroaching, the days of blank firing and exercising in the barracks are over! the officers married quarters were refurbished or rebuilt and the Officers mess has been converted to flats. Castlehill Barracks became home to homeless families and deteroriated until demolition in 1965. In 1971 hideous high rise flats were built over the site and dominate the view to the top of Union Street. The Barracks on King Street were built for the Royal Aberdeen Militia and sometime after the First World war became a tram depot. The frontage is still there and forms part of the First bus Headquarters. There were also a number of Drill halls throughout Aberdeen, such as Woolmanhill Barracks, home to 4th (City of Aberdeen)Battalion Gordon Highlanders. Hardgate, Bucksburn and Culter Drill Halls are no more.
 
#11
Thanks for the info people.

From Drumbox's post i assume that the actual barracks he was born in (if true) were the Castlehill Barracks...

I have found - now i am home - the Gordon Highlanders Museum online and have sent them a request.

Thanks again

S_R
 
#12
Castlehill Barracks Aberdeen was built around 1794 and was the home of various units throughout its service. The Gordons Depot was there from about 1880 until the Gordons vacated it and on 15 March 1935 they marched the 4 miles North to Bridge of Don. At that time the Gordon Barracks were in open countryside and had been built on farmland. Gordon Barracks became the Highland Brigade Depot, Then the Scottish Division Junior Soldiers Depot finally closing in 1986. The TA moved in a year later and still occupy the site. There are a number of developers interested in the site and private housing is encroaching, the days of blank firing and exercising in the barracks are over! the officers married quarters were refurbished or rebuilt and the Officers mess has been converted to flats. Castlehill Barracks became home to homeless families and deteroriated until demolition in 1965. In 1971 hideous high rise flats were built over the site and dominate the view to the top of Union Street. The Barracks on King Street were built for the Royal Aberdeen Militia and sometime after the First World war became a tram depot. The frontage is still there and forms part of the First bus Headquarters. There were also a number of Drill halls throughout Aberdeen, such as Woolmanhill Barracks, home to 4th (City of Aberdeen)Battalion Gordon Highlanders. Hardgate, Bucksburn and Culter Drill Halls are no more.
Around that time there was a Territorial Force hospital in Aberdeen. It is listed as having nearly 1300 men and 67 officers stationed there. Possible place of birth? Castlehill appears not to have had married quarters, with the married soldiers living in and around Aberdeen so perhaps a birth would have been at the military hospital?

The Torry Battery also housed soldiers from 1859 so thats another possibility. Infact, it was used as a temporary barracks for troops returning from the Boer and First World War.

The Museum should be able to help, but it is currently closed for the winter. You may not get an answer right away.
 
#15
Yes, interesting info from 2/51. I was aware of the Torry Battery etc but I had not known the exact location of the Castlehill Barracks, on which I am now clear thanks to the old photograph which you posted.

I would expect "Territorial Force hospital" to be a volunteer unit which would deploy as a hospital on mobilisation, but would not normally be a working military hospital in its peacetime location.

This link suggests that there are families listed under Castlehill Barracks in the 1881 census: RootsWeb: ABERDEEN-L Re: [ABERDEEN] Castlehill Barracks
 
#16
Thanks Hackle, nice to know the place is on some of the census records at least.

Unfortunately I'm a bit stuck with the census as he was born the year after one and i would expect his family to have moved in the next 9 years...although I think the scottish 1911 census will be out in the not too distant future so it is one to check.

S_R
 
#17
Gents,

I'd like to thank you all for your help, after finding the location of the barracks I managed to narrow down the location and found the birth certificate on the first search - saving me some beer money.

S_R
 
#18
I found a wee bit more info out and sure enough, Castlehill Barracks was indeed known widely as Aberdeen Barracks. It was finally demolished in 1965 althouh parts of the original wall still remain.

I was at "The Castlegate" on thursday for 4 Scots homecoming and I now realise that I parked next to the old barraks wall. ..so I learnt something too.

At one time Aberdeen also had the Prince Charles Barracks...now luxury flats.
 
#20
Just for interest the father is down on the birth cert (and his own marriage cert) as a Lance Sergeant - I thought this was just a Guards/Household troops wierd rank but is it a standard one in the Scottish regiments/Gordon Highlanders? Does it equate to Corporal in the normal stucture?

Thanks

S_R
 

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