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Duthie Park, Bowling Pavilion

A Category C Listed Building in Aberdeen, Aberdeen

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.131 / 57°7'51"N

Longitude: -2.1004 / 2°6'1"W

OS Eastings: 394019

OS Northings: 804455

OS Grid: NJ940044

Mapcode National: GBR SC4.69

Mapcode Global: WH9QX.Q104

Entry Name: Duthie Park, Bowling Pavilion

Listing Date: 29 February 2000

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 394134

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB46778

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Aberdeen

County: Aberdeen

Town: Aberdeen

Electoral Ward: Torry/Ferryhill

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

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Description

Early 20th century. Single storey, 7-bay, rectangular-plan former bowling pavilion, within a 19th century public park. Horizontally boarded timber, painted. Base course; corbelled cills, overhanging eaves. Full-width piend-roofed canopy to SW (principal) elevation supported on segmental arches and timber columns with distinctive capitals.

SW (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: 3 regularly spaced timber and upper part half glazed and timber panelled entrance doors, each flanked to right by bipartite window with timber shutters; 2-leaf shuttered opening to left with small opening to outer left.

NE AND SW ELEVATIONS: gables with decorative pierced timber bargeboarding, including round-arch to centre with radiating struts.

INTERIOR: (seen 2012). Principal room with timber boarding to walls and ceiling, moulded cornice.

Timber casement windows. Grey slate, pitched roof with decorative terracotta ridge and end finials. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

Statement of Interest

B-Group with Duthie Park Bandstand, East Lodge, Gates, Gatepiers and Boundary Walls, Footbridge over Upper Lake, Fountain, Fountainhall Cistern House, Gordon Highlanders Celtic Memorial, Gordon Highlanders Obelisk Memorial, Hygeia Statue, McGrigor Obelisk, Taylor Well, and Temperance Drinking Fountain (see separate listings).

A well-preserved example of a timber bowling pavilion situated within the 19th century designed landscape of Duthie Park. The building retains many original architectural details, including corbelled cills and elaborate barge boards to the gables.

The site of the Duthie Park was originally a marshy piece of land covered in gorse (or whin, hence the nearby "Whinhill Road), it was known as Pulmoor, now "Polmuir". In 1850 Arthurseat (the villa on the site) and its surrounding land was intended to be developed as a Royal Garden to view the trains crossing the new viaduct to and from London via Ferryhill. However, in 1881 Miss Elizabeth Duthie of Ruthrieston purchased the site and gifted it to the City of Aberdeen for a public park. It was decided it should be "available for all classes of citizens, that it should have a broad expanse of grassy sward upon which the young might indulge in innocent frolic and play" (Duthie Park, p37). The park was designed by William R McKelvie of Dundee, and the first sod, of the 47 acres of land, was cut on the 27th of August 1881, the park being officially opened in 1883. The bowling pavilion is a later addition to the park, and is located near the site of the original house of Arthurseat.

The pavilion is currently being converted to provide facilities for the park ranger (2013).

Lawn bowls today is a hugely popular sport in Scotland. It has a long and distinguished history with the earliest reference to the game in Scotland appearing in 1469, when James IV played a variation of the game referred to as 'lang bowlis' at St Andrews in Fife. The first public bowling green in Scotland was laid out in 1669 at Haddington, near Edinburgh, however it was not until 1864 that the rules of the modern game were committed to writing by William Mitchell of Glasgow in his Manual of Bowl-Playing. Machine manufactured standard bowls were invented by Thomas Taylor Ltd, also of Glasgow, in 1871 and the Scottish Bowling Association was formed in 1892.

List description updated as part of the sporting buildings thematic study (2012-13).

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