Life in Newburgh on Ythan

By Talpa

Not Sir Robert McAlpine!

Until King's and Marischal Colleges were united to form the modern University of Aberdeen in 1860, Aberdeen city had two Universities. King's College had been founded in 1495, in Old Aberdeen, by William Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen, to train doctors, teachers and clergy and lawyers. In 1593, George Keith, fourth Earl Marischal, founded a second, Post- Reformation University, in the heart of the New Town of Aberdeen.

Marischal College, a huge Gothic granite building, was until recently the centre of the modern University's scientific teaching and research but was increasingly seen as being unfit for purpose. For several years it lay empty and sadly neglected but it has now found a new life as the Head Quarters of Aberdeen City Council.

As part of the Council's major renovations an 18-foot high equestrian sculpture of King Robert the Bruce was unveiled outside the College earlier this week. Robert was, of course, the King of the Scots who defeated England's King Edward II and who, in 1327, secured Scotland's independence from England. You may know the song!

The City of Aberdeen had sheltered The Bruce during his campaigning days and was rewarded with a Royal Charter and generous gift of land, the basis of Aberdeen's Common Good Fund, a fund that still benefits the people of Aberdeen. Fittingly, the costs of the statue were met from the fund.

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