The Young Pretender

I made a visit to a building called the Tollbooth today. The first time I had ever been there. It was not actually a toll booth but rather a Ward where prisoners were held to await trial and punishment. It was built in 1615 and is one of the oldest buildings in Aberdeen.

After the battle of Culloden (hence the title) prisoners were held here awaiting their fate. Unlikely to have been a happy fate. The building contains steep narrow spiral staircases leading to somewhat basic cells. Debtors were also held here at one point. No picture of the building as it has been subsumed into the facade of the granite face of the Townhouse. The spire at the top of the Tolbooth peaks up above the Townhouse, and can just be seen in the photo I took a couple of days ago.

Much of Union Street owes its present appearance to Archibald Simpson. This provides a rather tenuous link to the spire of a former church at Triple Kirks, also designed by Archibald Simpson. The site is currently being developed as an office block. The spire will be incorporated into the development.

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