Ancient Monuments

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Aberdeenshire Canal, remains of, north and east of Tillybrig Cottage, Dyce

A Scheduled Monument in Dyce/Bucksburn/Danestone, Aberdeen City

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Latitude: 57.2217 / 57°13'18"N

Longitude: -2.2072 / 2°12'26"W

OS Eastings: 387583

OS Northings: 814569

OS Grid: NJ875145

Mapcode National: GBR XJ.JRDY

Mapcode Global: WH9Q9.2R64

Entry Name: Aberdeenshire Canal, remains of, N and E of Tillybrig Cottage, Dyce

Scheduled Date: 7 January 1998

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM7583

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Industrial: inland water

Location: Dyce

County: Aberdeen City

Electoral Ward: Dyce/Bucksburn/Danestone

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument comprises the remains of a stretch of the Aberdeenshire Canal Navigation, or Aberdeen-Inverurie Canal.

This canal ran from Port Elphinstone, just south of Inverurie, to Aberdeen harbour, following a course 18.25 miles (29km) in length above the right-hand bank of the River Don. The Act of Parliament that sanctioned its construction in 1796 declared its purpose as being to 'promote the improvement and better cultivation of the inland parts of the country'.

Construction was carried out by various contractors, with John Rennie as consulting engineer and George Fletcher as resident engineer. The canal opened in 1805. It operated until 1854, when it was replaced by the Aberdeen to Inverness line of the Great North of Scotland Railway, which was built along roughly the same alignment, obliterating much of its course.

The section of the canal that survives N and E of Tillybrig Cottage is represented by an earthwork, which traverses the southern part of a field lying immediately N of the railway line. It is aligned roughly NW-SE. At the two extremities it consists of a depression, some 10m wide, cut into the sloping ground, with an embankment on the downhill side to the N; the latter has a flat top, some 3m wide, representing the tow path. In the central sector, where the ground to the S is more level and marshy, there are embankments on both sides.

The monument to be scheduled comprises the canal bed, the enclosing embankments and a strip 2m wide to either side, extending from the foot of the road embankment in the N to the NW foot of the stone field boundary in the S, representing an area measuring some 260m in length and up to 30m in width, as shown in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as representing one of only a handful of surviving sections from what was at one time a significant economic artery, serving the agricultural hinterland of the city of Aberdeen. Its importance is further enhanced by the documentary evidence that also exists regarding the legal and commercial history of the canal during its period of use. It retains the potential to provide further information about civil engineering and canal construction in the early nineteenth century.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland




Lindsay, J. (1968) The Canals of Scotland (Newton Abbot), 99-112.

Eadem, (1964) Journal of Transport History, 6.3.

Graham, A. (1967-68) Two Aberdeenshire Canal, Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 100, 170-178.

Milne, J. (1911) 252f, 264f, 344f, 390f.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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