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Roundhouse, The


(Round House, Navigation Control Centre)

The Roundhouse at Footdee
©2016 Gazetteer for Scotland

The Roundhouse at Footdee

Located on the North Breakwater at Footdee (Aberdeen), the Roundhouse represents the former Harbour Master's Station for Aberdeen Harbour, later renamed the Navigation Control Centre. Built c.1798, this distinctive building is actually octagonal and comprises a white-harled base with a steeply sloping slate roof rising beyond an external balcony to a control tower. A small extension projects on stilts from the front of the building to overlook the water. Harbour traffic was originally controlled by a signal involving three black balls mounted on a mast on the roof. In 1966 this signal was removed when the roof was raised to incorporate the new control tower and, in 1974, a sweeping radar antenna was placed on the roof to monitor ship movements.

In 1986, HM Queen Elizabeth II unveiled a plaque on the Roundhouse to commemorate the 850th anniversary of a charter issued to the Bishop of Aberdeen by King David I, which was the first recorded reference to Aberdeen Harbour.

The C-listed Roundhouse fell from use in 2006 when the new Marine Operations Centre opened nearby but the building was refurbished as office accommodation at a cost of £190,000 and re-occupied in 2009.


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