Union Terrace Gardens Quiz

The regeneration of Union Terrace Gardens is set to start this summer, improving access, amenity and activity. Test your knowledge of its 140 years of history…


Image (postcard) courtesy of Aberdeen City Libraries

1. When architect James Matthews suggested Union Terrace should be turned into a “pleasure ground for the people” what was the estimated cost?
Ο  £17,350 
Incorrect. Try again.
Ο  £1,735
Ο  £173,500 
Incorrect. Try again.

2. Which activity did James Matthews envisage taking place at the “flat portion of the ground at the North End”?
Ο  Tennis 
Incorrect. Try again.
Ο  Croquet
Correct! Bowling too.
Ο  Shinty 
Incorrect. Try again.
3. When Land Surveyor James Forbes Beattie drew up an early sketch what working title did he give the proposed park?
Ο  Union Terrace Gardens
Incorrect. Try again.
Ο  Denburn Gardens
Ο  City Gardens 
Incorrect. Try again.
4. In its early years Union Terrace Gardens was known as the “Trainie Park”. Why?
Ο  Highland Games competitors practised there 
Incorrect. Try again.
Ο  Because of the nearby railway 
Correct! The line opened a dozen years before UTG.
Ο  The building and maintenance of UTG supported dozens of apprenticeships
Incorrect. Try again.
5. Before UTG was built, which mass activity took place in the Denburn Valley?
Ο  Highland dancing 
Incorrect… although UTG did become a popular place for dances in the 20th Century. Try again.
Ο  Cloth bleaching
Correct! In the 1700s the banks of the open Denburn formed drying greens.
Ο  Vegetable growing 
Incorrect. Try again.
6. When does the above image (courtesy of Aberdeen City Libraries) date from?
Ο  1910s 
Incorrect. Try again.
Ο  1880s
Ο  1940s
Incorrect. Try again.
7. The Union Street end was known as the Corbie Heugh. “Heugh” means steep-sided but what is a “Corbie”?
Ο  Fox 
Incorrect. Try again.
Ο  Crow
Correct! Crows continue to nest in UTG’s elms.
Ο  Deer 
Incorrect. Try again.
8. During the 1960s, people played which popular board game in UTG using giant pieces?
Ο  Chess 
Incorrect. Try again.
Ο  Draughts
Correct! Moved using poles.
Ο  Snakes and Ladders
Incorrect. Try again.
9. Union Terrace Gardens is home to a memorial to which Aberdeen trailblazer?
Ο  George Washington Wilson 
Incorrect. Try again.
Ο  Mary Slessor
Correct! The missionary and campaigner for women’s rights was born in nearby Mutton Brae in 1848.
Ο  Mary Garden
Incorrect. Try again.
10. In December 2015, UTG was taken over by a group of monster rabbits. Why were people pleased about their presence?
Ο  They were employed to trim the lawn
Incorrect. Try again.
Ο  They were part of an art exhibition
Correct! The five 20ft tall inflatable bunnies made up a lighting installation (‘Intrude’) by Amanda Parer.
Ο  They were to be star attractions at a new petting zoo
Incorrect. Try again.

For more on the UTG regeneration plans, click here

To enjoy more historic images of Aberdeen, visit The Silver City Vault