Torry is an area within the city of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK.
Setting and historical development:
Torry lies on the south bank of the River Dee. It is connected to the north bank and the centre of Aberdeen by three bridges. Leading most directly to the centre of Torry, the Victoria Bridge was completed in 1887, following a ferry disaster in 1876 which claimed the lives of 32 people returning from a visit to the Bay of Nigg. The bridge also has facilities for carrying water and gas services across the river. To the west of the Victoria Bridge lie the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge of the 1980s, and the narrow Wellington Suspension Bridge of 1829 which is closed to the public due to its unsafe condition.
Torry was once a Royal Burgh in its own right, having been erected a burgh of barony in 1495. It was incorporated into Aberdeen in 1891, after the construction of the Victoria Bridge, itself made possible by the 1871 channelling of the River Dee which had previously followed an unstable course to the sea. The channelling also enabled further expansion of the harbour.
Land use and economy:
Torry includes a large housing estate developed as a "garden suburb" to relieve overcrowding in Aberdeen. It is famous for its fishing community and still has a number of fishing businesses operating close to the Dee. However, most of the old fishermen's cottages of Old Torry have been swept away by first the channelling of the River Dee, then later by modern industry, particularly North sea oil at Torry Quay. Torry is also home to the Fisheries Research Laboratory in Victoria Road.
Torry has traditionally been seen as an area of low-cost housing. This has attracted students and more recently economic migrants from Eastern Europe and particularly Poland A Polish shop opened in Victoria Road in June 2006 to cater for the influx of new workers and their families to the Aberdeen area.
The median property sale in 2004 was £34,000 compared to £91,000 in the Aberdeen City area.
Unemployment in Torry is estimated at around 3 percent which is relatively high for the city. Torry is a neighbourhood highlighted as a priority area for Aberdeen's Community Regeneration Strategy. Currently around 8800 people are estimated to live in Torry.
The eastern side of Torry can be blighted by unpleasant smells from the fish processing businesses, and the sewage and waste processing at Nigg.
The Balnagask 18 hole golf course offers panoramic city views from the east side of Torry, as well as a good vantage point for viewing the dolphins which frequent the harbour mouth area.
Landmarks and historic buildings:
The formerly fortified Torry Battery — last used defensively in World War II — is now a scheduled ancient monument, protected as a place of historical interest of national importance. Close by are the remains of a rocket-propelled life-saving apparatus station (supplanted as a rescue system by the development of helicopters), and further along the shore road are a disused but preserved foghorn and Robert Stevenson-designed lighthouse.
Also of historical interest is the ruin of St. Fittick's Church, built 1199, the key to which is available from the Starter's Hut near the Balnagask golf clubhouse.
Balnagask Motte, near North Balnagask Road, may be the remains of the earthen mound which would have been the base of an early wooden castle, but it has never been the subject of archaeological investigation.
Buildings in Torry are often used in the annual Doors Open Day event which takes place in September each year. This is a great opportunity to obtain a free viewing of interesting locales both old and new.
Torry is an area within the city of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK.
by Torry L August 14, 2006
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