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The west end of Aberdeen has a character all of its own. The area was originally dominated by the vast Socket Lands (or Freedom Lands), a gift of Robert the Bruce to the burgesses of the city by two early fourteenth century charters, and the extensive Lands of Rubislaw, owned by the Skenes of Rubislaw since the 1680s. These extensive country areas were eventually feuded off into estates, each with a Big Hoose and several farms. In time the estates were broken up and by the second half of the nineteenth century, the city's west end with its gracious tree-lined streets was, thanks to a few developers, beginning to impose itself on what had largely been open country, around the mills, farms, houses, mansions, bridges and burns. Carriage drives became roads, and the houses that survived were put to other uses, or flanked uncomfortably in a row of modern dwellings. In her third book examining lost Aberdeen, Diane Morgan uncovers forgotten villages and communities and reveals how roads and new routeways began to define this amorphous area.
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About the Author
Diane Morgan was born in Aberdeen and educated at Aberdeen and Cambridge Universities. She taught law, freelanced for national and local media and in 1974 founded Aberdeen's quality monthly, Leopard Magazine. She sold the title in 1988 (it still continues), and embarked on a series of popular histories, The Villages of Aberdeen, dealing with areas of the city that once enjoyed a distinctive identity. She is a burgess of Aberdeen and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. In appreciation of her work in raising awareness of the city's cultural and environmental heritage, she has, uniquely, twice received the personal award of Aberdeen Civic Society. She still lives in the city with her husband, a former regional chairman of the Employment Tribunals (Scotland).