Victoria Park Fountain


Completion Date:


Building owner/client:

Victoria Park Fountain

Architect or lead designer:

Friends of Victoria & Westburn Parks / Aberdeen City Council

Local Authority Area:


Nominating Body:

Aberdeen City Council

Project Description

The Friends of Victoria & Westburn Parks is a very active volunteer group with members drawn from the local community. They meet every Saturday morning to work in the parks on projects such as refurbishing areas of the parks, maintaining areas already improved, litter picks, planting bulbs and other new plants.

Over the past year, community members of all ages put in over 1,600 hours of work to improve the parks.

They hold regular virtual meetings with representatives of the Council’s Environmental Services staff and local Councillors to discuss ongoing issues and agree on what projects the Friends of Victoria & Westburn Parks will progress. Facebook:

In recent times the group’s proudest achievement has been to refurbish the park’s fountain.

The 142-year-old fountain had not worked for almost 20 years, but thanks to the fundraising efforts of the Friends, the fountain has been restored and turned back on.

The conservation-led work on the category-A-listed historic fountain in Victoria Park started in 2021 and it was completed at the end of 2022.

The £137,000 of work included delicate cleaning and repairing of the carved stonework and decorative copper elements using bristle brushes and steam rather than corrosive chemicals; the aged and failed filtration system was stripped out and replaced with a modern, energy-efficient system; the modern cement pointing was removed and the stonework repointed using a traditional lime-based mortar; and local granite boulders were sourced and cut to replace the three missing and one vandalised bowls, in keeping with the spirit of the original stonework. A regular maintenance regime for the fountain’s future care was also established and the steps and walking areas surrounding the fountain have been redone.

Friends of Victoria and Westburn Parks secured funding to undertake the full repair and restoration of the historic fountain and the works were overseen by Aberdeen City Council with technical input from a specialist conservation Architect. The main contractor for the project was Lost Art.

The fountain was designed in 1878 by eminent local architect John Bridgeford Pirie and was constructed in 1880 as the centrepiece of Victoria Park using 14 different types of local granite, reflecting the variety of stone being quarried in the Aberdeen area at the time. Gifted to the city by the Master Masons’ Association of Aberdeen, it bears the monograms of the stonemasons who created it.

Victoria Park is located on land which formed part of the 14th-century Forest of Stocket, the royal hunting domain which Robert the Bruce gifted to the Burgh of Aberdeen as part of the Freedom Lands in 1319.

They developed into fields and, in 1871, the Aberdeen Council approved a plan to transform the middle portion of these feuing grounds for use as a public park for the people of Aberdeen. The Victorians added walls and railings to define the boundaries of the park, and in February 1873, the park opened and was formally named Victoria Park, after the then-Queen.

Supporting Statement

It is fantastic to see the fountain refurbished and turned back on at Victoria Park, and it is looking splendid after the careful restoration of the historic granite stone. The fountain is back fully working and once again the ‘grand’ centrepiece to the park.

Thanks must go to the Friends group along with Aberdeen City Council’s parks staff for their effort and hard work to see the project through to completion, seeing the fountain restored to its former glory.

It is great that the work was finished in time for the 150th anniversary of Victoria Park’s formation as the city’s first public park. The park continues to be a beautiful place to visit.

The project team gratefully acknowledges in-kind and financial support towards this project from Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeen City Heritage Trust, FCC Communities Foundation, Aberdeen City Council Common Good Fund, and the Friends of Victoria & Westburn Parks. Grants included Aberdeen City Heritage Trust, FCC Communities Foundation, and the Common Good Fund.

The refurbishment of the fountain is a fantastic project and its benefits are wide-reaching. Victoria Park is an example of partnership working across Aberdeen’s communities, where members of the community are encouraged to take the lead in running green spaces to ensure that all of our citizens regardless of their locality and circumstances have access to good, well-looked after community green spaces and the benefits that come from those. The project is about communities – getting people involved, caring, and collaborating in looking after themselves, their neighbours, and their environment.

We have fantastic green spaces and the awards achieved are deserved recognition for all the tremendous partnerships and community project work that now takes place.

The Friends of Friends of Victoria & Westburn Parks have had an amazing year and rightly deserve all the praise and recognition for the success they have achieved. Everyone involved should be extremely proud.