A wee explore around the old Broadford Works (Richards Factory), Aberdeen.

My last Aberdeen explore before going to pastures new. It’s a site I’ve wanted to look round since moving to the Granite City and I’ve wandered and driven past it many times.

Built for Scott Brown and Co (of Angus), 1808, bankrupt 1811 and sold to Sir John Maberly MP, entrepreneur, speculator and introducer of jute to the UK. Maberley rapidly developed Broadford Works, adopting the first gas lighting of an industrial complex in Scotland, by Boulton and Watt in 1814-15, and Scotland’s second power loom linen weaving factory in Scotland in 1824. Maberly was himself bankrupt and in 1834 the works passed to Richards and Co, who had a bleachworks at Rubislaw and branches at Montrose, produced canvas tarpaulins and as a particular specialism, fire hoses. Latterly man-made fibres for carpet yarn etc replaced flax. Employment peaked at 3,000, once the largest single employer in Aberdeen. (Historic Scotland).

Since closing in 2004, plans to redevelop the site haven’t got much further than the planning department and it’s only regular visitors since then have been vandals and the fire brigade….. An awesome place and despite only being resident for a short time, I’ll always associate Aberdeen and it’s skyline with the factory towers.

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