1000-Year-Old Tombs, a Murdered Monk & the Man Who Sank Titanic; History Quine's New Book Tells the Story of Aberdeen's Past

Article excerpt

Byline: Charlie Gall

OUR very own History Quine Dr Fiona-Jane Brown is thrilled to be unveiling what lies beneath this weekend.

She will be signing her first hardback Hidden Aberdeen - History On Your Doorstep and Under Your Feet in WH Smith in the St Nicholas Centre from 1pm on Saturday.

The book, dedicated to her parents Margaret and James Brown, takes the reader deep into the Granite City's forgotten and sometimes murky past.

Fiona-Jane, who writes a fortnightly column for Aberdeen Now, delves into "the abandoned remnants of the past which lie under your feet as you walk round the city today".

The book is packed full of peculiar tales. It seems there's a wealth of human history behind every building, on every street and under every stone.

There's the story of the ghost of Chaplains' Court, whose spectre was seen as recently as the 1920s, and the tale of the 1000-year-old Christian graves near the grounds of the Kirk of St Nicholas.

Fiona-Jane also recounts the story of Robert Hitchens, the man at the wheel of the Titanic when it struck an iceberg, who was laid to rest in Trinity Cemetery.

Grisly goings-on also feature with the brutal murder of a monk by so-called reformers, and with Gallows Hill, the spot where medieval criminals were hanged.

There's also tragic stories found in the St Nicholas Poorhouse of Nelson Street and uplifting ones too with the Aberdeen Public Soup Kitchen that operated for more than a century.

Peterhead-born Fiona-Jane holds a PhD in ethnology, gained after studying at the Elphinstone Institute, Aberdeen's unique centre for the study of north-east Scottish folklore. …