Placenames

What's in a name?...A quick guide to selected place names and street names you may find around the waterfront:

Central Waterfront:

  • Black Watch Parade - reference to the soldiers of the 4th Battalion Black Watch who marched to the railway station in 1915 to take part in the first world war and earned the name in the newspapers of the time:  "Dundee's Own" An account of the send off the soldiers received can be read on the Friends of Dundee City Archives website.
  • Caird Hall - Edward Caird (1806-1889) was one of the first to see the value in Jute as an alternative to the flax industries and set up the Caird-Ashton jute mill. Eventually succeeded by his son, James Caird rose to the forefront of the industry and gifted the Caird Hall and associated City Square to the City as well as a number of other places including Caird Park
  • Earl Grey Place and the Earl Grey Building: Former prime minister Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey. His achievements included the Great Reform Act of 1832 and the abolition of slavery. He was presented with the freedom of the Burgh of Dundee in 1834.
  • South Castle Street - there are still a number of castles within the city - but this street name refers to one which once stood at the northern end of the street. Built before 1290 it would have overlooked the harbour The Castle was seized by English Troops at the beginning of the Wars of Independence in 1296, then seized back by the Scots under Sir Alexander Scrymgeour, for this he was made hereditary Constable of the Castle by William Wallace in 1298. by 1318 it was known to have been demolished and the site is now occupied by St Paul's Cathedral.
  • South Crichton Street - Named after a surgeon who worked at the Dundee Royal Infirmary in the late 1700's and early 1800's- when plans were made to form this street, Dr Crichton's house lay in it's path. after much negotiation the Doctor agreed to sell the house and make way for the street - on condition that it be named after him!
  • South Union Street - referring to the Union of the Scottish and English Parliaments in 1707
  • Thomson Avenue - City Engineer and Architect in the early 1900's who first laid out plans for the development of the Waterfront, largely due to the outbreak of the first world war those plans were never implemented but you can read more about this on the Dundee City Archives Blog.

City Quay

  • Calcutta Lane - located adjacent to the Port of Dundee Customs House the name refers to Dundee's trade with India, particularly the Jute industry.
  • Camperdown Street: Kaemperdoen is a village in the Netherlands which was used to name a sea battle between the Dutch and British fleets in 1797. the British fleet was under the command of Adam Duncan, son of the Provost of Dundee. In recognition of his victory he was awarded the title of Viscount Duncan of Camperdown - a name which survives in Dundee, both in Camperdown Street and the extensive Camperdown Park.