Maryculter Parish Church

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 85710 99260, map


Kirkton of Maryculter
AB12 5GZ


Maryculter Parish Church was built in the late 18th century to replace the old church of Maryculter (see separate site). It is located at the northern edge of the small community of Maryculter, along the small road into the village. The graveyard surrounding the church has large beech trees around the perimeter and there is open farmland to the east and west. The manse is to the north of the church grounds.

Description (exterior)

The church was built in 1787 as a small rectangular building. It was constructed with roughly-shaped, coursed granite blocks with small packing stones. The roofs are slated and have small metal ventilators. A gabled south aisle was built in the 1880s to house a new organ, and at the same time a hall was built onto the north end of the church. Much more recently, in around 2005, an extension to the hall was added.


The west end of the church has a small rectangular door with a round-arched window above, with latticed, clear glass. On top of the gable is a small, classical bellcote with a ball finial. The south elevation has narrow round-arched windows, which are copied in the later central aisle. Those in the aisle all have stained glass, however. The gable of the aisle also has a round window with stained glass and there is a small date stone in the gablehead. A small ball finial stands on the aisle's gable. The east gable of the church mirrors that of the west, except there is no bellcote. The original lean-to vestry is attached to the north-east end of the church.


The rectangular hall is attached to the north and is rubble-built with a slate roof. It has rectangular windows with clear glass. A kitchen and toilets have been built into the hall in recent times. The 21st century hall extension has a glass section of wall and roof, which floods the interior with light. The rest of the walls are lined with wood and the roof is slated. A side door gives entry to the hall complex and into the church itself.  

Description (interior)

The interior of the church is small and intimate. It has a large gallery for the size of the church, which stretches around the north, west and east walls. Small staircases in the north-west and north-east corners give access to the galleries. The sanctuary is positioned in front of the small south aisle, which contains the pipe organ. The plastered walls are painted a cream colour and the hammerbeam roof is exposed. 


The nave and gallery pews are plain and undecorated and painted cream. Some sections of pews have been repaired and replaced, using different thicknesses of wood. Original box pews survive in situ in the nave, which are quite rare today. 


The sanctuary furniture is all in dark hard wood. The pulpit has carved panels and base and is reached by a carpeted stair. The communion table has simple carving and a wide base. The pipe organ was installed in 1882 into the new aisle. It is surrounded by detailed stained glass windows, mostly inserted by the local Hutcheon family, and depicting the Saints. Nearby is an elaborate mosaic memorial stone, depicting Christ and in memory of Rev. George Duncan, Minister here from 1876 to 1899.


  • Church built (1787)
  • South aisle built (1882)
  • Church hall built (1882)
  • Extension to hall built (2005)

Archive References:

Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 3888
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: NO89NE 59Plans of church (1927) from F A MacDonald collection
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 184678
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 16486B-listed

Bibliographic References:

Deeside and The Mearns: An Illustrated Architectural GuideJ Geddes2001p78
The New Statistical Account of Scotland1845Vol. XI, p193
The Architecture of Scottish Post-Reformation ChurchesG Hay1957p199