Udny Parish Church

National Grid Reference (NGR): NJ 88050 26400, map


Udny Green
AB41 7RU

Also known as:

  • Christ's Kirk (1821)


Udny Parish Church is a prominent building overlooking a large village green in the small, rural settlement of Udny-Green. It is at the northern end of the village, close to the local primary school. The church sits in small grounds with no graveyard. Burials take place in the large burial ground and cemetery to the south-west, where the previous medieval church stood (see Udny Old Parish Church).

Description (exterior)

The church was built by John Smith in the early 1820s in a Todor-Gothic style, the architectural details of which include pointed-arches, buttresses and pinnacles. It was built using large, coursed yellow granite blocks and has a slate roof. 


The principle south elevation consists of a rather squat, square tower and flanking gable. The four stage tower is centrally placed and advanced from the gable. There is a pointed-arch doorway in the south face of the tower which has a thick hoodmould. Above is a pointed-arch window with simple tracery and hoodmould. The east and west sides have blind pointed-arch windows at this level. In the third (belfry) stage are louvred pointed-arch openings. Above, in the south face, is a large square clockface with a datestone of 1895 (it is not clear whether this date refers to the clock or the upper stage of the tower in which the clock face is inserted). The top of the tower is battlemented and has large pinnacles in the corners. The south gable of the church has a large pointed-arch window with Y-tracery on either side of the tower and large diagonal-facing corner buttresses with pinnacles. 


The east and west side elevations of the church have four pointed-arch windows of equal size and with simple Y-tracery and clear multi-panes of glass. The southernmost windows are blocked and it is unclear when and why this was carried out or if they have always been this way. Metal vents with decorative faces are inserted into the side elevations. There is a small cornice course at the wallhead of both elevations, as well as large diagonal-facing corner buttresses at the south end. 


At the rear (north) of the church is a single-storey vestry and session house, which has harled walls and a slate roof. There is a side door in the east side and a variety of small, rectangular windows. 

Description (interior)

The interior of Udny Parish Church is aligned north-south, with the pulpit and sanctuary at the north end. The interior was remodelled in 1890 and today has an open roof structure and a U-shaped gallery (on the south, east and west sides) supported on quatrefoil-profile columns. 


The sanctuary is raised from the nave by two steps and has red carpet on the floor. The wooden octagonal pulpit is accessed by a small spiral staircase and stands within an enclosure created by tall, panelled communion rails. In front is a simple, open-sided communion table. To the rear (behind the pulpit) is the wooden-panelled organ chamber. The nave has (1890) simple wooden pews, divided by two aisles. The large gallery is accessed by stone staircases at the south end of the church, which lead off from the entrance porch in the tower. The large stained glass window in the north wall, behind the pulpit, was inserted in 1927 and shows St Machar. 

People / Organisations:

John SmithArchitect of the church1821
A Marshall MackenzieArchitect1890
Thomas MearsMade church bell1821


  • Church built (1821)
  • Internal alterations and remodelling (1890)

Archive References:

Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 3939
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 15950B-listed
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: RCAHMS NJ82NE 45:00
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 115366

Bibliographic References:

The Architecture of Scottish Post-Reformation ChurchesG Hay1957p237 and 244
Aberdeenshire: Donside and Strathbogie, an illustrated architectural guideIan Shepherd2006p202
The New Statistical Account of Scotland1845Vol. XII, p135
Press and Journal11 July 1927