Aberdeen City Graveyards - Nellfield Cemetery


Nellfield is quite an old city cemetery, having been laid out by 1836. It is located just to the west of the city centre and bounded by Great Western Road, Nellfield Crescent and Holburn Street. This walled graveyard is hardly seen from the perimeter and is frequently overlooked by those who walk past it every day. Access is via the main entrance on Great Western Road. You used to be able to enter via Holburn Street or a smaller gate further along Great Western Road, but these entrances seem to have been permanently locked.

The cemetery is laid out in three walled sections, starting with the oldest near the front entrance and graduating to the most recent stones at the far end of the cemetery adjacent to Nellfield Crescent. What strikes you in this cemetery is the silence.  Considering it is next to a main road close to the city centre it is very quiet within the high walls. There are approximately 4200 headstones to be found in this resting place with many good examples of Victorian masonry. The vast majority are however 20th century in the predominant stone of the area - grey granite. On a sunny day these glint and sparkle in a most uplifting way. 

This is a very well maintained cemetery in very good condition, though some of the trees really need to be cut back or replaced as they have become too large for their location, putting some stones into permanent gloom.  The cemetery is extensively laid out in roses which turns it into a virtual paradise when they are in bloom (about August). The downside of this strategy is that the plots look fairly drab for the rest of the year, though the grass is always lovely.

Parking close by is difficult. I would recommend parking further down Holburn Street and walking up. It's not far and will set the scene. Alternatively closer by there is parking on Nellfield Crescent - though you have to pay there! 

One of our best city centre cemeteries, with a number of older interesting stones. Finding them can involve a lot of exploring (mainly in the first section), but its well worth the effort.


Additional - read about the Nellfield scandal of 1899 when up to 300 graves were desecrated. Detail on my Odds & Ends 2 page.

If you require a specific gravestone photo from the above send me your relevant details and I'll e-mail you what I have. Contact me here


Click on photos below to enlarge

Part of the memorial to
William Alexander,
author of local book 'Johnny Gibb'