church, located on the edge of the village of Peterculter, lies a few
miles west of Aberdeen and is a site of great antiquity. It is said to
have been first established in the 12th century. Looking at the
geography of the location it's not hard to see why. On a bend of the
River Dee with natural shelter and good fishing and hunting prospects it
would have been an ideal place to establish an encampment.
The church building today is now in use by the St Peter's Heritage
Trust and houses photographs, artefacts and historical documents
relating to the parish of Peterculter. An adjacent corrugated 'iron
Kirkie' was moved from Ballater and re-erected here in 1907. The
original graveyard has been extended a number of times, mainly to the
east and north. By my estimate there are approximately 1600 gravestones
and commemorative plaques.
The grounds are in excellent order with the grass neat and tidy and
paths in good condition. There's little sign of vandalism and most stones
appear intact and in good order. Despite being close to houses it's a
quite and restful place.
I arrived for my visit with the mist still hanging slightly over the
river and the graveyard. This is the first time I have been slightly
'spooked' as I kept hearing the murmer of voices behind me. Every time I
looked round there was no one there. Are the grounds haunted? Well, not
quite. Upon investigation I found a riverside path running along the
back wall of the graveyard, but on a much lower level. What I kept
hearing were riverside walkers whose heads were below the level of the
The monuments to be found here are mainly 19th century to present
day. There are also a number of panels with plaques commemorating those
who have been cremated. As you would expect most stones are made of the
local granite. Few stones feature much in the way of elaboration.
Nonetheless there are interesting design features to be found round
almost every corner. As you would expect, most of the stones refer to
the local population, though I was surprised that there were many
families from Drumoak and surrounding farming districts. Since there is
a graveyard at Drumoak this resting place may be overlooked by
researchers of those areas - so a trip here might well be worthwhile.
The Aberdeen & NE Family History Society have published an MI for
Peterculter which I would thoroughly recommend. Please note however that
this publication only covers the original graveyard - not the extensions
Parking is easy with ample space just outside the grounds.
This is a lovely graveyard which is easily overlooked and for this
reason alone is well worth a visit.
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
Click on photos below to enlarge