St Peter's Graveyard - Peterculter


St Peters 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The church building today is now in use by the St Peter's Heritage Trust and houses photographs, artefacts and historical documents relating to the parish of Peterculter.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 graveyard!

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 mentioned above.

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 here


Click on photos below to enlarge

A splendid monument to be seen
at St Peters graveyard