Greyfriars' John Knox Church, Aberdeen

National Grid Reference (NGR): NJ 94290 06430, map


Broad Street


The current church was built in 1903 to replace the Medieval predacessor of 1532, called the Kirk of Greyfriars. This earlier church was demolished to allow the construction of Marischal College. The present church was built by A. Marshall Mackenzie in a Gothic revival style. It features a tower, rectangular nave with a west gallery and south aisle (which features a blind arcade on its north side). There is a chancel with organ chamber on the south side. The church features a hall complex and rooms located under the church. At the east end is a chapel with internal and external access. There is a vestry which is reached by a stair from the church and halls. There is also a committee room, kitchen and toilet facilities, although limited disabled access. The west tower of the church is joined on to the end of the college facade that makes up a large part of the city centre. The tower is embellished with sculptured stone and flying buttresses which support a fleche. The whole structure (with the college facade) is said to be the second largest granite structure in the world, behind the Escorial near Madrid. The interior of the church has some interesting features. The chancel incorporates wood panelling from the old East Church of St Nicholas. The east window is highly ornate and traceried and survives from the earlier church but with more recent stained glass. The interior is lofty and spacious with a sweeping central aisle. The congregation cannot support the church upkeep and at the time of writing the church was in the process of being united with the North Church of St Andrew although it has not been decided which building will be used.

J. Dowling


  • Church: Founded (1469)
  • Church: Destruction/demolition (1532A)
  • Church: Build/construction (1903)
    People: A Marshall Mackenzie