Culsalmond Old Parish Church, Burial Ground and Morthouse

National Grid Reference (NGR): NJ 65010 32940, map


Kirkton of Culsalmond
AB52 6UJ


Culsalmond Old Church is located on an historical site, said to have been the location of a pre-historic stone circle and a medieval chapel and church. The present church was built in the late 18th century - a previous church stood a short distance to the south in the graveyard. The church sits on a small ridge above the surrounding countryside with the small graveyard extending downhill to the south. The later church which became the parish church is located a short distance to the south-east. 


The church is a simple rectangular building, typical of many churches of this date. It was built with large, roughly-squared granite blocks with smaller packing stones inbetween. The church was originally harled or rendered but most of this has been removed over the years showing the stonework beneath. The bellcote from an earlier church on the site has been re-used on the west gable. There are no remains of the church's roof or interior.


The south elevation has four equally-spaced round-arched windows with fine surrounding stones, which were originally harled over. The north elevation, close to a group of mature trees, has no windows but there is an external stair which no longer has any of its original stone steps. The east and west gables each have a central round-arched doorway with a round-arched window above. The west bellcote, dated 1680, was re-used from an earlier church and is an elaborate bird-cage bellcote. It is built of fine ashlar stone and features moulded uprights, pinnacles, cornice and scroll-moulded gablets with finial. The east gable has a small ball-finial on the apex, which is dated 1791.

People / Organisations:

St SerfDedication


  • First reference to a church here (1178)
  • Church built (1791)

Archive References:

Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 2960A-listed
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: RCAHMS NJ63SE 1:00
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 18243
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 4143

Bibliographic References:

Aberdeenshire: Donside and Strathbogie, an illustrated architectural guideIan Shepherd2006p60
The Architecture of Scottish Post-Reformation ChurchesG Hay1957p237
The New Statistical Account of Scotland1845Vol. XII, p732
The Kirkyard of Culsalmond, AberdeenS M Spiers1993