Cults East Church, Peterculter

National Grid Reference (NGR): NJ 89000 02820, map


North Deeside Road
AB15 9EX

Also known as:

  • Cults United Free Church (1900)
  • Cults Free Church


Cults East Church was built alongside the busy North Deeside Road, which runs through Peterculter east to west, and into Aberdeen. The church is set in small grounds with trees and parking space around it and the former manse to the north. 

The church was built as a Free Church in 1844 and was originally a small rectangular building with a square tower. By 1900 this had proved to be too small and a new, larger church was built nearby, opening in 1903. However, this church burnt down in a devastating fire in 1941, leaving only the tower and spire, which were eventually encorporated into the new (and present) church, built in the 1950s.

Description (exterior)

The present church is essentially a small, fairly modern structure placed in the footprint of the demolished previous church. The surviving tower, spire and stairtower of the 1903 church have been left in situ but are detached from the replacement church. 


The new church was built in the 1950s and is a small, T-plan structure with harled walls, a granite lower course and slate roofs. The gables have pointed-arch windows with 3-light rectangular openings and clear glass. The sides of the building have simple rectangular windows. There are a number of flat-roofed extensions which have side doors and kitchen and toilet facilities. To the rear is a rectangular hall (actually rebuilt in the 1940s, before the church). The hall was built with coursed and squared granite rubble and has a corrugated concrete-fibre roof. There are rectangular case and sash windows. The manse survived the fire and is set back from the church to the rear, and is now privatelly owned. 


The church is largely hidden from the road by the remains of the previous church. The tall, square tower was built in fine granite and has slender corner buttresses and large pointed-arch louvered belfry openings. There is a large, recessed pointed-arch doorway at the base of the tower, which has a blank wooden door and fanlight. Alongside are the remains of the squat stairtower, which has been consolidated to make it structurally safe. It has a smaller pointed-arch door with a simple hoodmould, and small tre-foil openings. The top of the tower is battlemented and slightly corbelled out. The stair within was lit by pointed-arch windows, which are now open.

Description (interior)

The church is no longer used for worship. The congregation united with nearby Cults West Church and the last service was conducted at East Church in 2005. The congregation is trying to re-use and convert the church into a community outreach centre, but it is (2011) currently closed and not in use.

People / Organisations:

George Watt & StewartArchitect of the church1959
Rev. William AndersonFirst minister of Cults East Church1861


  • First church built (1844)
  • Church became United Free denomination (1900)
  • New Church built (1902 to 1903)
  • Re-united with Established Church (1929)
  • Church destroyed by fire (1941)
  • Latest church built (1959)
  • Church closes as place of worship (2005)

Archive References:

Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 7875

Bibliographic References:

The History of Cults East Church 1843-2005C F Paterson and W S Scott2005