Peterculter Parish Church

National Grid Reference (NGR): NJ 84050 00650, map


North Deeside Road / Craigton Crescent
AB14 0RS

Also known as:

  • Kelman Memorial Church


This town church occupies a prominent position, overlooking the centre of Peterculter on a corner site. It was built as a Free Church and was called Kelman Memorial Church until the congregation united with St Peter's Church nearby in 1999, afterwhich it became Peterculter Parish Church. A large hall complex has been added in the 20th and 21st centuries, which forms an open courtyard area in front of the church which is paved and has benches, a small garden area and a number of car parking spaces. 

Description (exterior)

The church is rectangular in plan with a square tower attached at the north-west end. It was built with coursed and tooled granite blocks with small stones between the blocks (Aberdeen bond). The roofs are slated and the nave has round metal ventilators along the ridge. 


The south gable forms the principle elevation and features a slightly advanced centre section and doorway, a large rose window and a roughly-finished base course. The doorway is centrally placed at groundfloor level. It is round-arched with a hoodmould and substantial architrave and lintel. Above the doorway is a large rose window with tracery and stained glass. On the apex of the gable is a large Celtic cross finial. On either side of the rose window is a small round recess with a date stone. The west one has '1843' while the east has '1894'. To either side of the doorway are two round-arched windows with hoodmoulds and coloured glass panels. 


The side elevations of the church (west and east) are relatively plain, with tall, narrow round-arched windows, divided by small butresses. The east elevation has a gabled section at the north-east end, while the west elevation has a square tower to the north-west. The tower has a round-arched doorway with hoodmould on the south face, which has subsequently been converted into a window. Above are small round-arched windows on the south and west faces (the south one with hoodmould) and at belfry level are pairs of louvered openings on each face. The top of the tower has a corbelled, battlemented parapet and rising from this is a squat, slated spire with a large weather cock. The rear of the church (north) is largely hidden from view but has a semi-circular apse or chancel in the centre with narrow arched windows. 


To the west of the church is a large hall complex, with a kitchen, toilets and meeting rooms. It has slate roofs and granite and harled walls. A recent extension links the halls with the church and creates an informal meeting area and disabled access. 

Description (interior)

The interior of the church is restrained and fairly dark, due in part to the many impressive stained glass windows which reduce the amount of light coming in through the windows. The original nave pews have been removed and moveable seating installed. This increases the comfort for church visitors and also makes the nave space available for other functions such as concerts. The open timber roof structure is supported on corbels in the side walls. 


The chancel area is large and steps up from the nave and is curved in a small arc at the front. The carved wooden communion table is at the front with Minister and Elder chairs behind. The minister speaks from the small lecterns towards the side of the chancel. The rear of the chancel is raised higher and reached via side stairs. There is a tall chancel arch with marble columns, which leads into a rear apse area. This has a number of fine stained glass memorial windows. 


The attached hall space is well used by the community. A smaller hall room is used for coffee mornings and meetings and the larger hall has a stage and a large floor area. The recent extension to the front is flooded with light due to the wall of glass, and there is space for informal meetings and gatherings. 


  • Church built (1895)
  • Church hall extension (1995)
  • Church unites with St Peter's Church to form (1999)
  • Church refurbished and pews replaced (2001)

Archive References:

Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 7879
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: RCAHMS NJ80SW 31:00
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 112893
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 47267C(S)-listed

Bibliographic References:

NameAuthorDateNotes for Peterculter Parish Church