Aberdeen, The Chanonry, St Machar's Cathedral And Churchyard

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Aberdeen, The Chanonry, St Machar's Cathedral And Churchyard

Site Name Aberdeen, The Chanonry, St Machar's Cathedral And Churchyard

Classification Burial Ground (medieval), Cathedral (14th Century), War Memorial(s) (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Old Aberdeen; War Memorial Plaques

Canmore ID 20216

Site Number NJ90NW 9

NGR NJ 93920 08785

Datum Osgb36 - Ngr

Council Aberdeen, City Of

Parish Aberdeen

Ordnance Survey licence number 100020548. All rights reserved.
© Copyright and database right 2018

Digital Images

Archaeology Notes

Event ID 671676

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Archaeology Notes

NJ90NW 9.00 93920 08785

(NJ 9395 0882) Cathedral (NAT).

OS 1:10000 map (1974).

NJ90NW 9.01 93 08 and 94 08 precinct wall

NJ90NW 9.02 9383 0878 Bishop's Hospital

NJ90NW 9.03 9398 0877 Bishop's Palace

NJ90NW 9.04 94046 08661 Chaplain's Chambers

NJ90NW 9.05 93930 08705 Dean's House, 14 The Chanonry

NJ90NW 9.06 9410 0876 Girth Cross

NJ90NW 9.07 9395 0882 Cross

NJ90NW 9.08 93959 08730 Wall

NJ90NW 9.09 93915 08545 Aberdour Manse

NJ90NW 9.10 939 087 Auchterless Manse

NJ90NW 9.11 93826 08671 Banchory Devenick Manse

NJ90NW 9.12 93896 08685 Belhelvie Manse

NJ90NW 9.13 93972 08720 Birse Manse

NJ90NW 9.14 93864 08777 Clatt Manse

NJ90NW 9.15 93843 08640 Cruden Manse

NJ90NW 9.16 93896 08685 Daviot Manse

NJ90NW 9.17 93849 08608 Deer Manse

NJ90NW 9.18 93843 08640 Ellon Manse

NJ90NW 9.19 93896 08685 Forbes Manse

NJ90NW 9.20 938 084 Kincardine Manse

NJ90NW 9.21 93764 08777 Kinkell Manse

NJ90NW 9.22 938 084 Methlick Manse

NJ90NW 9.23 937 088 Monymusk Manse

NJ90NW 9.24 93764 08777 Mortlach Manse

NJ90NW 9.25 93726 08685 Oyne Manse

NJ90NW 9.26 93905 08563 Philorth Manse (5 The Chanonry)

NJ90NW 9.27 93804 08718 Rayne Manse

NJ90NW 9.28 93921 08511 St Katherine's Manse

NJ90NW 9.29 938 084 Strathdon Manse

NJ90NW 9.30 937 088 Tullynessle Manse

NJ90NW 9.31 938 084 Turriff Manse

NJ90NW 9.32 937 088 Westhall's Manse

NJ90NW 9.33 938 086 Natural features

NJ90NW 9.34 93873 08717 Chanonry Arch

NJ90NW 9.35 9398 0875 Cancelled Site

NJ90NW 9.36 93935 08707 Dean's House, 14a The Chanonry

NJ90NW 9.37 93903 08576 Philorth Manse (6 The Chanonry)

For Old Aberdeen, St Machar's Well (NJ 9417 0924), see NJ90NW 162.

See also NJ90NE 8385 and NJ91SW 86.

The remains of the cathedral of the Bishops of Aberdeen, dedicated to St Machar and now consisting of the nave, now used as the parish church, and transepts whose walls stand to a maximum height of 10' The see was transferred from Mortlach (NJ33NW 10) to Aberdeen in 1136. Between 1183 and 1199 the 'primitive' church on the site was replaced by a larger building which was demolished c.1282 when its successor was started. This was completed by Robert Bruce but was demolished c.1370 when a building on a larger scale was commenced. Two red freestone support piers for the central tower are all that remains of the this work and are much superior workmanship to the rest of the building which is reddish-yellow granite with virtually no carving.

The nave with its two western towers appears to have been built between 1422 and 1440 and is entire although the north aisle wall is modern. The north transept or St John's Aisle was built in 1424 by Bishop Leighton and contains his effigy. The south transept was built in 1522 by Bishop Dunbar, whose tomb is virtually all that remains. The chancel was destroyed in 1560 and the ruins have been removed. The 'Chanonry' or precincts of the cathedral were enclosed by a wall (NJ90NW 9.01) and contained various subsidiary buildings (NJ90NW 9.02).

D MacGibbon and T Ross 1897

The cathedral is in use as a parish church. The chancel arch has been built up and graves now occupy the site of the chancel.

Visited by OS (JLD) 12 September 1952

During the cleaning of the heraldic ceiling, dating from the 16th century, the opportunity was taken to photograph a number of its decorative features.

J A Stones 1990.

Air photographs: AAS/80/1/S2/20 and AAS/83/8/S4/18.

(Additional bibliography, ground photographs and newspaper references cited).

NMRS, MS/712/83.

Air photographs: AAS/00/12/CT.

NMRS, MS/712/100.

NJ 939 087 Due to the proximity of St Machar's Cathedral and the location of the site within Aberdeen's Old Town, a watching brief was required as a condition of Scheduled Monument Consent in October 2005 during headstone stabilisation works within the E, S and W divisions of St Machars graveyard. No significant archaeology was encountered.

Archive to be deposited in NMRS.

Sponsor: Aberdeen City Council.


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