CHURCHES OF ABERDEEN
Like most Scottish burghs, Aberdeen has many churches, most of them of good design.
The East and West churches of St Nicholas' Kirk, their kirkyard separated from Union Street by a 147 ft (45 m) long Ionic facade, built in 1830, form one continuous building, 220 ft (67 m) in length. It contains the Drum Aisle (the ancient burial-place of the Irvines of Drum) and the Collison Aisle, which divide them and which formed the transept of the 12th-century church of St Nicholas.
The West Church was built in 1775, in the Italian style, the East originally in 1834 in Gothic Style. In 1874 a fire destroyed the East Church and the old central tower with its fine peal of nine bells, one of which, Laurence or "Lowrie", was 4 ft (1.2 m) in diameter at the mouth, 3.5 ft (1.1 m) high and very thick. The church was rebuilt and a massive granite tower erected over the intervening aisles, a new peal of 36 bells, cast in the Netherlands, being installed to commemorate the Victorian jubilee of 1887. These were replaced in 1950 with a carillion of 48 bells, the largest in the United Kingdom.
The Diocese of Aberdeen was first founded at Mortlach in Banffshire by Malcolm II in 1004 to celebrate his victory there over the Danes, but in 1137 David I transferred the bishopric to Old Aberdeen, and twenty years later St Machar's Cathedral, situated a few hundred yards from the Don, was begun. Save during the episcopate of William Elphinstone (1484-1511), the building progressed slowly. Gavin Dunbar, who followed him in 1518, completed the structure by adding the two western spires and the southern transept.
The church suffered severely at the Reformation, but is still used as the Church of Scotland cathedral. It now consists of the nave and side aisles. It is chiefly built of outlayer granite, and, though the plainest cathedral in Scotland, its stately simplicity and severe symmetry lend it unique distinction.
On the flat panelled ceiling of the nave are the heraldic shields of the princes, noblemen and bishops who shared in its erection, and the great west window contains modern painted glass of excellent colour and design.
St. Mary's Cathedral is the Roman Catholic cathedral. A Gothic building, it was erected in 1859.
St. Andrew's Cathedral is the Scottish Episcopal cathedral. The Episcopal Church in Aberdeen is notable for having consecrated the first bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, Samuel Seabury.
The cathedral was rennovated in the 1930s to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Seabury's consecration. The memorial was dedicated with a ceremony attended by the then U.S. ambassador to the UK, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.
The cemeteries are St Peter's in Old Aberdeen, Trinity near the links, Nellfield at the junction of Great Western and Holburn Roads, Allenvale, adjoining Duthie Park and the most recent Facilities at Dyce. There is also a crematorium and cemetery near Hazlehead.
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Churches of Aberdeen
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