THE KIRK OF ST.NICHOLAS UNITING
THE MITHER KIRK PROJECT Find out all the latest developments to the Mither Kirk Project
A UNIQUE SYMBOL Introducing a unique symbol to mark a new era in the history of The Kirk of St Nicholas Uniting
VISIT REQUESTMAKE A DONATION
 
Current research has revealed that the Church is arguably one of Aberdeen ’s most important archaeological sites.

Archaeology

Introduction

The Kirk of St Nicholas is arguably the most important and undervalued building in the royal burgh of Aberdeen. The present structure is mainly of 18th and 19th century date, but incorporates portions of the 12th century church and stands on the site of the 15th century building, which was one of the largest and most prestigious burgh churches in Scotland. The archaeological significance of the Kirk and its precinct has several facets:


1: Surviving remains of upstanding structures in the transepts dating from the 12th century are of major significance to the study of Scottish mediaeval parish and burgh churches.

2: Fragments of architectural and decorative stonework from earlier church buildings are located at various places within the present structure and are worthy of further study and interpretation.


3: Excavations within Collinson’s Aisle (North transept) in 1974 and evaluation work more recently in 2004 and 2005 have amply demonstrated that archaeological deposits dating to the period of 12th and 15th century structures remain below the present building. It is possible that evidence may also exist below ground of an even earlier church building. It is vital that all these features are protected and, should the opportunity arise, be explored further. Very little is known from archaeological evidence about the form and construction of pre-15th century Scottish burgh churches.


4: The Kirk and Kirkyard have been used for burial for at least 900 years. Several fine monuments of the 17th century and later date survive within the Kirk and Kirkyard, while others have been discovered during recent archaeological work inside the Kirk. Many of the external memorials are in a poor state of repair and there is a need for a programme of detailed recording and conservation work.

Archaeological Dig

The full archaeological exploration began at the end of January 2006 in the East Kirk. The work finished just before Christmas 2006. Whilst the actual dig is complete, a great deal of work still continues as all the 'finds' are subject to scientific analysis and further study. This process could take up to ten years to complete. A small interim booklet has been produced which outlines something of the history of the building and gives more details about the dig and current ideas about some of the findings. It has many colour pictures showing the work in progress and items of interest as they were found. Copies, costing £2.50, are available from the Kirk during normal visitor opening times from May to September. In addition, a weekly report was produced throughout the dig. For a while after the dig a monthly update was also produced. Links to each of these reports are given below. Please note that since the reports were archived on the Aberdeen City Council website, a number of links are currrently unavailable.


Week 1 Report click here
Week 2 Report click here
Week 3 Report click here
Week 4 Report click here
Week 5 Report click here
Week 6 report click here
Week 7 report click here
Week 8 report click here
Week 9 report click here
Week 10 report click here
Week 11 - no report due to holiday
Week 12 report click here
Week 13 report click here
Week 14 report click here
Week 15 report click here
Week 16 report click here
Week 17 report click here
Week 18 report click here
Week 19 report click here
Week 20 report click here
Week 21 report click here
Week 22 report click here
Week 23 report click here
Week 24 report click here
Week 25 report click here
Week 26 report click here
Week 27 report click here
Week 28 report click here
Week 29 report click here
Week 30 report click here
Week 31 report click here
Week 32 report click here
Week 33 report click here
Week 34 report click here
Week 35 report click here
Week 36 report click here
Week 37 report click here
Week 38 report click here
Week 39 report click here
Week 40 report click here
Week 41 report click here
Week 42 report click here
Week 43 report click here
Week 44 report click here
Week 45 report click here
Week 46 report click here
January 2007 report click here
February 2007 report click here
March 2007 report here
April 2007 report here
May 2007 report here
June 2007 report here
July 2007 report here
September 2007 report here
October 2007 report here
November 2007 report here
December 2007 report here
January 2008 report here
March 2008 report here
May 2008 report here
June 2008 report here
November 2008 report here

 

Did you know that the pelican features in 8 places around the churchDid you know that fashion changes in armour enable experts to date dedievel effigies to within 10 - 15 years


© 2005 Kirk of St Nicholas Uniting
Site map | Contact Us | Links | Partners