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Nigg, St Fittick's Church

Burial Ground (Post Medieval), Church (Medieval), Graffiti (20th Century), Holy Well (Medieval), Tag(S) (20th Century)

Site Name Nigg, St Fittick's Church

Classification Burial Ground (Post Medieval), Church (Medieval), Graffiti (20th Century), Holy Well (Medieval), Tag(S) (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Nigg, Old Parish Church; Balnagask, St Fittick's Church

Canmore ID 20234

Site Number NJ90SE 1

NGR NJ 96270 04958

NGR Description NJ 96270 04958 and NJ 96517 04569

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2022.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Aberdeen, City Of
  • Parish Aberdeen
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District City Of Aberdeen
  • Former County Aberdeenshire

Archaeology Notes

NJ90SE 1 96270 04958 and 96517 04569

For successor parish church at Nigg Kirk Road (NJ 9464 0314), see NJ90SW 57.

For associated manse, see NJ90SE 88.

(NJ 9627 0495) St Fittick's Church (NR) (remains of)

(NJ 9650 0458) St Fittick's Well (NR) (site of)

OS 1:10,000 map, (1974).

The remains of the former parish church, founded between 1189 and 1199 and dedicated to St Fittick, which is said to be a corrupted form of St Fiacre (7th century). It was reconstructed and enlarged in the 18th century but parts of the walls are 13th century. The church was abandoned in 1829 but the fabric has been considerably restored.

The font is preserved in the Anthropological Museum, Aberdeen University. (information Dr W D Simpson, Librarian, Aberdeen University).

St Fittick's Well has been destroyed by coastal erosion but was held in great repute before the Reformation as a healing well. Votive offerings were left on its brink.

Anon 1901; G M Fraser 1913; R W Reid 1912; R Anderson 1910; A Ledingham 1902.

Visited by OS (JLD) 31 July 1952.


Archaeological Evaluation (September 2004)

An excavation took place in September 2004 following a geophysical survey of the area. Three trenches were opened in an attempt to find the manse, agricultural buildings and the garden, associated with the chuch. An early substantial building wall was found, which pre-dated the manse. The foundations of the manse were found, and survive to a depth of 0.7m and are around 1m wide. The full height of the foundations have not survived, the top section being removed when the manse was demolished in 1964. It would appear the manse replaced an earlier manse (or manses) on this or a nearby site. The manse was internally 11.80m. Local knowledge indicated that the manse has three floors on the S side and two on the N. A driveway and garden were also discovered. The garden wall, separating the garden and agricultural land was also uncovered. A large, long farm building, the remains of which were still partly upstanding, was also excavated and found to have cobble floors.

The current building remains of the church are covered in harling making it hard to determine its date. it may be as late as the 17th century. The belfry, now covered in ivy, contains an inscription which reads 'M M MINISTER 1704'. The church was used by the Presbyterians until it was replaced by the new parish church built in 1829.

A Cameron, 2004

Desk Based Assessment (11 May 2018)

A review of photographs taken during the RCAHMS Strathdon survey (1996-2003) has revealed that one of them (SC1449634) shows that at least two of the gravestones at St Fittick's Church had been targeted by graffiti artists.

Information from HES Survey and Recording (JRS) 11 May 2018.

Watching Brief (29 April 2019 - 30 April 2019)

A watching brief was conducted in April 2019 for a footpath close to St. Fitticks Church and Manse (NRHE NJ90SE 1 and 88). Work revealed no archaeological features or deposits of interest except a small section of wall related to former steading.

Full Report submitted to Aberdeenshire SMR and NRHE.

Information from Stuart Farrell.


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