Memorial Inscriptions for Strichen and Auchterless

The Kirkyard of Strichen strichen cover image 01 1


The latest addition to the Society’s series of Memorial Inscriptions is “The Kirkyard of Strichen”  An incomplete version (lacking a plan) had long languished among the “Unpublished MIs”, but ANESFHS member Jim Campbell has now produced a fully revised reading, which is accompanied by all-new kirkyard plans.  

The Kirkyard comprises three sections: the original “Old Ground”, a small extension dating from around 1870, and the larger “New Ground” opened in 1906.  These contain a total of 733 stones (as against 549 in the “Unpublished” version) with details of over 2,700 individuals, dating from 1691 to 2019.

The transcription plus index runs to 114 pages, and the plans cover both sides of an A3 sheet.  As this is well beyond the capacity of one of our usual stapled booklets, “The Kirkyard of Strichen” (catalogue number AA068) is offered as a “perfect-bound” A5 volume with the folded plan in a pocket in the rear cover, at a cost of £9.00.  Copies can be obtained at our King Street Research Centre or by contacting our Publications Department (details below)







The Kirkyard of Auchterless


auchterlessAuchterless lies 8 miles South West of Turriff & 30 miles from Aberdeen.  The parish is best known for it being the birthplace of Lewis Grassic Gibbon in 1901. He spent part of his childhood there, before his family headed for the Mearns, south of Stonehaven. 

Little information exists about the church before 1157. St. Donan is the patron saint and local folklore says he threw his staff into the Ythan, which runs close by, and where it came to rest is where they built the original church. The pre reformation church ruins are still to be seen in the graveyard, and the gable wall of a church built around 1780 is still standing. This church was significantly changed in 1832 to seat over 650 parishioners. Today's magnificent church with its tall spire can be seen from miles around. Local people paid for the Mears and Steinbeck bell, which weighs just over 22 cwt. The Wadsworth organ was installed in 1904 at a cost of £300.

It is remarkable that between 1811 & 1946 there were only three ministers in the parish, George Dingwall, Alexander Gray & Alexander Duncan.

Our thanks go to the members of ANESFHS and volunteers who turned up for the outing at Auchterless Kirkyard. The weather was perfect for such a large undertaking and we did it!

Some of you may be wondering why it took so long to come to print, but with such a large and complicated shaped churchyard, which is split into 3 sections (and with further memorials inside the church), this has been a challenge and sometimes a monumental job given that it was the first outing we had ever organised.

We also wish to thank Gavin Bell and John Florence for their invaluable help with the graveyard plan and also the Reverend Potts for giving us permission to use the church facilities whenever necessary.

We have had the very daunting but enjoyable task of putting the whole Monumental Inscription (MI) book together but this book has long been asked for by members of the North-East and abroad so here it is and we hope you enjoy it. 

As we believe in typing what is written on the headstones you will find many strange spellings of surnames and places. You will see that even on the same stone there will be different spellings so please do not think we have made mistakes. 

Heather Mitchell (member no. 10642)
Doreen Florence (member no. 13880)



Note from Gavin Bell (MI Coordinator):  A number of inscriptions which were formerly noted (by Andrew Jervise in the 19th century, and in the “draft” MIs of Auchterless, as recorded by ANESFHS members some years ago) cannot now be found.  These are included as an Appendix, together with inscriptions from some buried stones,

How to Order:
To place your order, please visit:  How to Order Publications
Kirkyard of Strichen, Item Code: AA068        Price: £9.00 (plus postage and packing)
Kirkyard of Auchterless, Item Code: AA085   Price: £9.00 (plus postage and packing)
In addition to the above titles, check out our online Publications List which has a wide range of family and local history titles particularly relating to Aberdeen and the North-East.