A considerable amount has been written over recent times about how St Machar brought Christianity to Aberdeen. However, it is quite probable that Machar is a myth - a figment of a medieval imagination! (See our pages on St Machar for more information.) No remains (either secular or ecclesiastical) have been found in the area of the Cathedral in Aberdeen which would give us a date from Early Christian times.

However, if we travel out of Aberdeen a little we come across a considerable collection of remains - stone circles, cross-slabs and Pictish symbol-stones. These are all in the vicinity of Dyce. A visit to the recently conserved church or chapel of St Fergus set within a bend of the river (much like the traditional foundation story for the cathedral!) will reveal a fabulous Pictish symbol-stone, a superb cross-slab and a number of very early medieval grave-markers, these all associated with the venerable St Fergus. This has obviously been the site of a Christian community from the very earliest of times - St Fergus is said to have worked amongst the Picts in the 8th century.

The fabulous Pictish symbol-stone.

Cross-Slab from Dyce.

With this wealth of information and richness of remains perhaps it is time to take a critical look at the foundation story of the cathedral? It is very unlikely that proof will be found either way but perhaps we should at least allow the possibility that the community at Dyce pre-dates anything in Old Aberdeen.


"Early Medieval" grave markers from Dyce.



Return to top of page


e-mail: admin@cushnieent.force9.co.uk

2005  Cushnie Enterprises