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Burial ground of the distinguished Jaffray family of Kingswells House

If you view behind the 5-mile garage to the top of the hill you will see a cluster of mature trees emanating from a drystane dyke enclosure. Within the enclosure is the burial ground of the distinguished Jaffray family of Kingswells House and also some of their friends. As the family were Quakers they could not be buried in established parish graveyards.

The burial dates span from 1673 with the last being 1838. I do not know if they were all Quakers. Registry indicates there are 11 burials. I understand the site to be under the responsibility of the City Council.

Having visited the burial ground there are no gravestones or evidence of burial mounds. It is reputed that there was originally gravestones, but they have either been removed or possibly were flat and therefore over grown. There is a small sign in the enclosure dyke detailing the names of those buried there.

Because of their Quaker beliefs many of those buried in the graveyard suffered harsh persecution. This adds to the poignancy and sense of solitude that I feel when I have visited the graveyard.

With reference taken from the Rural Institute publication on the History of Kingswells and District the following abbreviated extracts illustrates the notables that lie in the graveyard and a sense of their oppression.

Alexander Jaffray 1614 -1673

- Provost of Aberdeen

- One of the commissioners that went to Holland to ask Charles II to sign the Covenant

- Severely wounded at the Battle of Dunbar &endash; fought against Cromwell Changed.

- Religious orientation changed around this time.

- Keeper of the Great Seal & Director of the Chancellory

- Persecuted and imprisoned on several occasions for being a Quaker

- His wife Sarah died the same year and is also buried in the graveyard

Andrew Jaffray 1650 &endash;1726 [son of Alexander]

- 1674 imprisoned in the Tolbooth, Aberdeen , for being a Quaker; preached from his prison window

- 1676 imprisoned again

- 1677 "sorely beaten" in Montrose and imprisoned in a dungeon for three days.

- 1677 back in the Aberdeen Tolbooth

- 1679 With the death of the Archbishop Sharpe [murdered] the persecutions came to an end.

If you do visit the graveyard then please observe the Countryside Code and also the privacy of those who reside nearby.

Regards, Keith Penny (Posted 17.3.2003)

Hi there.

Help !!!!!!!!!

I have left a notice on your bulletin board endeavouring to make contact with an old school friend, namely, Evelyn Morrice. Would I be correct in assuming that she no longer resides in the Westhills area or that she is unaware that I have been trying to find her for quite a few months using your very informative website.

I hope you can enlighten me one way or another,

From across the oceans, warm regards,

I wanted to add to my correspondence that my family owned and lived in "Romla" across the then road from the Four Mile House, from 1965 - 19th June 1972. Walter & Edith Christie and family.

Happy days and warm regards,

Hazel Chrisite Small /
(Posted 4.3.2003)

Hi Folks

I will like to thank you all for making our stay of 2 years at Kingsells comfortable and warm even though the temperature was below 8 degrees. My family and I used to live at NO 1 Midmar Crescent Kingswells.

My daughter is 4 years old and still think that she is in Trinidad for a vacation. She misses our neighbours everyday because they were the closest friends she had. I was browsing for castle pictures and was wondering if Kingswells will come up in my network search and was quite successsful.

We hope to be back in Kingswells in the future for a vacation, to meet our friends Allison, Alex ,Kimberly , Debra and Tigi. If anyone reads this email, please tell them we missed them very much.

from Vijai, Viddy, Vinay, Arun,Krishan and Vishala.

Thanks (Posted 5.2.2003)

Can anyone help!
My great x 3 grandfather was Alexander Rough of Gillahill (Gillowhill) Farm, 1800 - 1888 (he died at Newpark). Gillahill was being run in 1891 by his grandchildren - William and Mary Stuart. Does anyone know when Newpark and Gillahill passed out of the Rough's family hands? Are there still family in the area? Alexander Rough was on the Parochial Board (equiv of Council) for Newhills in 1848. William Rough, my great grandfather, was born at Gillahill in 1862 but married in Edinburgh in1891 - he died there in 1940.
Are copies of the WRI history still available? (Posted 23.11.2002)
Dear Claire,

Kingswells Consumption Dyke : Just a point I wanted to raise about the piece of Kingswells Consumption Dyke which is within the 'Concraig' area of the Stewart Milne development at Kingswells. I mean the very high portion of dyke, known as Rough's Cairn, which has just recently been repaired by a dyker working on behalf of Stewart Milne.

As you may know, all the Kingswells Consumption dykes are scheduled ancient monuments - ie monuments of national importance. It is therefore an offence to damage them, dump stones on them, or indeed remove stones without permission. We are at present completing some research work on this particular type of dyke, following which, interpretation boards will be put up to tell the public all about them. I'm liaising with Meg Sands, whom you may know, from the Community Council, so that we can also provide information for a similar board to go up at the section of dyke in Kingswood Drive - for that board the Community Council has raised come money, I believe.

Any way, to get to the point. I have heard that possibly some stones (only a few) may have been removed from the Rough's Cairn piece of dyke, at its lower end, near the play park. Stewart Milne have agreed to put up a temporary sign there to let people know of the important status of the dyke. Obviously things will become clearer once the proper information board is up, but that won't be until late summer. Meanwhile, I wondered how we could most effectively let people know, in the nicest possible way (apart from Stewrat Milne's sign), that this dyke is not a quarry for their rockeries! and that they would be breaking the law if they removed stones.

Judith Stones

Keeper of Archaeology (Posted 3.5.2002)

Francis Edmond of Kingswells Hello, I am interested in the above gentleman, he being a relative of mine. My great great great grandmother was Eliza Edmond, daughter of Alexander Edmond, Merchant in Aberdeen, and Margaret Shewan. Eliza was born about 1834. Her father, Alexander Edmond, was Francis Edmond's cousin.

I would be very grateful if you could suggest any avenues of research I should pursue in reference to the history of Kingswells in trying to find out more about Francis Edmond. I have been working for some time now on the history of the Edmond family as a whole and would appreciate any help you might be able to give me in regards to uncovering information on Francis Edmond. Is there a local history publication which you would recommend I should buy? Like I say I would really appreciate any help you could give me.

Thanks very much in advance for your help, Andrew Simpson

Family History : I am very interested in Family History and would like to know more about it. Is anyone else in Kingswells into this subject? We could meet at the Community Centre and perhaps set up a self help club. (Posted 19.11.2001) Carole Bosanquet . If so, email:
from Hazlehead & Mastrick to Brimmond Hill via Kingswells. linking up with the 'Four Hill Walk'. which is worth a visit. i.e. Brimmond, Elrick, Tyrebagger & Newhills.
"A History of Kingswells And District
" is a 66 page booklet written by the ladies of the Kingswells Rural Institute in 1966. It has been republished and is being sold to raise funds for Kingswells Rural Institute and 1st Kingswells Guides at £4 each. If you would like a copy, please phone Carole Bosanquet on 01224 742838
Have found your site while surfing, and am so impressed, and do so hope you may be able to help me locate a cemetary in the region. Our great grandfather died on the farm of Kingsford, Kingswells, Newhills, and his residence was Hatton Cottage, Kingswells Newhills. Information from death certificate.

James Lemmon (Lemon) died 28th November 1907 (farm servant, age 58years)

I would so greatly appreciate to know if there is a cemetary in the area, as we have no further knowledge. Have really enjoyed this site and will be back, its so interesting being able to see the place our ancestors came from,we may never get to visit, but the pictures and all the information is so good.

Regards, Glenis Lemon, Invercargill. NEW ZEALAND. If you can help email contact:

Do you know how Gillahill got its name? By dead of night the 'Resurrectionists' used to bury the dismemberedcorpses in the wooded enclosure in Gallow Hill field. These dismembered corpses were all that remained after the Resurrectionists had learnt their Anatomy at the College. (This information comes from 'A History of Kingswells and District', a wonderful little book originally published in 1966 by the Kingswells Rural Institute.)

Does anyone have any more local knowlege about the Resurrectionists?

Is that 'wooded enclosure' the group of trees surrounded by dyke and sheep that is still visible on Gillahill Farm?

Should it be saved, blessed, remains removed or ignored? Sonia (Posted 17.5.2001)

Photograph courtesy of Norman Adams, Aberdeen City Council Photographer (Summer 1999)

Saving the dry stone dyke

This 140-year-old dyke in Kingswells was deteriorating because of people climbing over it, and parts of it were in danger of being destroyed completely.

Historic Scotland, the government agency with overall responsibility for the care of scheduled sites, provided a grant for its conservation.

Additional monies for the £11,000 rescue scheme came from Aberdeen Countryside Project and Aberdeen City Council.

Now this 280m wall is scheduled as an ancient monument of national importance.


The work, was carried out by local dry stone dyker, Michael Kay, who took on two staff - Ken Armstrong and Andy Stephens - from elsewhere in Scotland to help. Aberdeen City Council, which owns the wall, over saw the project.

The dyke was originally built on agricultural land owned by 19th century city advocate Francis Edmonds and was created by workers clearing the land for crop planting or grazing.

It was scheduled as an ancient monument of national importance in 1933. Running parallel to Kingswood Drive, just a few yards from the road, it is one of three such dykes in the Kingswells area. The wall currently conserved, and one of the others, have paths built onto the tops of them, and are used by local people as walkways.

Aberdeen City Council archaeologists consulted with Kingswells Community Conservation Group over the dyke project, and members of the group visited the site to watch the work in progress and tried their hand at dyking. Discussions are also underway on the creation of interpretive signs, explaining the history of the wall and its significance as a historical monument. The Council hopes to have signs in place later in the year.


Population (1991):


Council Area:

Aberdeen City

Grid Reference:

NJ 867 071

A commuter village of Aberdeen City with agricultural engineering industries, situated to the north of the AYE, 5 miles (8 km) west of Aberdeen city centre. Nearby are fine examples of immense Consumption Dykes created in the 19th century during a period of agricultural improvement to 'consume' rocks and boulders littering fields. The small Gothic Free Church was also constructed in 1857 using boulders gathered from local fields.
Kingswells Church The Congregation of Kingswells &endash; originally United Free &endash; was formed in 1857. It was the local people's reaction to the disruption of 1843. The members wished to be able to appoint their own Minister by ballot, and not have to depend upon the choice of a patron.

The Church building was erected in 1858, on a site provided by Dr. Francis Edmond of Kingswells. It was the first example in the Northeast of polygonal ragwork, which is the fitting together of irregular stones, with raised mortaring to give a pleasing pattern.

Members and friends of the Congregation gathered the stones, with which the Church is built, from the surrounding fields. The rafters and wood-lined ceiling &endash; gifted by Dr. Edmond &endash; are almost unique and lend an atmosphere of warmth to the building.

The stained glass windows, by Douglas Hamilton, depicting "The Crucifixion" and "The Resurrection" were installed in 1958 to commemorate the Church's centenary.

Original Manse The original manse, now a private residence, is situated at the north end of Fairley Road. It was built in 1859 and was occupied by successive Ministers until 1979, when it was sold and the new Manse erected in the Lang Strach at East Husterstone Farm.

War Memorial Outside the Church and facing the Skene Road, stands the War Memorial &endash; a broken column denoting broken lives. The Memorial was first erected on a site at the switchback at the end of the First World War. It was removed to the Church grounds in 1938. It bears the names of the men of Kingswells, who lost their lives in the two World Wars. Included in the list is Captain James Brooke of Fairley, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for conspicuous bravery in action. His two brothers and his brother-in-law, who also lost their lives during the Great War, are likewise named on the Memorial.

Text taken from Kingswells Church's Annual Magazine &endash; permission granted by Rev Harvey Grainger

LOCAL historian(s) wanted. Do you have a genuine interest in the local history of Kingswells? If so, you are invited to submit information about Kingswells historic past for possible inclusion in the web-site. Please send your historical information in an email to:

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