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St. Mary's Chapel, St. Nicholas Church
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St. Mary's Chapel, St. Nicholas Church

Historic Photographs
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St. Mary's Chapel, St. Nicholas Church
Historic Photographs
St. Mary's Chapel, St. Nicholas Church
A photograph of St. Mary's Chapel at St. Nicholas Church in around 1898.

Historic Environment Scotland's listed building information suggests this lower church was built in 1438. It was part of the 15th century expansion of St. Nicholas and located to the east of the then existing building. The main church was subsequently expanded eastwards over it.

Work was completed on the crypt in around 1507 and it was dedicated to the Virgin as Our Lady of Pity, from which derives the various names it has been known over the years; Pity Vault, the Cell of Our Lady of Pity, and St. Mary's Chapel.

The space has served many purposes since its creation and seen a number of renovations. It has been a general storehouse for sundry municipal items, including the gibbet, a plumber's shop, a public soup kitchen, a meeting place of the presbytery of Aberdeen, and a regular church.

More can be read about the chapel in Old Landmarks of Aberdeen (1885) by G. Gordon Burr and Alex. M. Munro, The Story of St. Mary's Chapel: The Ancient "Lower Church" or Crypt of St. Nicholas (1935) by The Rev. J. G. Grant Fleming and in the history section of the St. Nicholas Church website.
Aberdeen Local Studies
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