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Allenvale Cemetery from Kincorth
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Allenvale Cemetery from Kincorth

Historic Photographs
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Allenvale Cemetery from Kincorth
Historic Photographs
Allenvale Cemetery from Kincorth
An early photograph of Allenvale Cemetery, taking shape in the middle distance, as seen from Kincorth, with Abbotswell Farm in the foreground.

A limited company called the Aberdeen Cemetery Company was established for the purpose of creating this new graveyard. A prospectus inviting public investment was published in the Aberdeen Journal of 29th January 1873. It reads as follows:

"It is well known that in Aberdeen cemetery accommodation is limited and insufficient, and it is generally admitted that its extension is necessary, and cannot much longer be delayed. It is therefore desirable to acquire additional space for that purpose, and to treat it in accordance with modern ideas and practice.

"This company has been formed for the purpose of providing an extensive Cemetery, in the neighbourhood of Aberdeen, suitable in all respects for the purposes of internment, and of easy access - but sufficiently removed from town to preserve its suburban character."

The new cemetery opened in late 1874 and, as we know, was a big hit. It was officially known as the Aberdeen Cemetery but quickly became known as Allenvale Cemetery, after the property on which it was built.

Allenvale saw major extensions in 1912 and 1932. A London syndicate purchased control of the graveyard from the Aberdeen Cemetery Company in 1958. Aberdeen Town Council subsequently took control of the cemetery in 1965 following the then owners going into liquidation and worries about Allenvale's future. Allenvale remains a fine example of a planned Victorian cemetery to this day.

Notable residents of Allenvale include John James Rickard MacLeod (1876-1935), co-discoverer of insulin, James Scott Skinner (1843-1927), fiddler and composer, and Mary Esslemont (1891-1984), the influential doctor. Though, of course, many interned at Allenvale would have their own interesting stories to tell.

In this photograph, Duthie Park, later created on the right, has yet to be landscaped. St. Machar Poorhouse, Fonthill House and Devanha House can all be seen in the distance.
Aberdeen Local Studies
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