St Peter's Heritage Hall, formerly the church hall for St Peter's Parish Church, sits on part of the Glebe land  near the River Dee. This composite picture show the hall in Ballater, next to the present day Lark's Gallery. It was in use as an "Iron Kirkie" until about 1907 before being brought to Culter by rail.

The hall was built in 1907 by the Kirk Session and congregation of the church at a total cost of £226-13 -00.

 

In 1906, plans had already been drawn up for a new purpose-built hall on the site, but a ready-made solution became available in the shape of a "corrugated iron chapel" from Ballater.  The Kirk Session at Culter paid £100 to the Episcopal Church in Ballater  for the structure and the cost of removal and re-erection was £65.

 

Episcopalian worship began in the Ballater district in the 1860s at the chapel of the former Glenmuick House. The Episcopal Church found, due to the coming of the railway,  the need for a new place of worship.  In 1897, Bishop Douglas of Aberdeen and Orkney decided that Ballater should have its own place of worship. He provided a loan of £409 for a corrugated iron chapel. This stood a little way to the south of the present church. In 1906, the present granite building was designed by Dr Marshall MacKenzie and it was completed in 1907.

 

As the Hall was built on Glebe land, the Minister was compensated for the loss of part of the "Minister's Grass", by having his annual stipend raised by 15 shillings a year, for every year the hall remained there. The allocation of "Minister's Grass" allowed the minister enough land to graze two cows and a horse if he wished.

 

The hall has been used for a multitude of community functions over the years and by many youth groups in Peterculter. In the 1960's, extensive work was done by local volunteers and craftsmen to upgrade the interior flooring and cladding.  With the amalgamation of the churches, at the end of the 20th century, the building was seen as redundant by the Church of Scotland. Plans had been drawn up to demolish the hall and sell the site with outline planning permission for a house to be built in its place.

 

With the deadline for the sale becoming imminent three local benefactors stepped in and matched the £40,000 asked by the Church of Scotland's Board of Trustees, in an effort to save the hall for use by the community.  The hall has now been taken into ownership, for the community of Culter, by the St Peter's Heritage Trust and it will now be know as "The St Peter's Heritage Hall". St Peter's Heritage Trust is currently investigating the history of the chapel with the Ballater churches and the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments in Edinburgh. 

 

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