21/12/2015
Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Five of Scotland’s finest historic kirkyards

483ab099-60ba-4d27-ab12-70034b223999

Immerse yourself in the peace and beauty of a historic kirkyard with our guide to five of the country’s finest kirkyards and burial grounds.

1. Dundee Howff

Established in 1564 following a grant of land by Mary Queen of Scots, the Dundee Howff burial ground was in use as a burial place until 1857, and until 1776, was also a meeting place for the Dundee Incorporated Trades.

The site is designated as a grade A listed building and its monuments include those to former provosts of Dundee, David Blair, the ‘stamp master’ of Dundee, James Chalmers, inventor of the postage stamp, and George Duncan, MP. There are around 1,300 gravestones within the burial ground.

Dundee Howff, Meadowside, Dundee DD1 1LN

2. Glasgow Necropolis

Glasgow Necropolis is one of the UK’s finest Victorian cemeteries and is the final resting place of more than 50,000 people. The burial ground is noted not only for the well-known individuals buried here but also for the quality of its monuments, designed by architects including Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson.

Glasgow Necropolis, Castle Street, Glasgow G4 0UZ

3. Greyfriars Kirkyard

Arguably Scotland’s most famous kirkyard, Greyfriars kirkyard has been part of Edinburgh’s history since 1562, when Mary Queen of Scots granted the land for use as a burial ground. The kirkyard contains memorials covering centuries of history and is the final resting place of famous Scots including architect William Adam, Edinburgh New Town designer James Craig, geologist James Hutton, poet Allan Ramsay and William Smellie, creator of the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Greyfriars is also known for its association with the Skye Terrier Greyfriars Bobby who is buried in an unconsecrated section of the kirkyard and whose statue can be found outside the kirkyard gate.

Greyfriars Kirkyard, Greyfriars Place, Edinburgh EH1 2QQ

MORE: Six dogs to rival Greyfriars Bobby

4. Reilig Odhrain

The island of Iona, site of an ancient monastic community, is home to Reilig Odhrain (St Oran’s Cemetery), famed as the burial place of early saints and monarchs. Many of the oldest grave slabs, which date to the early Christian era, can be found in the nearby Abbey Museum, and the burial ground also contains interesting monuments to islanders from the 18th century onwards.

Reilig Odhrain, Isle of Iona, Argyll & Bute PA76

5. Stirling Holy Rude

Holy Rude kirkyard is the burial ground of Holy Rude kirk, a fifteenth century parish church which is still a place of worship. The kirk has strong connections with royalty and hosted the coronation of King James VI.

The oldest stones in the burial ground date to the fifteenth century, and notable monuments include an eighteenth-century carved depiction of body snatching and a seventeenth-century ‘service stone’ with speech balloon emblems from the book ‘Emblems’, written by John Service, whose father is buried beneath the service stone.

Stirling Holy Rude, St John Street, Stirling FK8 1ED

QUICK LINK: Top five tiny churches



Images: Dundee Howff © Yottanesia; Glasgow Necropolis © Chris Gunns; Greyfriars Kirkyard © Kim Traynor; Reilig Odhrain ©James Denham; Stirling Holy Rude © Post DLF.

 

Mary Queen of Scots magazine

Back to "Features" Category

21/12/2015 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

The QE2 passenger liner was launched - On this day in history

The QE2 passenger liner was launched on 20 September 1967. ...


Clan Carruthers has a chief confirmed by the Lord Lyon after 210 years

Clan Carruthers Society-International (CCSI) has announced that after a gap of 201 years, Clan Carruthers has ...


Painter William Dyce was born - On this day in history

Scottish painter William Dyce was born on 19 September 1806.


Historian Gilbert Burnet was born - On this day in history

Scottish historian Gilbert Burnet was born on 18 September 1643.


Other Articles

Precious David Linvingstone tableaux painstakingly restored as part of a £6.1M heritage project

A group of precious polychromatic plaster tableaux depicting David Livingstone's historic journey to Africa ...


David Dunbar Buick was born - On this day in history

Scottish inventor David Dunbar Buick was born on 17 September 1854.


On this day in Scottish history - King James VII of Scotland died

King James VII of Scotland died on 16 September 1701. ...


The Hector emigrant ship left Loch Broom bound for Canada

The Hector emigrant ship left Loch Broom bound for Canada on 15 September 1773.