The Talkative Maid of Dalry

Beneath this silent tomb is laid A noisy antiquated maid, who from her cradle talked till death And ne'er before was out of breath. Raymond Lamont-Brown: Scottish Epitaphs. Chambers, Edinburgh, 1990

linen law

kistin The process of laying a corpse in a coffin is called kistin in Scotland. This was more than a necessary act in a funeral parlour, it was a religious ceremony and either the minister himself or one of his elders was performing the solemn task. The reason being, there was a law concerning the... Continue Reading →

marriage and death in Portpatrick

Portpatrick is a village in the Dumfries and Galloway council area, formerly Wigtownshire at the southwestern end of Scotland. It has an old burial ground (Old Portpatrick) and an older part to the new cemetery . As the name suggests, the local harbour has for a long time been trading with Ireland, there was a... Continue Reading →

abandoned kirkyard Stoneykirk

Kirkyards all over Scotland have been abandoned for various reasons, some after the Reformation, others because the Parish or village boundaries were changing or because the churches were too old or the kirkyards too full. Whatever the reason, an abandoned churchyard has a sad and slightly eerie quality, especially on a dreich day. Stoneykirk in... Continue Reading →

Where’s the grave?

'Tis here that Tibby Allan lies, 'Tis here, or here about, But no one till the Resurrection day, Shall the very spot dispute. Raymont Lamont-Brown: Scottish Epitaphs. Chambers, Edinburgh 1990

sin-eatings, dead days, and waulking the dead

The churchyard in Inch in the southwest of Scotland is in no way exraordinary. The parish church austere and grey, the graves ordered and well kept even though the village of Inch doesn't exist anymore. Old funeral customs in Dumfries and Galloway were elaborate and in parts rather strange. One custom, was known as the... Continue Reading →

death and healing waters

Penpont takes ist name from a wooden bridge over the River Nith where a penny had to be paid for building and upkeep.  Penpont also was the seat of the Presbytery. There are no more traces left of the medieval church that once stood within the graveyard. There were headstones dating back as far as... Continue Reading →

gravestone mistake

The place name already suggests graves, Glencairn, the valley of the stones, cairns having been used in the past as markers and for burials. There are various cairns in the area. The Earl of Glencairn was a fervent supporter of the Reformation. The old family seat was known as Maxwell House. In 1591 the King... Continue Reading →

Ye maggots, feed on Nicol's brain, For few sic feasts you've gotten; and fix your claws in Nical's heart, For deil a bit o' t's rotten.   Raymond Lamont- Brown: Scottish Epitaphs. Cahmbers, Edinburgh, 1990   William Nicol was a friend of Robert Burns. The poet named oone of his sons after the highly intelligent... Continue Reading →

sactuary stones

You need to know what you are looking for to be able to find the two stones in Dailly that prove to be various things, sanctuary, measure of strength, and indication of ownership. Old Dailly Church They lie within the ruin of the church of Old Dailly. Her long history of religious worship came to... Continue Reading →

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