from the joy of creation to biodiversity    

Greyfriars Burial Ground, Perth

The joy of all things living and a graveyard seems an odd combination to say the least but on closer look this is exactly what Greyfriars burial ground in Perth is all about and has been through the centuries to this day.

 

The joy of all things living and a graveyard seems an odd combination to say the least but on closer look this is exactly what Greyfriars burial ground in Perth is all about and has been through the centuries to this day.The joy of all things living and a graveyard? An odd combination to say the least but on closer look this is exactly what Greyfriars burial ground in Perth is about and has been through the centuries to this day.

 

In 1460 a Franciscan monastery was founded on this spot. The monks of the Franciscan order wore grey habits, hence the name of the burial ground – Greyfriars.

The spirit of Francis of Assisi

They led an austere life but always kept the joy in God’s creation, wildlife, plants, and birds. The natural world played a major part in their belief which was predominantly Catholic. In 1460 a Franciscan monastery was founded on this spot. The monks of the Franciscan order wore grey habits, hence the name of the burial ground – Greyfriars. The friars led an austere life but always cherished their joy in God’s creation, wildlife, plants, and birds. The natural world played a major part in their belief which was predominantly Catholic.

sanctuary

Nearly 600 years later this spot is still very much about the natural world and the enjoyment of it, even though it is a graveyard. Today the enjoyment is less spiritual and more environmental but equally important. Biodiversity is the key word. The former monastery has become a sanctuary for birds, bats, and wildflowers, in the true spirit of Francis of Assisi. A safe haven for nature right in the middle of Perth City Centre.

Nearly 600 years later this spot is still very much about the natural world and the enjoyment of it, even though it is a graveyard. The friary was dissolved in 1559 and a few years later converted into a burial ground since the existing graveyard in Perth had no more space, a phenomenon not only happening in Perth but also in Dundee and Edinburgh.

The earliest stone dates back to 1580, nearly 400 years of graveyard history.In modern times of course the space was not enough for all the burials in a city the size of Perth. But even after the vast Wellshill cemetery was put in use, burials still happened at Greyfriars until 1978. The earliest stone dates back to 1580, nearly 400 years of graveyard history.

trades

The trades play a prominent part on the older gravestones, the intricate carvings on the local sandstone are now protected under a roof at the far end of the burial ground.

Cirsten Biset, spouse to sailor Robert Brownhouse, died in 1747, her headstone displays a beautiful ship with a saltire.Cirsten Biset, spouse to sailor Robert Brownhouse, died in 1747, her headstone sports a beautiful ship with a saltire.

 

Gloves are displayed on the stone of Andrew Kippen who died in 1761; the buckle and shears are also tools of the trade as a glover.Gloves are displayed on the stone of Andrew Kippen who died in 1761; buckle and shears are also tools of the trade as a glover.

The merchant and candle maker John young dies in 1745, the 4-M is a merchant sign, and a bunch of candles states his trade.

 

The merchant and candle maker John young died in 1745, the 4-M is a merchant sign, and a bunch of candles states his trade where headstones of this period often display the winged soul.

symbols

Symbols of the trades a numerous, so are Christian symbols like the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve – very suitable for Daniel Cameron who was a gardener in the late 18th century Symbols of the trades are numerous, so are Christian symbols like the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve.

Very suitable for Daniel Cameron who was a gardener in the late 18th century and very suitable for Greyfriars burial ground where nature and the joy in all things living plays as important a role today as it did centuries ago.

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: