Kirkyard Trail

the trail

Clackmannanshire has many old and truly beautiful graveyards – one reason for the Ochil Landscape Partnership (OLP) to repair, preserve, interpret, and present a group of historic cemeteries within walking distance, grouped together as the Kirkyard Trail.

Graveyard of Scotland Nellie Merthe Erkenbach Kirkyard Trail Muckhart

Muckhart

Graveyard of Scotland Nellie Merthe Erkenbach Kirkyard Trail MuckhartThere are seven graveyards amongst the Hillfoots that oficially belong to the trail, one is private, six are kirkyards, Muckhart being one of them. This is the graveyard of two settlements, the hamlet Yetts o’ Muckhart and Pool of Muckart where the Parish Church stands. The Georgian building incorporates various stones of earlier buildings. The first church in Muckhart dates back as far as the 13th century.

Graveyard of Scotland Nellie Merthe Erkenbach Kirkyard Trail Muckhart

female explorer

Graveyard of Scotland Nellie Merthe Erkenbach Kirkyard Trail MuckhartBuried here is the body of a very remarkable woman – Isabella Christie of Cowden, called Ella. She was born in 1861 and died in 1949, she was buried with here family here in Muckhart.

She certainly was her own woman, never married, and travelled widely to the most unusual places of the world: Uzbekistan, Russia, America, India, Tibet, Borneo and the Far East. Her family was wealthy, she could afford it and seems to have been a very independent spirit. She met the Dalai Lama, banqueted with the Maharaja and created an impressive Japanese garden a short distance away from the graveyard, inspired by what she had seen during her extensive travelling and her trip to Japan in 1907.

Graveyard of Scotland Nellie Merthe Erkenbach Kirkyard Trail Muckhart

Japanese gardener

Ella Christie’s first and main gardener was Shinzaburo Matsuo. He had come to Cowden after having lost his family in an earthquake and died in far from home in 1937. He contributed greatly to the truthfulness and authenticity of the Japanese garden.

Muckhart is an ideal start to the Kirkyard Trail. Don’t miss Upper and Lower Tillicoultry, Dollar, Muckhart, Logie and Alva, as well as at the private burial ground of Harviestoun Castle, Tait’s Tomb.

Graveyard of Scotland Nellie Merthe Erkenbach Kirkyard Trail Muckhart

sources and further reading

Historic Environment.scot

Cowden garden

Kirkyard Trail

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5 thoughts on “Kirkyard Trail

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  1. Have you been to old burial ground in Tillicourtry? I only know it as Old Parish Church graveyard. It’s literally in the middle of a housing estate. If not it’s well worth a look. I will add these graveyards to my list of one’s to visit…😀

      1. It has some of the oldest graves in the Hillfoots. There is also Tait’s Tomb on the road out of Tillicoultrt heading to Dollar. You can’t actually get into it but can get to the gate.

      2. I had read about Tait’s tomb. Unfortunately so far I have never been sucessful in being granted admission to private burial grounds yet. There are a few interesting ones in Scotland. But I will keep trying 🙂

      3. I only got to the gate and looked through. Don’t think anyone can get in. But it’s still worth a visit 😁

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