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 →

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 →

the murder victim’s mausoleum

Gilbert Kennedy of Bargany and Ardstinchar, the last laird of the house Kennedy of Bargany, died on 11th December 1601. He was only 25 years old. The laird died no ordinary death - he was murdered. The murderer was his cousin. The murder was part of the long-running feud between the Kennedys of Bargany and... Continue Reading →

Adam and Eve Stone

An intricate Adam and Eve stone displays the figures of Adam and eve, angels playing the trumpet, an hour glass, a bible and a plough with oxen complete this interesting example dating back to 1758. The symbolism is complex, the first awareness of death came according to the Bible to mankind through Adam and Eve.... Continue Reading →

shoon and sheets – the Sutor of Selkirk

A cobbler's profession is generally not a particularly exciting or scary one. A shoemaker in the early 19th century had an upscale clientel and was a respected citizen. The cobbler of Selkirk (Sutor of Selkirk) brought it to a certain fame but not because of his shoes but his greed and his nosiness. He was... Continue Reading →

harsh words

epitaph for a suicide Here lies in earth a root of Hell, Set by the Diel's ain bible; This worthless body damn'd himself, To save the Lord the trouble. Raymont Lamont-Brown: Scottish Epitaphs. Chambers, Edinburgh, 1990

Scottish epitaphs: Gordon Fraser from Wigtown

O bury me at Wigtown, And o'er me raise a modest stane, Tae tell the folks when I am gane, The cauld mools wrap the banes o' ane Wha wrote and sang o' Wigtown. Scottish words: mools = earth, cauld = cold, banes = bones Raymont Lamont-Brown: Scottish Epitaphs. Chambers, Edinburgh, 1990

skull and crossbones

The skull and crossbones are probably the oldest mortality symbols found on Scottish graveyards. The old cemerety in Peebles has a large collection of old stones decorated with a skull or a skull and crossbones. Often an hour glass is combined to signify time running out, or a winged death's head also indicating that life... Continue Reading →

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