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 →

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 →

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 →

epitaph to a witch

Here lyes with Dethe auld Grizzel Grimme Lincluden's ugly witche; O Dethe, an' what a taste hast thou Cann lye with sich a bitche! Raymond Lamont-Brown: Scottish Epitaphs. Champbers, Edinburgh, 1990  

the Burns connection

The Church of Crosbie has a very special connection with the poet Robert Burns. Its roof collapsed on the stormy January night of 1759, in which the poet was born. Crosbie is just under 40 miles away from Alloway. The ruin was never rebuilt and has now been made inaccessible. Unfortunately, the entire cemetery is... 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

preserving paradise

Lyne Kirkyard The graveyards of the Borders are well documented and in Lyne special effort for conservation have been made. The old gravestone with the beautiful Adam and Eve carving was cleaned and treated against moss and lichen and put under perspex for protection. Paradise protected but lost. Perspex and treatment help preserving the stone... Continue Reading →

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

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑