Photo Tour of Greyfriars Graveyard-Scotland

During one of my tours of Blogland, I came across a very cool post over at Book Rat.  Misty {aka Book Rat} was inspired by Jo from Fluidity of Time to do a post dedicated to cemetery photography!  
Seriously, how deliciously creepy is that?!

Of course, I thought it was a GREAT idea...'specially since I also have a "thing" for graveyards.  I immediately contacted Misty and asked her if it was alright that we did our own post.  {Don't wanna be stealin' no ideas now!} and she totally supported it!

So guys & gals, join us for a Photo Tour of one of the most gothic & beautiful graveyards I've ever visited.

{Cemetary established 1562}
Edinburgh, Scotland
**Click on an image to enlarge**

Welcome to Greyfriars located right in the heart of Edinburgh, Scotland.
Greyfriars is the final resting place of John Gray, a night watchman for the Edinburgh City Police who passed away in 1858 of tuberculosis.  His beloved terrier, Bobby, survived him by 14 years.  It is said that he spent those 14 sitting on his master's grave.  It's believed that he would occasionally leave to get food from a nearby restaurant or spend the colder winter nights at nearby homes. 

Bobby died in 1872 and could not be buried within the cemetery itself, since it was regarded as consecrated ground. He was buried instead just inside the gate of Greyfriars Kirkyard, not far from John Gray's grave.

Today, a small statue of Greyfriars Bobby, by William Brodie, stands in front of the Greyfriars Bobby's Bar, which is located near Greyfriars Kirkyard.

Note:  We had lunch at Greyfriars Bobby's Bar and it was delicious!
You can read more of this incredibly story just click [HERE].

Here you can see the wall lined with mausoleums.  We visited in October so the ground was littered with red, orange and gold Fall leaves.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love Autumn?!


My husband photographed *me* walking amongst the tombstones. You can see that the surfaces of many had eroded over time.  The "youngest" tombstone dated back to the 19th-century so the graveyard now serves as a tourist attraction!

You can also see the the tombstones are not small or dainty by any means! 

One of my favorite qualities of old cemeteries is their asymmetry. I love the variety in style and size of the headstones and how they're all randomly scattered across the grounds.

 This feels a bit more stylized and more personal as opposed to the cookie-cutter cemeteries nowadays.

Note: You can see Edinburgh Castle in the background!

This was one of the most incredible tombstones on the grounds.  It was absolutely huge!!  Imagine how much that bad boy had to have cost back them {I imagine in today's currency it would be upwards of several hundred-thousand!}

The carvings above the plaque were really interesting, although I couldn't venture to guess what they mean.  There's a robed skeleton in the center, what looks like a cherub to the left and an aged angel to the right.
This tombstone is dedicated to Elizabeth Paton and Joanne Cuningham {whoever they were} circa 1676.  I also believe that they marked the the graveyards of entire families.

Probably one of my FAVORITE pictures of our tour!

I fee like this picture really captured the gothic beauty of Greyfriar's.

Please tell this me that seeing THIS grave a night would not scare the living day-lights out of you!! I got goosebumps just walking past it!  

It. Was. AWESOME!!!

A little history on Greyfriars:  The Kirkyard was involved in the history of the Covenanters. The Covenanting movement began with signing of the National Covenant in Greyfriars Kirk on 28 February 1638. Following the defeat of the militant Covenanters at Bothwell Brig in 1679, some 1200 Covenanters were imprisoned in a field to the south of the churchyard. When, in the 18th century, part of this field was amalgamated into the churchyard as vaulted tombs the area became known as the "Covenanters' Prison".

Greyfriars is also believed to be one of the most haunted sites in all of Edinburgh. One such haunt is attributed to the restless spirit of the infamous 'Bloody' George Mackenzie buried there in 1691.  The inhumanity and relentlessness of his persecution of the Covenanters gained Mackenzie the nickname of "Bloody Mackenzie", and despite being responsible for the deaths of approximately 18,000 covenantors, his legacy continues to influence historians through his popularity and significance in Scottish history.

{Photo to the right is of George Mackenzie's tomb.}

It's believed that the 'Mackenzie Poltergeist' is responsible for bruising, bites and cuts on those who come into contact with it and many visitors have reported feeling strange sensations.

{Disclaimer: All photos above were taken by me personally and NOT from the internet.}

See!!  Who says history isn't have to be interesting?!

Ghost tours are conducted at night, but we couldn't go since we had dinner plans...although I would have to really work up the nerve to even go!

Nonetheless, I am so glad that we took the time to visit this place.  Sadly, sites like this are a bit rare in the U.S. and as a lover of HISTORY and all things GOTHIC, I was really in my element!

Hope you all enjoyed the tour!


  1. This is a great post. Cemeteries are beautiful, if a bit eerie.

  2. Awesome place!


  3. Wow, really awesome post! I would love to go there!

  4. Stopping by from FF. Really interesting post. Looking forward to reading your stuff. New follower!

  5. Pretty cool places. I love the details they put in graveyards lol!

    Hop on by! :D

  6. Very neat! I love scotland and I have been to the Edinburgh castle!!! I love it there!!

  7. Over here from the Blog Hopper! I did it last week and fell in love with it! Love the post. Cementeries are I remember once, I started to read a book and I just didn’t like it. A couple of years later, I picked it up again (yes, I forgot I’d read part of it). This time my tastes had changed and I absolutely Loved the book from the start to finish. So you never know. If you can’t get into it, put it aside for another time. I do.

    Ummm, Follow Friday recommended read: Trouble in a Stetson by Regina Carlysle.

    Followed you!

  8. So cool! Makes me want to find my Mexican graveyard pictures :)

  9. Ahhh! I would love to go there! To bad I'm a billion miles away. :(

  10. Hello, nice blog. I'm a new blog follower via Parajunkie's Follow My Book Blog Friday. :) Take care. -Laura

  11. loved this post thanks so much for sharing, i think i will add this to the Scotland itinerary

  12. I love old cemeteries... what a great, timely post!

    Also, thanks for visiting my site!

  13. great pics. i would love to visit there.

  14. Hi! Just hopping by! Old follower here. :) I love your halloween layout! will check out your halloween treats! :)

    Have a nice weekend!

    Musings of a Reader Happy

  15. SO ENVIOUS!! This is such a great post, and your pictures are AMAZING!!!! I actually was in Edinburgh in 2000, for my honeymoon (in November), but at the time, we weren't taking cemetery photos, and didn't visit any in Edinburgh. and yes, I'm kicking myself now.

    Perhaps I'll show this post to the husband and hint about a Scotland trip in the future? :)~

    This is great --- thanks for posting!


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