Each of the trails features a timeline and map which reveals some of the buried stories about Old and New Calton Burying Grounds, Greyfriars Canongate, and St Cuthbert’s Kirkyards.
The five graveyards are of international importance, charting the city’s development from the medieval burgh to the eighteenth and nineteenth century neo-classical city. As a group they also document some of the major changes in Scottish history, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the Industrial Revolution, but at a human scale showing how they touched people’s lives. Many historically important figures are buried in the five graveyards, such as philosophers David Hume in Old Calton burying ground, and Adam Smith in Canongate Kirkyard; George Buchanan, tutor to King James VI in Greyfriars and mathematician John Napier in St Cuthbert’s Kirkyard.
The trails are supported under the EWH Green Heritage project, with funding from the Climate Challenge Fund.
Download the Graveyard Trails:
Friends of Canongate Kirkyard - Burghs and Burials Trails
The Burghs and Burials heritage trails each take a different theme, highlighting some of the fascinating and quirky stories behind the people buried in the kirkyard. The philosopher Adam Smith, poet Robert Fergusson and Agnes Macelhose or ‘Clarinda’, the muse for Burns’ poetry, all have graves there, but the trails also highlight some of the less well known burials.
The trails are illustrated by Carmen Moran, and researched by Eric Drake, Vice Chair of the Friends. Support for the initiative has come from the EWH Green Heritage Project, funded by the Climate Challenge Fund.
Download the trails & podcasts below or explore the interactive map.