Edinburgh World Heritage - Greyfriars Kirkyard


Greyfriars Kirkyard

The Kirkyard was founded on the site of a former Franciscan friary in 1562, following a grant of land by Mary, Queen of Scots. The graveyard predates the establishment of the Kirk in 1620. Although popularly associated with Greyfriars Bobby, this site was the setting for many historical events of national significance, including the imprisoning of Covenanters after the Battle of Bothwell Bridge in 1679.

The Kirkyard contains approximately 716 headstones, monuments, tombs, and other structures. It also incorporates a stretch of the Flodden Wall, part of the City’s sixteenth-century defences. The monuments show exceptional quality in terms of their materials and execution, and represent the work of leading masons and architects. As so little sculpture survives from seventeenth century, the collection at Greyfriars is a major resource.

Download a documentary survey of the history and development of Greyfriars Kirkyard (PDF | 412 KB)


Recent Projects

From the three year Twelve Monuments Project to the major restoration of Well Court.


EWH Historic Home Guides, Annual Reviews and the World Heritage Site Management Plan available for download.

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