Edinburgh World Heritage - News Article


Canongate Kirkyard Needs You

The Edinburgh Graveyards project is looking for volunteers to help care for the historic Canongate Kirkyard.

Dec 4, 2013

A public meeting to be held this Friday aims to establish a friends group for the kirkyard, as a way of involving the local community in securing its future.

The Edinburgh Graveyards Project is an initiative led by Edinburgh World Heritage, with additional funding from The World Monuments Fund and the Pilgrim Trust. The project aims to restore five historic graveyards in Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site, which were added to The World Monument Fund’s list of endangered heritage sites in 2010. The five sites included in the project are Canongate, Greyfriars, and St Cuthbert’s Kirkyards, and the Old & New Calton burying grounds.

Susan Buckham, Graveyards Officer for Edinburgh World Heritage said: “At first glance it is hard to see how vulnerable the kirkyard is, but once you look closely and understand its importance it is obvious that we need to act. Our vision is to see the kirkyard at the heart of the community again, as a well-loved green oasis for residents to enjoy and as an attraction for visitors. Involving local people in caring for and explaining the significance of the kirkyard is probably the most vital factor in ensuring its long-term future.”

Many significant historical figures are buried in the Canongate Kirkyard, such as the philosopher Adam Smith, the poet Robert Fergusson, and Agnes Macelhose, better known as ‘Clarinda’ the close friend of Robert Burns. It is a valuable green space at the heart of the Old Town, providing an environment of peace and calm away from the bustle of the Royal Mile, and with spectacular views up to Calton Hill.

The meeting will be held between 6pm – 7pm on Friday 6 December at the Harry Younger Hall, Lochend Close and all are welcome to attend.

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