Vacation in Edinburgh

My dear friend Jeff is on a continuing mission to travel to all the ends of the earth.  He returned from Scotland and sent me these photos from the Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh.  With his permission, I share them with you.

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The grave of Greyfriar’s Bobby, a dog that stood watch over his owner after the man’s death. People bring the dog sticks.

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Memento Mori: hand with bell, hourglass, crossed coffins, spade, mummified face, and crossbones.

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The churchyard has watchtowers left over from the days of Burke and Hare.  Guards would stand watch over the graveyard at night to foil grave robbers, who broke into new graves to steal corpses for dissection at Edinburgh’s Medical School.

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You can see Jeff’s photos of his trip to Cuba earlier this year here.

See his photos of the graveyards of Croatia and Bosnia here.

About Loren Rhoads

I'm the author of 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die and Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel, as well as a space opera trilogy. In addition to blogging at CemeteryTravel.com, I blog about my morbid life at lorenrhoads.com.
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9 Responses to Vacation in Edinburgh

  1. Lovely graveyard. We had breakfast there,very early one morning about ten years ago!! Such an interesting place. Great pics.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Those are some scary memorials! Glad your friend shared his photos.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Those guard towers are fascinating. I knew the grave robbing for medical cadavers had been a big problem, but I’ve never seen guard towers put up to prevent it before. Do you know if there are a lot that were constructed during that time-frame?

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    • Loren Rhoads says:

      That is a great question. I’ll have to do some research, but my sense is that the towers were built around Greyfriars because the body-snatching was so out of control in Edinburgh. Other cemeteries had caretakers’ houses on-site or iron cages built over graves, or mausoleums that couldn’t be broken into or the monuments were so heavy that they couldn’t be moved: all to prevent theft. In some places, bodies were locked in a temporary public mausoleum until they began to putrefy, at which point they were less useful to the medical schools. Richardson’s Death, Dissection, and the Destitute is a good book on the subject (http://amzn.to/2bk7k3c), backed up by Christine Quigley’s Dissection on Display (http://amzn.to/2bPOGBR).

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Greyfriars is a very atmospheric place especially at night and during the day. I visited in 2006 and still remember the amazing memorials and monuments. Jeff’s photo remind me of an amazing holiday.

    Like

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