Old Calton Burial Ground and Calton Hill


If you've been reading this blog for a while, you'll probably know that I have a thing for cemeteries. Of course, Edinburgh is a hotspot for old burial grounds, so I made it my business to plan a couple of visits. First up was Old Calton, which lured me in with the "old" in the name. Unfortunately, I didn't find out about New Calton Burial Ground until afterwards, so that will have to go on the list for next time. 

Although smaller than I expected, it was absolutely stunning with beautifully ornate, Gothic architecture. This obelisk, the Political Martyrs' Monument, can be seen for miles.



I noticed a lot of Euphemias on the headstones. Is this a particularly Scottish name? I've never heard of it before. Can we take a moment to appreciate the fact that Euphemia Brown here lived to 100 in the Victorian era? That's a real achievement! 




The Scottish-American Soldiers Monument, with its bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln, is another focal point of the cemetery. It creates the most striking silhouette at sunset. 



The thing I love about cemeteries is the history of real people. At school, it wasn't the royals or the knights who interested me. It was the every day people and how they lived. These two headstones document four generations of the same family. After carefully studying both sides of the stone in the foreground, as well as the more recent one behind, we could trace the family tree of the Purdies and hypothesise as to their lives. It was fascinating and I love how these details keep the family legacy alive. 

While in the cemetery, we spotted this monument across the road and decided to explore. It turned out to be Calton Hill, which is well worth a trip.

The interesting monument we'd spotted from below turned out to be the Dugald Stewart Monument, erected as a memorial to the philosopher of the same name.

From the top of the hill, the views over Edinburgh are stunning.




Maybe next time I'll visit Holyrood Park and Arthur's Seat. Maybe. 

10 comments:

  1. You're photography is stunning! Edinburgh is the definition of beautiful. Love your blog, by the way♥ gonna definitely check back ASAP. x

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    1. Thank you so much! Edinburgh is so, so beautiful!

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  2. I'm absolutely loving seeing your photos of Edinburgh - it's always really interesting to see what visitors think of my city. Old Carlton is one of my favourite burial grounds in the city (well, one of many favourites). I was actually talking with a friend about it within the last week and, despite the fact she grew up here, she didn't even know it existed. We're planning a trip to visit it as soon as we both have time. Love your photos, they really do the beauty of the place justice xo

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    1. You live in such a beautiful place! I hope your friend loves Old Calton!

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  3. I love find the oldest headstones to people, because the newer they get the less feeling they seem to have put into them. These are really beautiful and such lovely details on them. Keep the cemeteries coming :)

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    1. I'm so glad there are other freaks out there who love cemeteries ;) The old headstones are so, so beautiful. I'm not sure why the tradition has changed so much. Perhaps as people become less skilled with stonemasonry, they need to pay others to do it and it's just too expensive for these elaborate stones.

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  4. (Seriously, I need to proof read my comment every now and then...)

    Thanks for the link! It really is a shame that we don't want to spend that kind of money anymore, but I understand and I guess that's why people like to opt for cremations too. I always look at the older ones and think that they must have loved their people more than we love people these days. I guess it's easier to show your love these days in some ways.

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    1. You're right. I want to be cremated because, man, the idea of being buried creeps me out. Having said that, I'd also love a huge, ornate gravestone. Maybe I'll just ask to be scattered in the graveyard of the Disney Haunted Mansion?

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  5. I honestly thought you had written "euphemisms on headstones" and now I'm trying to think of a funny euphemism I could put on mine... X

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    1. Mine will say "Becky had a big heart and an even bigger *something illegible worn away by the weather*"

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