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.