As graveyards go, this is pretty old, the vast expensive monuments out lasting their incumbents by centuries. There are stories to be told, history to be revealed, so brave the cold air blowing in off the Firth, the wet grass and the occasional fellow wanderer and immerse yourself amongst the dead.
The graveyard, accepted its first residents way back in 1718 after the land was purchased for the princely sum of £1,000 by the local Society of the Incorporated Trades.
The monuments and walls are now a historical listed building.
A mixture of overly grand structures,the humungus cylindrical tower is that of David Hume, a critical thinker and atheist. In his will he stated that a:
"Monument be built over my body, with an inscription containing only my Name and the Year of my Birth and Death"
To the fore front stands a monument topped by Abraham Lincoln, dedicated to the Scots who died fighting for the Union in the American Civil War. It is the only monument to the Civil War outside the United States.
Infant mortality was high. Families were big. I guess when there is nothing else to do........!!
Like locally born Mr. Burn an architect, builder and master mason and his wife Janet (12 surviving children out of 16).
For the love of god that poor woman must have had a fanny like a tattered windsock
Nelson's Monument in the far right distance, designed by Burn, who died before its completion.
The Battle of Corunna, was part of the bigger Napoleonic war, 35,000 British troops entered Spain, 8,000 did not return alive.
The Battle of Inkerman took place in the Crimea War, a battle won by the Allies against Imperial Russia, just one of 635 british troops who died in the battle. 175 French were killed. 3,286 Russians met their demise.
War what is it good for?
Archibald Constable book shop owner and publisher, in 181 bought the rights to obtained the publishing rights to the Encyclopædia Britannica
David Allan a Scottish painter, this monument was erected 78yrs after his death by The Royal Scottish Academy
William Raeburn perfumer to the Prince of Wales, who led such a wonderful gay life.
This imposing obelisk was erected in 1843 and is known as the Martyr's Monument. For challenging the upper ruling classes and fighting for Universal Suffrage, a number of individuals sentenced to deportation.
.....and some of the less notable
In days of yore, through the Gothic period and Victorian times, the population in general, or perhaps more so the hoi polloi revered death were fascinated by it, mediums. psychics and other assorted charlatans preyed on the gullible and needy.
Their love, fear of death extended to intricate carvings on gravestones
The skull and cross bones, crossed turf cutter tools and hourglass on its side all represent death, "Memento Mori" Remember Death. 1762.
Similar on this grave but with the hourglass taking wing
Time and tide so they saying goes, waits for no man, so lets leave these folk to sleep the sleep of the just and walk across the city to an even more stunning graveyard.
Tombstone Tourism is alive and kicking in Edinburgh