The Scottish kirkyard has been vastly underrated as a place of historical importance, offering a wealth of information to the visitor of local historian. Within its confines can be found Pictish symbol stones, medieval sculpture, eighteenth-century folk-art, and ruins of ancient kirk buildings. Here the authors reveals the stories hidden within them.
The author examines the role of the kirkyard in the Scottish community, from being the parish market-place where law-breakers were imprisoned in the 'jougs' to the days when the body-snatchers stole corpses and the more tranquil times when kirkyards became Victorian 'gardens of death'. He explains the meanings of carvings on the tombs, relates the traditional burial customs of Scotland, and shows the reader where to look for graves of the famous Scots.
‘Scottish Kirkyards’ shows how the social history of an entire area can be compressed into a single plot of land.
List of Illustrations
1. Early Times
2. Place of Rest
3. Funeral Custom
4. Tombstone Symbolism
5. Cause of Death
7. Other Uses for Kirks and Kirkyards
8. The Resurrectionists
9. Kirkyard Tables
Appendix: Notable Graves in Scottish Kirkyards