Thursday, 17 November 2011

Traquair Graveyard

This was my first view of Traquair graveyard (also my blip for yesterday), which is surrounded on all sides by a stone wall. There was a church on this site in the 12th Century, although the present building dates to 1778. Originally it was dedicated to the Irish saint Bryde, hence the alternative name for this church Kirkbryde. I visited yesterday as my Artist's Date for this week.

Here are some random views of graves I found particularly interesting. The one above belongs to an gardener, hence the heart with underneath it the crossed spade and rake. He must have loved them. He was Andrew Hay, late gardener Traquair, who died 5th March 1736, together with his wife Margaret Hotson, died 9th March 1754 and their son Robert, died 7th June 1722, aged 9 months.

And this table stone grave featured a particularly lovely winged hour-glass.

A much more recent and richly decorated gravestone which normally I would not be that interested in but the verse at the bottom proved irressistable:

In case you've wondering what kind of English this is: it's Scottish!

It's highly unusual to find the skull and crossbone on top of a table grave. They are mostly to be found on one of the sides. This one was particularly spooky as the grave had almost completely sunk into the ground so that I suddenly spotted this skull looking back at me as I looked down to make sure I wasn't stepping onto something.

Is this a drunk skull? Or was it the mason? Again this is a new one as far as I'm concerned and again on the side of a table stone, of which Traquair graveyard had many.

A most impressive grave monument, railed and with an urn. It's 18th Century but remains as vivid as it must have been, when first erected. Here is the text:

To the Memory of

James Burton

tenant Ladyurd

who died 26th Sept. 1795

in the 72nd year of his Age


Elizabeth Paterson

his Spouse

who died 25th April 1785

in the 54th year of her Age.

You know the gravestones are very old when they have started to recede into the ground and I'm guessing this one is 17th Century. And chockerblock full of symbolism. A winged angel at the top that always seems to be sitting on top of the skull with underneath it the crossbones. By the side an hour-glass and pillars by the side. The name of the decease(d) would have been on the other side but that information has long since disappeared from view.

A last view of Traquair graveyard but like all my graveyard visits I always promise myself I will return soon. Needless to say I don't want to actually become an inhabitant anytime soon but the peace and quiet of so many of the graveyards I go to, is what attracts me. That and the history they are steeped in.

1 comment:

Gregory Humes said...

Great pics! I like your website too!


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