Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Drumelzier Graveyard

As it was a good day weatherwise and it has been quite some time since we last went on a graveyard visit we decided to see if we could make our way to Drumelzier graveyard. I had been very close once before, by myself, but wimped out as you have to go through a private garden (or at least that's what it looks like) before reaching the church. But there must be public access as the graveyard as well as the church are still in use. It looks a lovely little building as you can see above (my blip for today).
There weren't all that many stones but I still found some very interesting skulls as well as a positively grinning winged soul as you can see above.

This impressive obelisk which according to Sheila A. Scott's book Peeblesshire Monumental Inscriptions - pre 1855, was once surrounded by railings (now gone) was erected by parishioners in honour of the Reverend John Taylor who died in 1865 at the age of 59, having been a minister for 21 years. His wife Eleanor Kay Hick is also buried there as well as his children Alice Margaret (not even 1 year old when she died), Jane (almost 11 years old at her demise), Edward Wilgress who died on 13.3.1859 at the age of 16 when he drowned off the Cape of Good Hope and Horatio Carwell, who died age 20. What tragedies are hidden behind these engravings! What happened to Edward Wilgress? Did he go down with a ship and if so, was he learning the seafaring trade or was he on a voyage? I guess we'll never know, but the Reverend and his wife must have suffered much, having outlived 4 children who all died as such young ages.

 This might have been the gate specially for the use of the minister or perhaps an important parishioner. As you can see once again the graveyard has one of the best views in the area.
Another winged soul, whose wings are rising up to heaven although sadly her face has almost completely disappeared now. Just the remnants of her hair can still be seen.
There are words too on the other side of this gravestone but alas, they can no longer be read and Sheila A. Scott's book offers no enlightenment regarding this stone. It gets no mention, despite the fact that I'm fairly certain it predates 1855 judging by the decorations seen above, featuring a winged soul, a skull and the crossbones. The rest of the stone has disappeared underground and this bit might well follow before too much longer.

P.S. I did Sheila an injustice here as the gravestone does get mentioned. Unfortunately her map let her down and it's not where she shows it to be. But after some intensive Googling I found the Site Record for Drumelzier graveyard here which shows this gravestone and gave me the name. Then Sheila provided the rest and I can tell you that it dates back to 1735 and belongs to William Scot of Mossfennan who died on the 20th November 1736 aged 49 and his wife Margaret Turnbull, who died the 4th September 1735 aged 36. Glad to have sorted that out!


Christine Moon said...

Love your post. In the cemeteries I've visited around here I seldom find the skulls and winged images on markers. It's a wonderful symbol and I suspect it's going to show up in a piece that I will be making soon. Many of the older graves had markers made of limestone, which is plentiful here in Indiana, and limestone carvings just don't survive as well as other stones.

Linda said...

I love walking thru these cemeteries with you Frieda. The stones and engravings do have stories and I thank you for researching and adding such interesting information!

Linda said...

Beautiful place to spend a day. enjoyed the stones and history.


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