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Canongate Churchyard - Edinburgh, Scotland
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist
N 55° 57.112 W 003° 10.793
30U E 488767 N 6200737
Quick Description: The Canongate Kirkyard (or Churchyard) surrounds the Canongate Kirk on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland. The kirkyard was used for burials from the late 1680s until the mid-20th century.
Location: Southern Scotland, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 7/28/2012 4:11:41 PM
Waymark Code: WMEZJK
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member razalas
Views: 5

Long Description:
"The Canongate Kirkyard (English: Churchyard) stands around Canongate Kirk on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland. The churchyard was used for burials from the late 1680s until the mid 20th century.

The most celebrated burials at the kirkyard are the economist Adam Smith and the poet Robert Fergusson, but many other notable people were interred in the cemetery, including Ebenezer Lennox Scroggie, the inspiration for Dickens' character Ebenezer Scrooge, and possibly David Rizzio, the murdered private secretary of Mary, Queen of Scots although it is highly unlikely that an Italian Catholic would be reinterred in a Protestant graveyard 120 years after his death.


The Canongate was until the 19th century a separate parish from Edinburgh. This separate parish was formerly served by Holyrood Abbey at the foot of the Royal Mile, and Lady Yester’s Church on High School Wynd. In 1687 King James VII adopted the abbey church as a Royal Chapel, and the general population worshipped in Lady Yester’s Kirk (built in 1647) until 1691. Both of these sites formerly served as burial grounds to the parish.

The new Canongate Kirk was founded in 1688 and completed in 1691. A large area of ground was purchased beyond that required for the erection of the church, and this appears to have been used for burial immediately from the church's foundation in 1688. This area is now fully occupied as a burial ground.

Due to peculiarities in the parish boundaries, the parish also included some properties on the Nor Loch and, due to an ancient charter linking the castle to Holyrood, also Edinburgh Castle, which saw itself as separate from the parish of Edinburgh, under St Giles'. This led to many burials of soldiers from the castle within the section to the north of the churchyard.

In 1952 the old Church Hall to the east, facing the Canongate, was demolished. This area was reformed as a sunken garden and the Burgh Cross, dating from 1128, was relocated here as a centre-piece, having formerly stood in the roadway in front of the church. The cross was restored in 1888, when it was moved from its temporary home in front of the Canongate Tolbooth to in front of the church, before its transition to the sunken garden in 1953."

-- Source

Wikipedia Url: [Web Link]

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