greyfriars kirkyard entrance gates

Greyfriars Kirkyard

Looking for an intriguing outing centred around Edinburgh’s past? Look no further than Greyfriars Kirkyard, an enchanting graveyard perched on the fringes of Old Town.

The site dates back to 1562 and began its use as a burial ground in the early 17th century. The graveyard is home to a wealth of notable burials, including the loyal Skye Terrier, Greyfriars Bobby.

Greyfriars Kirkyard is also known as one of the most haunted graveyards on the planet! You can uncover the graveyard’s ghostly ties by partaking in one of the guided tours offered by local companies.

On your tour, you’ll come across several notable graves, including that of William McGonagall. McGonagall harshly received the title as one of Scotland’s worst poets!

Another grave you can uncover is Tom Riddle’s. The man passed on in 1806, not knowing that JK Rowling would use his name for her famed villain in the Harry Potter series.

There are even more gravestones with names like those in the Harry Potter series. From Moodie to Cruikshanks; can you spot them all?

The graveyard, alongside its haunting background, also has a dark past. Many Lords were buried in unmarked graves during Queen Mary’s reign, such as James Douglas.

After paying your respects at the graves, be sure to step inside the 17th-century church of Greyfriars Kirk. Here you can learn more about the history of the site, including a great insight into the National Covenant.

The church is also home to regular concerts which take place every Thursday at midday. So, during your tour of the grounds you’ll be able to hear the idyllic sounds of the piano and choir.

Explore Edinburgh’s iconic graveyard and uncover a wealth of history…

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