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Greyfriars Kirkyard

by Emily Smith
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About Greyfriars Kirkyard

Greyfriars Kirkyard is an ancient cemetery located in the heart of Edinburgh, Scotland. Established in the 16th century, it is known for its historical significance and haunting atmosphere. The cemetery houses the tombstones of many notable figures, including famous poets, authors, and soldiers, making it a popular destination for history enthusiasts and tourists alike. The architecture of the tombstones and mausoleums reflects the styles of different eras, providing a glimpse into the past. Greyfriars Kirkyard is also known for its connection to the infamous Mackenzie Poltergeist, a malevolent spirit said to haunt the cemetery. Visitors can take guided tours to learn more about the history and legends surrounding this eerie location.

Interesting facts about Greyfriars Kirkyard

  1. Greyfriars Kirkyard is a historic cemetery located in the heart of Edinburgh, Scotland.
  2. The cemetery was established in the 16th century and is named after the Franciscan friars who had a monastery on the site.
  3. One of the most famous residents of Greyfriars Kirkyard is Greyfriars Bobby, a Skye Terrier who famously guarded his owner's grave for 14 years.
  4. There are many notable individuals buried in the cemetery, including famous poet William McGonagall and legendary body snatchers Burke and Hare.
  5. Greyfriars Kirkyard is said to be one of the most haunted cemeteries in the world, with reports of ghostly sightings and paranormal activity.
  6. The cemetery is also home to the Covenanters' Prison, where Covenanters who rebelled against the government were imprisoned in the 17th century.
  7. Greyfriars Kirkyard was featured in the popular "Harry Potter" series, with author J.K. Rowling drawing inspiration from the graveyard for some of the locations in her books.
  8. The cemetery is a popular tourist attraction in Edinburgh, drawing visitors from around the world who come to see the historic graves and learn about the city's history.
  9. Guided tours are available at Greyfriars Kirkyard, offering visitors a chance to explore the cemetery and hear stories about its famous residents and eerie legends.
  10. The cemetery is a beautiful and peaceful place to stroll through, with its old gravestones, ancient trees, and stunning views of Edinburgh's skyline.

Frequently asked questions about Greyfriars Kirkyard

1. What is Greyfriars Kirkyard?

Greyfriars Kirkyard is a historic cemetery located in Edinburgh, Scotland.

2. When was Greyfriars Kirkyard established?

Greyfriars Kirkyard was established in the early 16th century, with the first recorded burial dating back to 1562.

3. Are there any famous people buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard?

Yes, Greyfriars Kirkyard is the final resting place of several notable figures, including the poet Robert Fergusson and the philosopher David Hume.

4. What is the significance of Greyfriars Kirkyard in Scottish history?

Greyfriars Kirkyard has a rich historical significance and is considered one of the most important cemeteries in Scotland due to its connections to various historical events and prominent individuals.

5. Is Greyfriars Kirkyard open to the public?

Yes, Greyfriars Kirkyard is open to the public for visiting and exploring the grounds. Visitors are encouraged to respect the historic nature of the site.

6. Are there any ghost stories associated with Greyfriars Kirkyard?

Yes, Greyfriars Kirkyard is known for its ghost stories, with one of the most famous being the tale of the Mackenzie Poltergeist, said to haunt the Covenanters' Prison section of the cemetery.

7. Can visitors take guided tours of Greyfriars Kirkyard?

Yes, guided tours are available for visitors who wish to learn more about the history and stories of Greyfriars Kirkyard from knowledgeable guides.

8. What architectural features can be found in Greyfriars Kirkyard?

Greyfriars Kirkyard features various notable architectural elements, including mausoleums, tombstones, and the iconic Covenanters' Prison, known for its distinctive iron gates.

9. How can visitors access Greyfriars Kirkyard?

Greyfriars Kirkyard is easily accessible by foot in the heart of Edinburgh's Old Town, with entrances located on Candlemaker Row and George Heriot's School.

10. Is photography allowed in Greyfriars Kirkyard?

Photography is generally allowed in Greyfriars Kirkyard for personal use, but visitors are encouraged to be respectful and mindful of the historic nature of the cemetery.

What people love about Greyfriars Kirkyard

During my recent visit to Greyfriars Kirkyard, I found the atmosphere to be quite intriguing. The historic gravestones and architecture created a sense of solemnity that was both captivating and thought-provoking. The stories behind the famous individuals buried there added a unique and compelling aspect to the experience. Overall, I was impressed by the complex beauty and rich history of the place.

How to get to Greyfriars Kirkyard

To get to Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh, Scotland, there are a few transportation options available:

1. By foot: If you are already in the city center, Greyfriars Kirkyard is within walking distance of popular attractions such as Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile. It is located just off Candlemaker Row and George IV Bridge, making it easily accessible by foot.

2. By bus: Edinburgh has an extensive bus network, and there are several bus stops in close proximity to Greyfriars Kirkyard. You can check the Lothian Buses website for specific routes and schedules.

3. By taxi or ride-sharing service: Taxis are readily available in Edinburgh, and ride-sharing services like Uber operate in the city. Simply input "Greyfriars Kirkyard" as your destination in the app and you will be taken directly to the location.

4. By guided tour: If you prefer a guided experience, there are numerous tours that include Greyfriars Kirkyard as a stop. You can book a walking tour or a ghost tour that will provide historical information and insights into the area.

Regardless of the mode of transportation you choose, Greyfriars Kirkyard is a notable and easily accessible location in Edinburgh that is worth visiting for its historical significance and beautiful surroundings.

When to visit

The best time of year to visit Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh, Scotland, is typically during the spring or summer months. The weather is milder, the gardens around the kirkyard are in bloom, and the days are longer, allowing for more time to explore the historic cemetery and surrounding area. Additionally, visiting during the off-peak season can help you avoid crowds and have a more peaceful experience. Keep in mind that the weather in Scotland can be unpredictable, so it's a good idea to pack layers and be prepared for different conditions.

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