Navvies’ Burial Ground

The term “Navvy” was coined in the late 18th century in Britain when the canals were being built, also known as navigations.

The historical Elvanfoot Bridge (aka Telford Bridge) in South Lanarkshire, Scotland is located on the B7076 as it crosses the River Clyde, and in1806 it was the main road from Glasgow to Carlisle. During construction of the Caledonian railway from Glasgow to Carlisle, 37 Irish navigators died during a typhus outbreak in 1840.

A small graveyard containing 37 unmarked stones lies within a railed enclosure which is now overgrown. The ground was consecrated in 1847 by the Bishop of Glasgow, and a memorial plaque was placed on a stone wall 110 years later.

Erected 1916 / In memory of / Thirty seven workmen who died / While engaged in the construction / Of the Caledonian Railway and / Were buried in this ground which / Was consecrated 12 August 1847 by / Michael Russell Bishop of Glasgow.

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