Tag Archives: drape

The Rope Maker

Samuel Gilmore was a rope maker who owned property on the south side of the Grassmarket area of Edinburgh. His large rope-making factory and retail outlet were located on the north side of Gilmore Street (later renamed Gilmore Place). He also owned a mansion house called Lochrin Lodge whose entrance was on the north side of Home Street adjacent to the factory.

His burial place is in St. Cuthbert’s cemetery, Edinburgh, and his gravestone features many examples of iconography.

  • The headstone is capped with a winged effigy which represents the deceased soul in flight.
  • Skulls on each side of the stone symbolize death, mortality, penitence, and sin.
  • The Masonic compass and set square is a symbol used to represent the Order of Freemasons who view God as the architect and builder of the universe hence the use of these tools. The perfect right angle of the square indicates justice and truth, and the compass, capable of drawing a perfect circle, represents the all-embracing love of God.
  • The arches on each side of the stone denote an entrance to Heaven or a passageway to eternal life.
  • The drape drawn back represents the veil of death.


Although the inscription has all but disappeared due to weather erosion, the original details are recorded on the clipping below. (#616 Obelisk refers to the square base with inscription next to Samuel’s grave.)



Stemming from early practises, cremation rituals were more common than burial. The shape of the container in which the ashes were placed may have been a simple box or a marble vase, but no matter what it looked like it was called an “urn,” derived from the Latin ‘uro’, meaning “to burn.”

Used as a symbol of mourning by the ancient Greeks, it was carried in funeral processions to catch the tears of those who grieved.
Dalkeith_St Nicholas_vase Campbellville _Jane Drapes

As burial became a more customary ritual, the urn was one of the most common of monuments, representing the body as a vessel of the soul and its return to dust while the spirit of the departed eternally rested with God.
Puslinch_Crown (14) Milton_Evergreen_finial

An urn draped with cloth represents the last partition between life and death. The cloth or shroud draping an urn symbolically guards the ashes as the soul departs the body for its trip to heaven.

An urn with angels on each side signifies the assistance of the deceased on its flight to heaven.
 Angels urn

A flame (blaze) issuing from an urn symbolizes undying friendship.
 FLAME_MA_Boston_Copps Hill_Reader FLAME_Oakville_urn

An urn with a wreath often represents the death of an older person and reflects mourning, remembrance and sorrow.

A shattered urn denotes that the deceased lived to an old age.