Tag Archives: Edinburgh

The Mylne Tomb

In the historic cemetery known as Greyfriar’s Kirkyard in Edinburgh is the tomb of the Mylne family who were architects and master masons to the Kings of Scotland. Enclosed with an iron fence the memorial is attached to the east wall of a tenement building on Candlemaker Row. The tomb contains the remains of John Mylne, Robert Mylne, William Mylne and Thomas Mylne.

geograph ccl kim traynor
Creative Commons License, Kim Traynor. Source: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2034883

The pediment at the top of the memorial hosts two cherubs flanking the heraldic shield of the Mylne family identified by a knight’s armoured helmet, and a shield containing a Patonce cross with three 5 point stars.

Directly beneath the shield is a grotesque representing a dragon. Additional examples of Memento Mori are present in winged effigies, skulls, an hourglass and crossed torches.


The main inscription written in Latin is displayed in Drapery held in the mouth of a ram:
“John Mylne, who, at the expiry of fifty-five years of this frail life, sleeps softly here, sixth Master-Mason to the King of the family of Mylne, of remarkable skill in the building art, frequently Deacon-Convener of the Trades of Edinburgh, the circumspect and faithful representative of the metropolis on several occasions in the public Parliament of the Kingdom; a man adorned with gifts of mind above his condition in life, of a remarkably handsome person, upright, sagacious, pious, universally respected.
Robert, his brother’s son, emulous of his virtues, as well as his successor in office, has, out of gratitude, erected this monument, such as it is, to his uncle. He died 24th Dec. 1667, in the fifty-sixth year of his age.


John Mylne’s character is described in a smaller shield:
Great artisan, grave senator, John Mylne,
Renown’d for learning, prudence, parts, and skill,
Who in his life Vitruvius’ art had shown,
Adorning others’ monuments: his own
Can have no other beauty, than his name,
His memory and everlasting fame.
Rare man he was, who could unite, in one,
Highest and lowest occupation;
To sit with statesmen, councillour to kings,
To work, with tradesmen, in mechanick things;
Majestick man, for person, witt, and grace;
This generation cannot fill his place.

cartoucheTwo Corinthian columns are inscribed with dedication.
The left column commemorates Robert Mylne:
Sacred to the Memorie of Robert Mylne of Balfargie,
Master Mason to severall Kings of Scotland;
and Survieor to this Citie,
who, duringe ane active life of honest fame,
Builded amonge manie extensive warks
Mylne’s Court, Mylne’s Square, and
the Abbie of Halie rud house,
Leaving by ane Worthie Wife,
Eight Sonnes and Six Daughters,
All Placed in the World with Credit to himself,
and consecrated this Monument,
To the Honour of his Ancestrie.
Died Decr. 10th, 1710; aged 77.”

Edinburgh places and people

The column on the right:
To the Memory of Thomas Mylne Eldest son of William
Mylne a Deacon of the Masons in Edinburgh
Who Died 5th March1763
To the Memory of William Mylne Master Mason
Eldest son of Robert Mylne of Balfargie
Who Died 9th March 1728.

A cartouche at the base of the stone is inscribed:
Reader, John Mylne, who maketh the fourth John,
and, by descent, from father unto son,
Sixth master mason to a royal race
Of seven successive Kings, sleeps in this place.



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.)


Monument Conundrum

The east wall, Greyfriars’ Churchyard, Edinburgh, Scotland. The name ‘Greyfriars’ comes from the color of the habit worn by the Franciscan monks who established the sacred ground in the 15th century.

The churchyard consists of four courtyards: lower, upper, southern and western. The graveyard has a wide south slope and a narrow north slope. A significant change in the ground level (the largest slope ratio is up to 10%) required a retaining wall to be built to support the soil on the upper level of the graveyard.

This post makes reference to three neighbouring monuments on the east wall from north to south; Alexander Bethune, Sir Robert Dennestoun, and Alexander Miller.


The dedication on the monument to Sir Robert Dennestoun translated from Latin reads; Behold, the world possesseth nothing permanent. Sir Robert Dennestoun lies under this tomb. He was formerly the King’s ambassador; and for thirty years, conservator of the Scottish privileges in Holland. He was also sent to, and behaved with glory, among English and Spaniards; true to his country; counsellor to his Prince; and, being full of days, having lived 78 years, he now liveth in the heavens.


The photographs circa 1848 are from the photography studio of Hill and Adamson. David Octavius Hill was a famous painter who partnered with Robert Adamson to create Scotland’s first photographic studio where they produced calotype negatives.

The Dennestoun monument consists of a stone inscription marker flanked by Corinthian columns surmounted by a tablet containing arms terminating with a horse’s head in a broken pediment.

nat gall2

1848 Greyfriars_kirkyard

nat gall

Note that a fence on the left side of the images is mounted atop a retaining wall.

The fence and retaining wall no longer exist. An altar base has appeared on both the Dennestoun and Miller monuments.



  • When the retaining wall was built were large amounts of soil dumped, raising the level and concealing the altar base of the monuments on the higher level?
  • When the fence and wall were removed was the soil excavated to reveal the altar bases?

That seems likely when comparing the images below; the current status shows the Dennestoun and Miller monuments (middle and right) are at the same relative level as they were in the 1840s.


  • The Bethune monument is not sitting at the same height relative to the other monuments.
  • The retaining wall and fence as seen in the image below are on the left side of the Bethune monument, in contradiction to other historical images that show the wall and fence to the left of the Dennestoun monument.

…Within this famed, haunted graveyard perhaps everything is fluid…rising, sinking, changing position?

The Blind Evangelist

This gravestone located in Newington Cemetery, Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh celebrates the Reverend Archibald Turnbull who was a blind Evangelist. He died in Dalkeith on Christmas Day 1927 when he was 80 years old. An inscription memorializes his memory, He Served His Lord In Darkness, Light Denied, But Now He Serves Before The Shining Throne.

His wife, Elizabeth, and children are also remembered on the stone. Elizabeth died the year before her husband when she was 78 years old. Sadly, their children died before them in early adulthood. James was only 16 years old and their daughter 25 years old when she passed.


Rev. Archibald Turnbull, known as the Blind Evangelist, was a member and proponent of the Temperance Movement. In Nov 1883, Rev. Turnbull conducted a grand Blue Ribbon meeting in the primitive Methodist chapel in Shildon, Northern England where 45 signed an oath and 100 people donned the blue ribbon badge. The Blue Ribbon was a symbol worn by those who pledged abstinence from alcohol consumption. It was inspired by a verse from the bible Numbers 15:38-39; “Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments, throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: and it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the Lord, and do them.

Miller Mausoleum

Located on Christie Miller Avenue in the Craigentinny area of Edinburgh, Scotland, it is surrounded, by bungalows built in the 1930s.

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William Henry Miller 1789 -1848 inherited Craigentinny House and Estate from his father, and although he spent a great deal of his life in England as an M.P. for Newcastle- under-Lyne he left instructions that he should not be buried in a church yard rather in the open fields at Craigentinny. His last will and testament directed that he should be buried at the bottom of a 40ft stone lined shaft beneath a giant monument commemorating the arts, and that on top of his coffin should be placed a heavy stone slab.

The Mausoleum was completed in 1856 by 80 labourers in a field to the north of Edinburgh between Piershill and Portobello. The tomb, designed by David Rhind, was an adaptation of the Temple of Vesta in Rome. The site was consecrated by the Bishop of Edinburgh on 13 September 1860.

Several years later, a relative named Samuel Christie Miller commissioned Alfred Gatley to create finely sculpted 12ft x 6ft bas relief panels. Created in the style of the Elgin Marbles in British Museum, London (hence the nickname of the Mausoleum as the Craigentinny Marbles) they depicted two biblical scenes. The foreboding imagery of the ‘Overthrow of Pharaoh in the Red Sea’ on the north, and the jubilation of ‘The Song of Moses and Miriam’ in the south elevation are in strong contrast to each other. They were completed and attached to the sides of the monument in 1866.

A commemorative granite plaque is located on the north perimeter wall:
This Monument Was Erected To The Memory Of / William Henry Miller / And His Parents / William Miller And Martha Rawson Or Miller / Here Are Interred. / Martha Miller Died 11th January 1827 / William Henry Miller / M.P. For Newcastle-Under-Lyme / Born 13th February 1789. Died 31st October 1848 / Sarah Marsh / Born 20th April 1792 Died 8th August 1860 / Ellen Marsh / Born 29th August 1801. Died 4th November 1861 / All Of Craigentinny And Britwell, / Buckinghamshire
The Site Was Consecrated On 13th September 1860 / The Sculptures Were Added In 1866
Architect / David Rhind / Edinburgh
Sculptor / Alfred Gatley / Rome

The William Henry Miller Mausoleum/Craigentinny Marbles was listed a category A historic building on 14 December 1970.



With the approach of Remembrance Day ceremonies throughout the Commonwealth, it is a good time to honour the millions killed in conflicts throughout the world.

Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind. J. F. Kennedy

Source: http://thebignote.com/
Source: http://thebignote.com/

Squadron Leader D M Davidson received the Distinguished Flying Cross. He flew a Spitfire XIV TZ106 with 453 Squadron. The aircraft entered low cloud at about 100 feet and was seen to emerge from the cloud and strike the ground in Wichling, Kent, England.



17TH OCTOBER 1918 AGE 22

No loved one stood beside him to bid a last farewell,
No word of comfort could he leave to those he loved so well.
We little thought his time so short in this world to remain,
Nor that from when his home he went he would never return again.



16/988 LANCE CPL.
The Cyclist Battalion was intended as a mobile light infantry. Read more at http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/anzac-cyclists


Source: http://thebignote.com/

9TH JULY 1922 AGE 55
The CBE, Commander of the British Empire, is the 3rd highest level that can be achieved within the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
The Distinguished Service Order (DSO) is a military decoration of the United Kingdom awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime.

Do not ask us if we miss him,
There is such a vacant place;
Can we e’er forget that footstep,
And that dear familiar face.


Source: http://thebignote.com/

RNVR is an acronym for the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve.
HMS “Arrogant” was built in 1895. It was in service during WWI as the Dover depot ship for submarines and motor launches.

Far away in a distant land,
Suddenly struck by death’s strong hand
A loving son, strong and brave,
Lies buried in a soldier’s grave.


Edinburgh_Newington_SoldiersTHEIR NAME LIVETH FOREVER MORE
Located at Newington Cemetery, Edinburgh, Scotland.

No one knows the silent heartache,
Only those can tell
Who have lost their loved ones
Without saying one farewell.
We pictured him safely returning,
We longed to clasp his hand,
But God has postponed the meeting,
Till we meet in a better land.

France_Paris_MontparnasseMontparnasse Cemetery, Paris, France
France_Paris_Montparnasse_War weeping

No one knows the silent heartache, 
Only those that have lost can tell 
Of the grief that’s borne in silence 
For the one we loved so well. 


France_Paris_Pere lachaise_Polish MemorialThis memorial is located in Père-Lachaise-Cemetery in Paris, France. It commemorates the Polish soldiers who were killed during the liberation of France in the Second World War.
French: Aux Polonais/ Morts/ Pour La France
Polish: Polakom / Polegeym/ Za Francie


The Los Angeles National Cemetery is located in West Los Angeles, California, at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Sepulveda Boulevard. The 114 acre cemetery was dedicated on May 22, 1889. The chapel was renamed the Bob Hope Veterans Chapel on May 29, 2002 (Hope’s 99th birthday), in “celebration of his lifelong service to our American Veterans”.


Located near the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, England, this memorial was unveiled in 2005 to honour the service of women during the Second World War. It was sculpted by John W. Mills.


newsbbcimgS D F
This unknown soldier was a member of the British Army unit, the Sudan Defence Force (SDF.) It was formed in 1925 to maintain the borders of the Sudan under the British administration.

He marched away so bravely, His young head proudly held;
His footsteps never faltered, His courage never failed,
There on the field of battle, He calmly took his place,
He fought for King and Country, And the honour of his race.


Orangeville Forest Lawn1914-1918 & 1939-1945


south african
Source: http://thebignote.com/

22086 BURG.
23 OCTOBER 1918
South African infantry

This final image of Sutherlin, Oregon, USA, needs no words.

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/curtis4x5/6002805377/in/pool-douglascntyor/ - Sutherlin oregon
Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/curtis4x5/6002805377/in/pool-douglascntyor/ – Sutherlin oregon


Harry Potter Connection

J. K. Rowling, the famed author of the Harry Potter series of books, wrote the saga while living in Edinburgh. Many of the characters’ names were consciously, or subconsciously, chosen from Edinburgh’s streets, landmarks and graveyards.

In Greyfriars Kirkyard near the George Heriot school gate is a tablet marking the grave of William Topaz McGonagall, (George Heriot’s school may have been the template for Hogwarts.) Professor Minerva McGonagall was the head of Gryffindor house at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizadry.

William Topaz McGonagall who was born in March 1825, died on 29 September 1902. He was a poet whose poems are considered the worst in English literature. Audiences threw rotten fish at him and his performances were banned leaving him a pauper when he died.


william mcgonagall tripadvisor

William McGonagall / Poet and Tragedian / Died 2nd September 1902 / Buried near this spot
“I am your Gracious Majesty
ever faithful to thee
William McGonagall , The Poor Poet,
That lives in Dundee.”
W. McG. 6th. Sept. 1877

The grave of Thomas Riddell also in Greyfriars Kirkyard, was chosen as the real name of the Dark Lord Voldemort. This character appeared in the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which was released in 1997.

Thomas Riddell, who died in 1806 aged 72, shares his gravestone with members of his family.

riddell Tom-Riddle-tombstone-375x500

Sacred / to the Memory / of Thomas Riddell Esq. / of Befsborough, / in the County of Berwick / who died in Edinburgh / on the 24. Novm. 1806, / aged 72 years.
ALSO / of Thomas Riddell Esq. his Son, / Captain of the 14. Regiment, / who died at Trinidad in the West Indies / on the 12. Septm. 1802, / aged 26 years.
AND / of Christian Riddell, / his Daughter, / who died in Edinburgh / on the 29. Oct, 1808, / aged 31 years.
ALSO / Maira Jane Riddell, / his daughter / died 5th Sept. 1819 / aged 47″

Contradictory feelings on notes have been left at the graveside by people from all over the world.

“RIP Tom, thank you for making us all believe in magic. You are an inspiration.”

“Dear idiots, you know there’s a difference between fiction and reality, right?”

Greyfriars Bobby

The Grave
A red granite stone commemorating a small dog was erected in Greyfriar’s Kirkyard, Edinburgh by The Dog Aid Society of Scotland in 1981. The inscription reads, Greyfriars Bobby / Died 14 January 1872 / Aged 16 Years / Let His Loyalty And Devotion / Be A Lesson To Us All / Erected By The Dog Aid Society / Of Scotland And Unveiled By H.R.H. / The Duke Of Gloucester C.C.V.O. / On 13th May 1981.


Greyfriars Bobby, a Skye terrier, is a legend of questionable historical accuracy. The fact which cannot be disputed is that a little dog lived within the Kirkyard in the mid 19th century and was fed and given shelter by local residents often showing up at Traill’s Restaurant in Greyfriars Place as if summoned by the One O’Clock gun.

1860s_John Trailfamily
John Traill’s family with Bobby

In 1867 a by-law required that all dogs be licensed by their owners with the understanding that stray or unlicensed dogs would be destroyed. The popularity and public knowledge of Bobby persuaded Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Sir William Chambers, a director of the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, to purchase a license and award him the Freedom of the City. He also purchased a dog collar inscribed with the words: “Greyfriars Bobby from the Lord Provost 1867 licensed.” The collar is now in the Museum of Edinburgh, Huntly House, on the Royal Mile.

bobby oneoclockgun

There are two versions of the legend of Greyfriars Bobby, a little dog with shaggy hair hanging over his eyes and a stumpy tail that died in 14 January 1872.


Legend 1: John Gray, an unemployed gardener, joined the police force as a night watchman and was assigned a dog named Bobby (the British nickname for a policeman) to cover an area of old Edinburgh that included Upper Cowgate, the Grassmarket, Greyfriars Kirkyard, Candlemaker Row, the grounds of Heriot’s Hospital and the Cattle Market. When Gray died in 1858, Bobby followed his master into Greyfriars Kirkyard and was found lying on the grave by the curator the next morning. As dogs were not allowed inside the churchyard he was regularly chased out but continued to return. The curator, James Brown, took pity on the little animal and gave him some food. He also gave him sackcloth to lie on and local residents created a shelter for him to stay warm. He kept vigil at the grave of his master for 14 years until he died. He was then buried just inside the gate of Greyfriars Kirkyard, not far from John Gray’s grave. (Another story relates that special permission was given to open the grave of John Gray to allow his faithful companion to be interred with him.)

Version 2: Bobby, a nuisance stray that frequented Heriot’s hospital, was chased out by the gardener and took refuge in Greyfriars Kirkyard. James Brown, the curator, became fond of him and began to feed him which encouraged the little dog to frequent the churchyard on a regular basis. Visitors to the churchyard who saw Bobby believed he was a devoted dog refusing to leave his master’s grave and encouraged the curator to tell the story of Greyfriars Bobby.

It is also believed that the original Bobby died in 1867. His story had become known nationwide, and to encourage visitation to the graveyard, he was replaced with a younger dog. The Curator continued to relate the story of Bobby in Traill’s Restaurant.

The legends appear to be a fabrication as proven by the blog below which references newspaper reports and minutes of Edinburgh Council meetings. https://roundthewatertrough.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/greyfriars-bobby-a-shaggy-dog-story/

Nevertheless, the gravestone has become a shrine and fetch sticks, toys and flowers are frequently left there.

The Fountain
On 15 November 1873 a drinking fountain with a life size statue of a dog was unveiled near Greyfriars Kirkyard at the corner of Candlemaker Row and George IV bridge in Edinburgh. The red granite fountain offered drinking water to humans using stone drinking cups attached by chains until 1975. Dogs drank from an octagonal trough at ground level.

Image copyright City of Edinburgh Council, Capital Collections  www.capitalcollections.org.uk

Greyfriars Bobby_Lost Edinburgh

A plaque on the base reads A tribute / to the affectionate fidelity of / Greyfriars Bobby. / In 1858, this faithful dog followed / the remains of his master to Greyfriars Churchyard and lingered near the spot / until his death in 1872. / With permission / erected by the / Baroness Burdett-Coutts.


Inscribed on the statue is: Greyfriars Bobby, from the life just before his death and W.H. Brodie Sc RSA 1872.


The bronze statue of a terrier was sculpted by William Brodie, and donated by Baroness Burdett-Coutts, the President of the Ladies Committee of the RSPCA.

The backdrop to the monument is Greyfriar Bobby’s Bar, previously known as Traill’s Restaurant. A plaque on the wall states: Greyfriars / “Bobby” / was fed here / from / 1858 to 1872.

wikimedia_kim traynor

The monument was listed a Category A historic building on 29 April 1977 and is Edinburgh’s smallest listed building.


When the fountain was first erected a gas street light stood behind the statue, and during the conversion to electricity of the city’s lights, the lamp was removed. It has now been duplicated using historic photographs and salvaged lamp columns with the assistance of a grant from Edinburgh World Heritage.

The fountain suffered damage due to vandalism and a car accident in 1984 which required repair. It was restored the following year. However, a recent custom of rubbing Bobby’s nose for luck removed the black finish and exposed the underlying brass. On 1st October 2013, Powderhall Bronze, a sculpture conservation and restoration specialist, was hired to clean, wax and re-patinate Bobby’s nose.

edinburghspotlight Greyfriars bobby

Memento Mori

Memento Mori is a term used to describe funerary art. Gravestones will often display this Latin phrase which translated means, Remember You Will Die, which is more of a warning to the living rather than the deceased upon whose headstone it is engraved.

Creative Commons License. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lwr/4358919924
Creative Commons License. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lwr/4358919924

This gravestone is located in St. Cuthbert Churchyard, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland. The natural patina is a result of moss growing in the damp climate with further erosion damage due to the extremes of the Scottish weather.

Erosion of the stone has obliterated much of the original inscription. The few words which are still legible state:
Who died 7th Feb
Aged 48 years
His children who
Also Thomas

The symbols on this headstone represent several aspects of Memento Mori.

  • The winged effigy represents the deceased soul in flight.
  • The banner inscribed with the words Memento Mori is a reminder that death is unavoidable.
  • Skulls are a frequent feature on gravestones around the world appearing in various forms often with crossbones. It is a symbol of death, mortality, penitence, and sin.
  • Arched columns symbolize the passage to Heaven.
  • The drapes represent mourning and the partition between life and death.

Life is short, and shortly it will end;
Death comes quickly and respects no one,
Death destroys everything and takes pity on no one.
To death we are hastening, let us refrain from sinning.

In the second example the word Memento Mori is again visible. The reversed letter N is used. Although I have researched I can find no reason for the reversal. Many opinions offer illiteracy as a reason; however, it may simply be the letterform used during the period (e.g. the letters f, j, and v were used to represent s, i and u.)

Creative Commons License. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lwr/4358905866/
Creative Commons License. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lwr/4358905866/

Symbolism on this headstone represents the passage of time and the inevitability of death.
Bones: mortality and death
Hourglass: Passage of time
Rosettes: Brevity of earthly existence.

Death like an overflowing stream
Sweeps us away our life’s a dream
An empty tale a morning flowr,
Cut down and witherd in an hour. 1797

The third example once again denotes mortality and death with the symbols of the skull and bones.

Creative Commons License. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lwr/4358903270

A skull represents death and mortality
A single bone is symbolic of death and decay.

Our life is ever on the wing
And death is ever nigh
The moment when our life begins
We all begin to die. 1791

Note: Did you notice that the skulls in the photos bear scars?

Graffiti and Vandalism

Graffiti and vandalism seem to be a peculiarity of youth; can’t say I have ever seen or heard of a mature individual spray painting any form of public property. Not restricted to race, religion or country, it is a manifestation seen around the world.

Mount of Olives, Israel
st cuthberts
St. Cuthbert’s Cemetery, Edinburgh, Scotland

Desecrated Jewish graves around the world have been painted with swastikas, and I won’t recognize that horrendous action with a photo.

In the Old Calton Burial Ground in Edinburgh, Scotland, graffiti perhaps identifies the painter as a psycho.

1old calton

Graffiti on Jim Morrison’s grave in Pere Lachaise Cemetry, Paris, France. Visitors seem to think they have more to say than he did.

2jim morrison

A grave in Glasgow Necropolis, Scotland, claims there is no God.

knox glasgow

In Singapore a despondent has inscribed a message of love.

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/49503031667@N01/345520444
Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/49503031667@N01/345520444

In the Sydney township of Castlereagh, Australia there is an isolated graveyard which provides graffiti opportunism. The First Fleet pioneers do not deserve such disrespect.


In Trondheim Norway, Jewish gravestones have been attacked with flamboyant pink paint.


Graffiti on the gravestone of New Zealand’s first Governor William Hobson, at the Symonds Street cemetery in Auckland shows the disillusion of the vandal. The treaty which was signed in 1840 by representatives of the British government and various Māori ownership chiefs, recognised Māori ownership of their lands and other properties, and gave Māori the rights of British subjects.


In St. Mary’s Cemetery, Bismarck, North Dakota, USA, a devil worshipper has desecrated a large memorial stone.


Drunk and bored teenagers without an artistic bent often resort to plain vandalism by toppling gravestones and knocking over or breaking statues

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Desecration of physical memorials is not the only type of vandalism. Illegally drinking alcohol and doing drugs leaves the area littered with empty bottles and discarded needles.

It’s sad and disgraceful that the memory of departed loved ones are so often vandalized and desecrated. The isolation and loneliness of cemeteries can leave visitors feeling unsafe which creates a catch 22 situation.

An inscription on a grave in Milton, Ontario, Canada suggests: ‘The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.’ I would suggest that the last enemy is vandalism. Would vandals be so eager to kick over the gravestone of their own mother or grandfather?

Bronte pioneer Stratford Cross down