November 04, 2012

Memento Mori

Our Hallowe'en holiday in the beautiful old city of Edinburgh felt like a carousel ride that I just didn't want to end! Every day was like a new adventure, exploring new places and discovering new things! Time seemed to stand still in that city of ancient stone, it felt as if our week away lasted much longer than it actually did which was a good thing as we had plenty of grand plans. Our days were full of castles, dungeons, museums, wildlife, history, good food and shopping! I have so many photos to show but I thought I would start with the place that I was most looking forward to visiting..


A visit to Greyfriars is like taking a step back in time. The enchantingly beautiful scenery and macabre carvings coupled with the sombre atmosphere are quite surreal, especially during the Autumn months when the contrast between the skeletal trees, the grey mournful graves and tombs and the bright golden hues of Autumn seem like something from a Grimm's fairytale!

~ The MacKenzie Tomb, home to a poltergeist ~


One thought that kept occurring to me during our stroll was that I could only wish that today's modern burials were half as grand and splendiferous as those from times gone by. The dark aesthetics of this place are enough to give even a long dead heart palpitations!


You can be sure to find plenty of engraved skeletons and bones around every corner in Greyfriars Kirkyard! I can only imagine what this place would look like by the light of a torch or candle at night, it would be enough to send chills up the spine!


Dating back to the 1500's it's not surprising that Greyfriars has its fair share of history and ghost stories, but one story that put a smile on my face was that of Greyfriars Bobby..

'Bobby' was the name of a Skye Terrier who belonged to John Gray, a night watchman for the Edinburgh Police. The two were inseparable for two years, however, in February 1858, Gray died of tuberculosis and was buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard. Bobby, who survived him for 14 years, is said to have spent the rest of his life sitting on his master's grave. The gardener and keeper of Greyfriars tried on many occasions to evict Bobby but in the end they took pity on him. He was built a shelter and was fed regularly. Bobby never spent a night away from his master's grave, even in the most dismal weather conditions. In 1867, the Lord Provost of Edinburgh paid for Bobby's dog licence making him the responsibility of the City Council. When Bobby died in 1872 he could not be buried within the cemetery itself since it was consecrated ground; instead he was buried just inside the gate of Greyfriars Kirkyard, not far from John Gray's grave. ♥

I hope you've enjoyed this kind of virtual journey around Greyfriars, it really was the perfect ending to an exhaustingly busy week! Next up I'll be showing the beautiful little cottage we stayed in plus the treasures that I found!

~♥~

36 comments:

  1. It looks like you had a lovely time! Your photographs look incredible, I love black and white photography! I've never been to Edinburgh but I'd love to go someday.

    I seem to feel like I've seen a film about Bobby? I can't remember what it was called, but I can remember it being very sad. It's a really nice story though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Claire! I think subjects such as graveyards always look better in black and white! I did read that there is a film based on the life of Bobby and I would love to watch it.. I would probably end up with tears streaming down my face though! ~♥~

      Delete
  2. Oooo pretty! The third-from-last picture is definitely my favourite! But each picture is just stunning, I would really love to visit Edinburgh after seeing all of your escapades! Aww, I've heard of Greyfriars Bobby before, such a cute and sad story! Can't wait to see what treasures you found! ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Aoife! :) It was a lot of fun photographing all the beautiful gravestones but with the ground being wet and soggy, it was a bit of a nightmare when walking off the paths to take close-ups! My shoes were covered in mud by the end of it but it was definitely worth it to get these photographs! I really do recommend at least one weekend in Edinburgh, there is so many things to do and the architecture is gorgeous! ~♥~

      Delete
  3. It's so cool to think just 2 months ago I was there too! I love that you did most in B&W it suits the feel of the place. I love the story about the Bobby, that would be my Peetee too. Show me more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree! I think that most things look better in black and white! I thought of you as I passed that Pink/Oink place just off Grassmarket as I remember you saying just how much you loved their pork! HAHA! ~♥~

      Delete
  4. Your photos of Greyfriars are breathtaking! The tale of Greyfriars Bobby is so poignant. It always brings a tear to my eyes. I'm glad your trip was everything you hoped for and more! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Emma! I'm really happy with how they turned out, I think they have really captured the atmosphere of the place! The story of Bobby is just so heart-warming compared to all the other not so pleasant stories of Edinburgh! ~♥~

      Delete
  5. It doesn't seem five minuted since I was admiring Krista's photos. The black adn white pictures are beautiful. x

    ReplyDelete
  6. Stunning photos! Definitely a new addition to the Cemetery Bucket List! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! :) Greyfriars definitely deserves a spot on that list, trust me, you won't be disappointed! ~♥~

      Delete
  7. Wow, the perfect place to spend Halloween, and awesome photos! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really was! I couldn't have imaged any place more fitting for a Hallowe'en holiday, except for maybe Halloween Town from The Nightmare Before Christmas! ~♥~

      Delete
  8. Wonderful photos! I love old churchyards, so peaceful and yet haunting.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great Pictures... it looks so wonderful there!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I loved it there, although I must say my pictures were nowhere near as good as yours. I forced the boys to go in and look around in fairly torrential rain, but they did like all the skeletons (result of their obsession with Ninjago lego). Did you see the pile of sticks people had left my the entrance? Like people leave rockstars beer and cigarettes at their graves, people have left 'fetch' tributes for Greyfriars Bobby (even though he isn't buried there, being a dog!)
    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha thanks Lakota! I did see some sticks at Bobby's gravestone along with some little terrier ornaments and dog biscuits! It was really quite sweet! ~♥~

      Delete
  11. The photos are so great it feels like i was there. Thank you for the post! It seems that you had a wonderful time there :D Hope one day to go actually there, is an amazing place with breathtaking things to see.. and feel ^^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome Magda! I knew you would find this post interesting! I really hope you get to visit someday, I think everyone should experience Edinburgh at least once in their lifetimes! I'd definitely like to experience it more than once! ~♥~

      Delete
  12. These pictures are absolutely wonderful! I'd like to visit Edinburgh someday :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you lovely! You totally should, I know you'll love it! ~♥~

      Delete
  13. Wow, these are some beautiful photographs! Lovely post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! It seems everyone likes them so I must have done a good job! ~♥~

      Delete
  14. So beautiful.I would probably be scared at night.lol.loved the story about the dog.x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha, I can imagine it would be quite an imposing place as night! I know they do nightly ghost walks around the graveyard and I'm hoping we could go on one next time we visit! It'll be interesting hearing a bit of history about its occupants! ~♥~

      Delete
  15. Wow amazing photographs Sandy, I have so much to catch up on, but I am so excited to read more about your Halloween holiday. Nothing is more magical than spending time in a place you love and admire, I can so relate to that xxx

    ReplyDelete
  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete