EDINBURGH OLD TOWN ATTRACTIONS GREYFRIARS KIRK GRAVEYARD AND MUSEUM

GREYFRIARS KIRK GREYFRIARS PLACE EDINBURGH

Greyfriar's Kirk takes its name from the Franciscan friary which was previously on this site. The signing of the National Covenant took place in Greyfriar’s Kirk on 28 February 1638. In a field nearby, in the 18th century 1200 Covenanters were imprisoned. A section of this field was incorporated into the churchyard as vaulted tombs and the area became known as the Covenanters' Prison. You will see enclosed vaults and metal fenced cages called mort safes as a deterrent to grave robbers taking the bodies from their resting place to use in the medical school for autopsy and scientific experiments. The famous grave robbers of the time were (Burke and Hare). Greyfriar’s Cemetery is said to be haunted by the ghost of 'Bloody' George Mackenzie who was buried here in 1691. His Spirit is said to cause bruising, bites and cuts on those who come into contact with the spirit or touch his tomb. Some visitors have reported feeling strange sensations. Take the ghost tour and find out for yourself.

Don’t miss visiting Greyfriars Museum for the history and mystery of the graveyard and Kirk. 

GREYFRIARS TOBOOTH AND HIGHLAND KIRK MUSEUM

GREYFRIARS PLACE EDINBURGH

There are many things to see and stories to be read in the museum like the an American flag that hung in the White House which was gift to the church as Greyfriars Kirk and the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers in the New World took place on Christmas Day 1620.

Not to forget the famous dog Greyfriars Bobby. 

Greyfriars Museum and shop are open Monday to Friday 10.30am to 4.30pm and Saturday 11.00am until 2.00pm. Free admission. There are guided tours available. 

COVENANTERS PRISON (THE PRESBYTERIANS) GREYFRIARS KIRK EDINBURGH

The National Covenant signed in Greyfriars in 1638 promised to defend Presbyterianism from intervention by the crown.

Through the gates is the part of the Greyfriar’s Kirkyard which was once in 1679 a prison for more than 1000 supporters of the National Covenant, who had been defeated by Government forces at the Battle of Bothwell Bridge 22 June 1679.  They were imprisoned for more than 4 months with little or no food and no shelter, some were tried and executed, others died in prison, some escaped and others were set free after signing a bond of loyalty to the crown.

In November 1679 the remaining 257 prisoners were taken to Leith and place aboard a ship that was bound for the American Colonies, however all but 48 were drowned when the ship was wrecked of the coast of Orkney.

Nine of the 48 were said to have escaped. The area of the prison was much larger than it is now as it took in where houses have been built and new graves were installed here in 1705 when the graveyard required more space for the Edinburgh people. The Covenanters (Presbyterians) immigrated to North America in the early 1700s and William Tennant founded the Log College in Neshaminy Pennsylvania in 1735. The Covenanters of North America became the members of the reformed Presbyterian Church. For more information on the survivors and the ones banished to the Americas, see www.ivanlea.net/sub_pages/bob_miller.htm

The Graveyard is said to be haunted by the infamous 'Bloody' George Mackenzie who was buried here in 1691.

THE GATES TO THE COVENANTER'S PRISON 

Greyfriar's kirkyard Covenanters' Prison gates Edinburgh

BRONZE PLAQUE AT LEFT SIDE OF GATE

Greyfriar's kirkyard Covenanters' Prison Plaque Edinburgh

GEORGE MACKENZIE'S TOMB

GEORGE MACKENZIE (The covenanter's Judge)

GREYFRIARS KIRK EDINBURGH

George Mackenzie was the judge that sentenced the Covenanters to death.

The spirit of George MacKenzie is said to cause bruising, bites and cuts on those who come into contact with the spirit or touch his tomb.

Some visitors have reported feeling strange sensations. The Poltergeist seems to only attack people that are in the Covenanters Prison area which is now kept locked and only open for tours and amateur ghost hunters.

Greyfriar's kirkyard Carbide Gas Disaster plaque Edinburgh

SIR ROBERT SIBBALD 1641 – 1722

GREYFRIARS KIRK EDINBURGH

Sir Robert Sibbald was Physician to King Charles II and first Professor of Medicine in the University of Edinburgh, President of the Royal College of Physicians 1648 – 1685 and co-founder of the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh. 

WALTER GEIKIE GREYFRIARS KIRK EDINBURGH

Walter Geikie was born in 1795 a deaf painter and founder of the first deaf church and deaf society. His true memorial can be seen in our city art galleries and in the quality of life and dignity accorded to deaf citizens of Edinburgh today. Walter Geikie loved to sketch street scenes in ink and of real life.

UNION CARBIDE GAS DISASTER

MEMORIAL PLAQUE

GREYFRIAR'S KIRK EDINBURGH

In memory of almost 4000 deaths and 40,000 people disabled maimed or suffering serious illness from the gas leak in December 1984 in Bhopal India.

"never think you stand alone"

FLODDEN WALL IN GREYFRIARS KIRK GRAVEYARD

The Flodden wall can be seen throught Greyfriars Graveyard.

The old city wall was built for protection from the English invaders (1513) after the Scots Army suffered their heaviest defeat in battle to the English and where King James IV died in battle, King James IV was the last monarch to die in battle. 

FLODDEN WALL IN GREYFRIARS GRAVEYARD

The Town Guard's main duty was to protect the city and maintain public order. Formed in 1679 with 40 men. Always present at civic gatherings and were lead by the Lord Provost of Edinburgh.  

© 2016 by All About Edinburgh. 

started 16 / 03 /2017

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