Other than gravestones, you never know what you’ll find in a cemetery. A weary hiker sunbathing in his underwear just behind the bench… a crow (straight from a horror story perhaps?) perched atop a tree gazing down on his domain… or some rather creepy footprints embedded in the mossy grass.
I did consider including some of the very beautiful contemporary headstones to be found, but decided against it. Some of the inscriptions were just a little too recent, and I would hate it if someone’s family member was to stumble on this blog and find a loved one’s marker. So you’ll just have to take my word for it – or visit yourself! – that there are some very thoughtful and moving memorials to be found.
Making your way past the ‘modern’ cemetery, (which is where you will find the military gravestones illustrated in my first blog on Lamlash Cemetery) you come to the walls of the original graveyard.
Amongst the more than one hundred or so gravestones ‘beyond the wall’, here are three of my favourites. The first one dates back to the 1700s and I find it interesting how the words roll into each other without a break. The inscription on the second, belonging to Lady Charlotte Erskine, eldest daughter of The Earl of Mar, intrigued me: ‘Where the tree fell, there should it lie’. Arran’s ‘gentry’ were the Duke and Duchess of Hamilton, so perhaps Lady Erskine was visiting them on the island when she died.
As for last grave… well it’s certainly one I wouldn’t want to run into on a dark night!