Historic Churchyards

  • St Kentigern’s Churchyard, Hoddom
  • Wanlockhead Old Churchyard
  • Westerkirk Parish Church, Bentpath
  • Closeburn Parish Church


Churchyard memorials provide a record of those who have died and their relationship with others. Epitaphs provide a wealth of information about how people saw themselves, how others saw them and their sentiments about death.

Most common are verses that although unpoetic have a certain charm:

weep not for us
our Race is run
it was the Lord
his will be Dun


The stone masons skills at cutting inscriptions, (and sometimes mistakes too), can be seen in the various styles of lettering. Old stones often have words that are split at odd places to fit the stone and often include mistakes and corrections.

Here lies the Body

Memorial Inscriptions are a valuable source of information for genealogists. In Dumfries and Galloway many memorial inscriptions have been recorded and are available in publications and websites.

Publications are available in reference sections of local libraries; http://www.dumgal.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1383

and the National Library; http://www.nls.uk/family-history/gravestones/index.html

Many publications are available for sale from the Dumfries and Galloway Family History Society; http://www.dgfhs.org.uk/

Records of memorial inscriptions and photographs for some churchyards in the Stewartry are available from; http://www.kirkyards.co.uk/

Trades and Heraldry

Click on the above links to view examples and find out more.

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Click here to explore churchyards in Dumfries and Galloway

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