NS7993 : Ladies' Rock

taken 10 years ago, near to Stirling, Great Britain

This is 1 of 3 images, with title Ladies' Rock in this square
Ladies' Rock
Ladies' Rock
A bench was added later: NS7993 : Ladies' Rock. For a view of this area from a distance, see NS7993 : Ladies' Rock.

Page 68 of the first volume of "Annals of the Andersonian Naturalists' Society" (1893) offers the following explanation for the name: "At the highest point of the path we come to the cemetery, in the middle of which is the celebrated Ladies' Rock, from which the dames of the castle were wont to view the sports and tournaments in the valley below."

However, that reason for the name is now thought unlikely; see the paper cited in the end-note for a different explanation.

Accessed by means of stone steps, this viewpoint is located on its own mound at the western edge of the cemetery associated with the Church of the Holy Rude. There is a toposcope (giving directions and distances to various points of interest) here in the form of a plaque on top of the pillar.

In the background of the present photograph is the broad flat plain that runs west from Stirling.
Old Town Cemetery, Stirling
This shared description applies to the Valley Cemetery, Mar's Wark Cemetery, the Kirkyard, Ladies' Rock (a viewpoint), and the Drummond Pleasure Ground (the area around the Star Pyramid). It does not include the more recent (1924) Snowdon Cemetery, which is just to the west. See LinkExternal link (at the Old Town Cemetery website) for a map.

(See LinkExternal link for the Snowdon Cemetery.)

The Valley Cemetery was laid out in 185758. The site had previously been called the Valley: it is labelled as such on John Wood's 1820 town plan of Stirling. A 1725 "Plan of the Town and Castle of Sterling" shows a "Horse Market" in the same area (specifically, centred on the location of the later Valley Rock Fountain). See the paper "The Kirkyard and Cemeteries beside Stirling Castle", cited at the end of this description, for other early uses of that ground.

Mar's Wark Cemetery is the eastern part, nearest the ruin that is called Mar's Wark (see LinkExternal link for the ruin itself).

Just north of the Valley Cemetery is the Drummond Pleasure Ground, named after William Drummond: it was at his instigation that the Star Pyramid was built there; the Pleasure Ground contains just one burial: his own, marked by a sarcophagus-styled memorial. Drummond was also responsible for certain aspects of the layout of the Valley Cemetery itself, such as its statues, and the Valley Rock Fountain; it was intended to be read as a symbolic religious landscape. The statues of religious reformers and of the Wigtown Martyrs were sculpted by Alexander Handyside Ritchie.

The Kirkyard is a much older burial ground beside the Church of the Holy Rude. At present, it is not separated from the Valley Cemetery by a wall or any other barrier, but the old boundary between them corresponds to the modern path that runs between Ladies' Rock (a rocky knoll with a direction finder on top) and the northern transept of the Church of the Holy Rude. The Kirkyard is to the south of that path, and the Valley Cemetery is to the north.

A useful source of information on all of these burial grounds (and the Drummond Pleasure Ground) is John G. Harrison's paper "The Kirkyard and Cemeteries beside Stirling Castle", which appears on pages 4959 of Volume 33 (2010) of the journal "The Forth Naturalist and Historian"; the writer of the present shared description is indebted to the author of that article. At the time of writing (early 2018), back issues of that journal can be found online: LinkExternal link (at FNH). For the particularly old gravestones to be found in the Kirkyard, another paper by John G. Harrison is valuable: "Some Early Gravestones in Holy Rude Kirkyard, Stirling", on pages 7996 of Volume 13 (1990) of the same journal.
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Grid Square
NS7993, 674 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Tuesday, 22 July, 2008   (more nearby)
Tuesday, 16 September, 2008
Geographical Context
Burial ground, Crematorium 
Place (from Tags)
View > Viewpoint   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 7909 9379 [10m precision]
WGS84: 56:7.2893N 3:56.7860W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 7910 9379
View Direction
WEST (about 270 degrees)
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Other Tags
Viewpoint  Toposcope 

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