NS7993 : Valley Cemetery, Stirling

taken 1 year ago, near to Stirling, Great Britain

Valley Cemetery, Stirling
Valley 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, nor Ballengeich Cemetery (1888), which is not contiguous with those other grounds. See LinkExternal link (at the Old Town Cemetery website) for a map.

(See LinkExternal link for the Snowdon Cemetery and LinkExternal link for Ballengeich 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 (which, for some obscure reason, is now usually referred to as Pithy Mary) 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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NS7993, 696 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Saturday, 24 February, 2018   (more nearby)
Thursday, 15 March, 2018
Geographical Context
Burial ground, Crematorium 
Primary Subject of Photo
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 7913 9380 [10m precision]
WGS84: 56:7.2952N 3:56.7477W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 7914 9379
View Direction
Northwest (about 315 degrees)
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