After crossing Perth Bridge, I didn’t feel quite ready to nip into a gallery just yet so I had a wee derive around Perth city centre. I was heading back towards the river and the Fergusson Gallery when I noticed a graveyard and a suitably fortified structure at the gate. Naturally I had to go in. I found myself in Greyfriars Burial Ground, apparently once the site of a friary demolished in a riot after a sermon in St. John’s Kirk by John Knox on 11th May 1559. This probably connected better with the Martyrs’ Monument over in St. Andrews but it came after Perth Bridge, purely because of geography. I’m glad I stopped by. The graveyard was a place of the dead but also one of wildlife, a biodiversity area, no less, with plenty of trees, including a particularly fine willow. I wandered for a while, looking idly at the stones, focusing on the occupations represented, tobacconists, printers, soldiers and many others. There was traffic noise but it felt completely removed from the city. Indeed I almost got a fright as I was roused from my note writing by the council caretakers, wanting to lock the gate for the night.
Greyfriars could connect to quite a lot, through John Knox to John Witherspoon, another Presbyterian luminary, or to Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh. That was all secondary, though. As I wandered, I was just glad to have stumbled over the place. I doubt I could find it again without recourse to a map. That’s not always a bad thing. I imagine Murdo, of From Hill To Sea, could do it better justice than me, even if it is outside Fife, capturing its essence with a few, well chosen words rather than my many, gallumphing ones.
Thanks for reading.