Eassie Old Church: Gravestones

Whilst looking at the Pictish Stone in this churchyard I had to take a look at the unusual headstones, including a series of tablestones.

I am always curious to see what symbols have been used on the headstones. Here the hourglass is used which symbolises a short life or swiftness of time. The cross and skulls as well as angel wings are common. But my favourite was the pressing iron and shears that indicate the grave was that of a tailor.

Sometimes the dates indicate some illness struck a family; above the two children died within a month of each other. The son only 4 days short of his 7th birthday and his sister not even 5½ years old. What illness struck them down? Measles? Smallpox? Influenza?

The grounds of this cemetery appear to be well looked after, the grass is short and the area around the stones is cleared, but it is sad to see some of the old headstones broken and discarded, some in piles, others propped up against the walls of the ruined church. Lichens and moss make some of them illegible.

A war grave stands proud in the cemetery. Though it too raises questions. How did the young soldier die? And what is 3/5th Black Watch? ¹

When we take such great care to protect one ancient stone (the Pictish Stone) we also need to protect stones that in the future would also relate our history.

Thursday’s Special | Traces of the Past

¹ 3/4th, 3/5th, 3/6th and 3/7th Battalions
Formed at home bases in March and April 1915. All moved to Bridge of Earn and later in 1915 to Ripon.
8 April 1916 : renamed 4th to 7th Reserve Bns; on 1 September 1916 4th absorbed all others.
Moved to Edinburgh in May 1918.

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

45 thoughts on “Eassie Old Church: Gravestones”

  1. A lovely thoughtful graveyard visit. I’ve never seen a stone with skull before, and I didn’t know deliberately flat ones were called tablestones.

    Old stones need descendants to renovate them I think. My sister-in-law, family historian, spends time locating family burial places and marking them if they’re not marked. A lot easier here with only 230 years of whitefella graves.

    1. I wouldn’t even know where to begin with my family. My parents don’t even have a grave and I only have a vague idea where one of my grandmothers was buried.

  2. Always sad to find a stone listing children. I came across one recently that the father had erected in memory of six children, the longest surviving being only eleven.

  3. I don’t find them morbid Jude, they’re fascinating. When I was young I was scared to go into cemeteries, what a wuss I was! I now walk regularly in my local one, it’s beautiful.
    I can’t see the age of any of these, am I missing something under the lichen? The hourglass is my favourite 🙂

    1. It is hard to read the inscriptions on the tablestones and I think they have writing around the edges too, but it appears to be a Victorian graveyard.

  4. Old graveyards are so interesting. I have wandered through several on my trips to Scotland. In fact, the next post I write is to be on St. Fillans church in Aberdour. Old stones marking the lives that were once very important to someone. Fascinating.

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