Category: Memorials

52% of the population, but who knows how many memorials there are to women in Scotland?

Well, this website is trying to gather them together. There are windows, benches, fountains and statues.


Dalzell Mausoleum

Took a wander down to Dalziel Old Churchyard today as the BBC had reported lead thieves had caused £15,000 damage to the roof of the Mausoleum.


All of the lead has been yanked out, smashing some of the tiles on both sides. The figure suggested is £15,000 worth of damage for approximately £100 of lead.

Lead guttering removed from Mausoleum.

Since we were down that way, we took a wander round into the old graveyard, which  is sadly dilapidated, but full of interesting headstones. There’s a wonderful project there for someone.

The mausoleum was built on the site of St Patrick’s Chapel (which was probably founded here because of the nearby well, also named for St Patrick). Not that there’s much of the original chapel left, just some stones at ground level.

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On the way back to work, we took a slightly different path and I was astonished to see a bridge crossing the burn, sitting behind locked gates. There’s no word of this bridge on the Dalzell Estate website, or the iron gates that shut it off, but it’s a fascinating mystery waiting to be solved.

A day of burial grounds today. Dropped the kids off, and got lost in the labyrinth that is Chapelton. Anyone who knows Chapelton will think that’s ridiculous – it’s a toattie wee place. Well, the toattie wee place has signposts that lead nowhere. You lie, Chapelton signs, you lie.

Once we escaped, we aimed for Glassford to have a wander around the old kirkyard. It was a miserable looking day, completely grey, but the air was fresh, the birds were singing and the overhead cables were humming happily to themselves.

It’s a nice little kirkyard with a single wall of the church remaining. It’s also part of the Covenanter’s Trail, with a rather gaudy  monument dedicated to William Gordon of Earlston. He was apparently on his way to the Battle of Bothwell Bridge when he was captured and shot by dragoons on 22nd June 1879.

Just beyond the wall of the kirkyard is a track leading down the hill towards Braehead Farm. About halfway down, there’s a  line of trees that leads to the private burial ground of Avonholm. There’s three stones there which were once thought to be standing stones, but are now thought to be grave markers. There’s a street in Strathaven called Threestanes Road. I rememebr reading somewhere that it was supposedly part of an ancient road that lead to the standing stones, but on the map the road is pointing in totally the wrong direction. Nice idea, but I doubt it.

We left Avonholm for another day and headed back to Strathaven for lunch, watching the old railway line running alongside us the whole way, only interrupted by lost bridges and viaducts. A story for another day.

Great lunch at the Old Smiddy in Strathaven, then headed for Stonehouse kirkyard. On Manse Road we passed a   Scottish Rights of Way sign for the Horse Pool on the Avon Water, along with the legend that it was named after a drowned horse, or less romantically, the horseshoe shape. It was too wet to walk over to the pool but we did learn that it’s a great place to look for fossils.

At the top of the hill is Stonehouse old kirkyard: another ruined church, with belltower intact this time. I had an inkling that there was a Covenanter buried here too, but couldn’t see it, probably because I was trying to figure out the lie of the land, checking the view back across to Glassford, and taking pictures of the headstone carvings.

At home I checked up on the Covenanter connection and was disgusted that I’d missed the Bloodstone, marking the burial of James Thomson of Tanhill, who died of wounds gained at the Battle of Drumclog in 1679. The legend says that if you insert your finger in the mouth on the carved skull, it will be bloody when you pull it out. Why anyone would be insane enough to try this and risk horrendous nightmares is beyond me, but a number have, and discovered red ochre dust on their finger.

And then, hunting about online for further information, I was delighted to discover a Quaker burial ground on Geograph that I’d never known about.

So, two kirkyards, one burial ground, a couple of legends and a whole load of history: not a bad day.

Hunter House Museum, originally uploaded by JenthePen

The Hunter Brothers were renowned doctors of the 18th century, born at Long Calderwood Farm in East Kilbride, which is now an interactive museum dedicated to their life and works.

William was famous for his work on obstetrics and anatomy. John was more famous as a surgeon. Both were collectors. William’s collection became the basis of the Hunterian Museum and Gallery at Glasgow University; John’s was bequeathed to the Royal College of Surgeons, England.

Hunter Brothers Memorial, originally uploaded by JenthePen

The Hunters are also remembered in East Kilbride with this memorial (sculpted by B Schotz, RSA, erected 1937, the Hunter Health Centre (constantly under threat of demolition) and the former Hunter Primary and Secondary Schools (the latter now totally demolished).

Of course, now that the economy is being systematically destroyed, the council want to close the whole Museums Service.  It’s not exactly huge, and it’s a typically short sighted suggestion from the council.