Canongate Kirkyard

Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

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Number of Images

174

Number of Headstone Records

503

Description

Step back a little way from the church, look up to the top of the gable and you will see a golden stag’s head with a cross between its antlers. The antlers were presented in 1946 by King George VI (the present Queen’s father). The royal connections go back much further. The stag head and cross are the arms of the Burgh of Canongate which was established by King David I of Scotland in 1128 at thesame time as he founded the nearby Holyrood Abbey. “Holyrood” means “Holy Cross” and the legend is that David was inspired to found the Abbey by seeing a vision of the Cross when attacked by a stag in what is now Holyrood Park. For many years the peopleof the Canongate worshipped in the Abbey Church but when King James VII decided to turn that church into a private Royal Chapel this parish church was built. The plaque on the church-front explains that this was paid for from a mortification made by a merchant called Thomas Moodie. “Mortification” is an old Scottish term for money left in a will for charitable purposes.
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Canongate Kirkyard, Created by SamuelTaylorGeer, Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom