Back to List

Greyfriars Kirkyard


In Person

Greyfriars Kirkyard is a world-famous and locally-loved historic graveyard. It is the second most popular free tourist attraction in the whole of Scotland. Ground for the graveyard was gifted by Mary Queen of Scots to the people of Edinburgh in 1561 and it was laid out on the site of a former Franciscan Friary. It contains the nation's finest collection of 17th and 18th century stone carvings and monuments, created by the leading architects and craftsmen of the day. The museum quality collection of tombs is located within an award-winning greenspace, with links to historic events of national importance and the popular cultural interests of Greyfriars Bobby and Harry Potter.



Facilitated on-site workshops will investigate the key issues involved in developing a new strategy to care for Greyfriars Kirkyard. Questions will include:

  • How can we balance the different roles Greyfriars Kirkyard might play, for example, as a tourist attraction, community amenity, educational resource, urban greenspace, setting for the church and as a spiritual place?
  • Should the Covenanters’ Prison be locked - what are the pros and cons?
  • What is the value of memorials when they have decayed to such an extent that we can no longer see the carvings or read the lettering?

The visit will involve 2 parts – a visit to the Covenanters’ Prison, which is usually locked, and an in-depth look at some of the most important 17th century monuments on site, which we will compare to historic images and recent 3D digital models ( personal mobile smartphone are needed to access digital models during the visit).

Digital Resources

Virtual tour of Greyfriars Kirkyard

If you wish to visit from the comfort of your armchair instead, Edinburgh’s Parks and Greenspaces team and reality capture specialists Captured Realities have created below a wonderful immersive virtual tour that allows you to have a wander among the many magnificent and unique tombs to be found in Greyfriars Kirkyard. Of particular interest to many will be the visual access this 360° tour affords to the normally locked section, the so-called “Covenanter’s Prison.

Go on a virtual guided tour!

Key Information

Workshop attendance must be pre-booking via Eventbrite. For more information and to book a place go to:

Where to find us

  • Greyfriars Place
  • Edinburgh
  • EH1 2QQ
Follow us

Programmes this building took part in: