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Lives carved in stone

A guided tour around the iconic Greyfriars Kirkyard to learn how graveyards are keepers of the stories that shape society.

In keeping with the ‘Year of Stories’, follow Professor Gerard Carruthers FRSE, Francis Hutcheson Chair of Scottish Literature, and the Friends of Greyfriars Kirkyard as they lead you on a tour of one of the world’s most famous and evocative graveyards. Professor Carruthers and the Friends will weave a fascinating tale of an Edinburgh on the verge of the Enlightenment, introducing you to some of the most revolutionary thinkers of the day, the ideas they gifted to the world, and the markers they left behind. Far from just being a place for the dead, learn how Greyfriars Kirkyard – and other graveyards like it – is alive with meaning and memory, helping us understand where we’ve been and what matters to us most.

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Additional Info

  • The tours are suitable for anyone 12+. Younger children are welcome to join by parental discretion. ALL UNDER 16s MUST be accompanied and supervised by an adult. Well-behaved dogs may join on a lead.
  • The tour will include references to death/dying and will take place in a graveyard. The tours will be conducted with the utmost respect for those interred in the Kirkyard and are intended for educational purposes.
  • Accessibility Statement: We aim to make events as accessible as possible. If you have any accessibility requirements or any questions about how we can support this event, please contact the RSE Public Engagement team on
  • Attendees should note that tours will be conducted outdoors, on occasionally uneven (though paved) terrain. As a result, this tour may be less suitable for those with mobility issues.
  • Appropriate footwear and outerwear are recommended.
  • The tours will go ahead rain or shine, though we will cancel in the case of particularly poor weather and inform attendees the morning of the tour via email.
  • Attendees will also be asked to abide by the designated pathways in Greyfriars Kirkyard to minimise damage to grass and other sensitive surfaces and to be mindful of other tours and graveyard visitors.
  • If the weather is likely to be very hot, a hat and some water are advisable.
  • The event will be presenter-led and the meeting place is by the Greyfriars Kirkyard sign to the inner left of the main gates on Candlemaker Row.