Dean Cemetery Edinburgh

Image by Fiona Diack

Dean Cemetery – Hidden stories

My fellow spotter, Anson, has already highlighted Dean Village as a beautiful spot to explore while you’re in Edinburgh. Just up the hill from the Water of Leith and the centre of Dean Village, I’d recommend visiting Dean Cemetery as well.

There are lots of beautiful graveyards to explore around Edinburgh but Dean feels a little more peaceful as it’s a bit further out of the city centre (but still only a short walk) and there are some fascinating stories hidden in the gravestones.

For example, keep your eyes peeled for the grave of Robert McVitie, the man who invented the digestive biscuit, or Elsie Inglis, one of the first female doctors who also served on the front line in Serbia during the First World War.

My personal favourite though is the grave of Sir Thomas Bouch, who is the man behind the phrase “botched job”. Bouch was an acclaimed railway engineer in the 1800s. In May 1878 his latest achievement, the Tay Rail Bridge near Dundee, was opened and soon after he was knighted by Queen Victoria.

18 months later, on 28 December 1879, a train carrying at least 59 people was crossing the bridge when it collapsed, plunging both the train and bridge into the water and killing everyone on board. During the investigation, it was discovered that Bouch had made many mistakes in designing the bridge. He died, disgraced, in 1880 leaving his name as a synonym for a badly done job.

What other stories will you find in Dean Cemetery?

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Details about this spot



Dean Cemetery, Edinburgh

Opening Times

09:00 - 17:00 (or dusk in winter) daily




Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)