Gravestones conference in Fife offers fascinating insight into burial grounds

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A conference on gravestones is set to return to Fife for the first time since lockdown.

The eighth annual event takes place at the Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy, on Saturday, September 23 - and it promises to be a fascinating insight into burial places.

The conference has a host of topics to explore including gravestone inscriptions, social customs surrounding graveyards and burials, family history research, graveyard design, and maintenance and burial practices. Booking via Eventbrite – search for Fife Gravestones Conference

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Speakers include Michael Penman, Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Stirling, on ‘n search of the lost tombs and liturgy of Dunfermline Abbey’ while Rachel McGarvey will introduce her audience to the secrets of forensic facial reconstruction.

Old Kirk cemetery, Kirkcaldy (Pic: Allan Crow)Old Kirk cemetery, Kirkcaldy (Pic: Allan Crow)
Old Kirk cemetery, Kirkcaldy (Pic: Allan Crow)

The 1980 discovery of a bronze age grave in Kirkcaldy High Street will feature in a talk from Nyree Findlay, senior lecturer in archaeology at the University of Glasgow, on what is now known of how our early ancestors lived in the Lang Toun, and dealt with death in their community. Liz McCann from Remembering the Accused Witches of Scotland, will talk about planning for a national memorial.

The day runs from 10:00am to 12:30pm, and coffee is included with a soup and snack lunch will be available. There will be an opportunity to converse with others, browse the displays and take a tour of the historic stones in the Old Kirk graveyard or climb the tower where in 1633 a Kirkcaldy witch was held before her execution along with her husband.