Glenbervie Churchyard


Established for over 600 years this Kincardineshire churchyard is perhaps best known for its links to the family of Robert Burns. The first church located on this site dates back to medieval times and was dedicated to St Michael the Archangel. The present ruins are from the 17th century though the church was altered and extended a number of times. It was superseded by the present church of Glenbervie when it was built in 1826.

For those interested in the family of Robert Burns there are two stones relating to his ancestors. The first is his great-grandparents, James Burnes and Margarett Falconer along with their son Thomas Burnes and their only daughter Margarett. The second commemorates James's elder brother Willliam Burnes and his wife Christian Fotheringham. William was the great-grand-uncle of Robert Burns and was also the great-grandfather of John Burnes, another member of this family who gained fame as a poet. His best work was "Thrummy Cap", a ghostly tale set in a haunted ale-house near the old kirk of Glenbervie. The roofed enclosure for these stones was erected in 1968 to protect them from further deterioration.

Also of note is the burial vault of the lairds of Glenbervie, located in the ruined chancel of the old church. The Douglas family have connections here dating back to 730AD!

The track leading to the churchyard is signposted from the main road and parking is easily found just outside the graveyard. Oddly this track appears to cut through the present grounds of a factory which lies close to the graveyard site with workers traversing the track at various times, so extra care should be taken when driving down.

This church is in a beautiful spot with a stream running close by. You might also catch a glimpse of Glenbervie house at the other side of the valley. A well maintained site that I imagine has more visitors than most during the summer due to the distinguished connections mentioned above. I however saw no one on my visit in the month of November! Pity that the factory is so close as you can hear the machinery from the graveyard - though it was by no means loud it did detract from the romance of the place.

Well worth a visit though and recommended to you.

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Click on photos below to enlarge

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The enclosure housing stones of the
ancestors of Robert Burns