The artist's marble rests,
On the lips that I have pressed,
In their bloom
And the names I lovd to hear,
Have been carved for many a year,
On the tomb.
The following history of
the burying-ground is exhibited in the visitors room of the lodge at
the entrance gate :
Kirkintilloch Old Aisle
Burying Ground, a.d. 1140.
The old aisle church of
Kirkintilloch was founded by Thorald, proprietor of the Barony of
Kirkintilloch and Cumbernauld, and High Sheriff of Stirlingshire, about
1140. It appears, from the chronicles of Melrose, that King David I.
granted a charter to the Abbey of Kelso, which was witnessed, apud
Strivelin Johanne Glasguensi, Episcopo, Toraldo, Vicecomite, and
others. John, Bishop of Glasgow, died 28th May, 1147, and Herbert,
Abbot of Kelso, was elected his successor. In the same year (1147) the
King granted a charter to Cambuskenneth Abbey, viz., Ecclesiae Sanctae
Marise de Striveling et canonicis in ea,* conveying terram de
Kambuskinel, etc , witnessed by seventeen persons, among whom is
Herbertus electus de Glasgu. The chartularies of Arbroath, Dunfermline,
and other monasteries, contain royal charters granted between 1165 and
1214, witnessed by William, son of Thorald. In the chartulary of
Cambuskenneth is a charter by * Willielmus filius ThoraldiVicecomes de
Strivelyn, granting to that abbey the church of Kirkintilloch, * cum
dimida carrucata terre pro anima mea et animis patris mei et matris mese,
witnessed by 4 Alano filio ejus, and others. In the same chartulary is
a bull by Pope Celestine III., dated at Rome, on the Ides of May, 1195,
enumerating and confirming grants previously made to the abbey, among
which are mentioned land in villa de Bynnin, ex concessione et
confirmatione Jocelyni, Episcopi, Glasguensis, et Willielmi filii
Thoraldi et ex regia confirmatione Ecclesiae de Kirkintulloch cum
dimidia carrucata terre. Jocelyn or Gotelin was Bishop of Glasgow from
1174 to 1199. In this chartulary there is also a confirmation by King
Alexander II., dated 27th March, 1226, of the abbeys possessions,
including the kirk of Kirkintilloch, and its half carrucate of land. In
Bagimonts Roll, 1275, the vicarage of Kirkintilloch was taxed £2 13s.
4d., being a tenth of its estimated yearly revenue.
William, son of Thorald,
was succeeded by his son, *Alexander, filius Willielmi filii Thoraldi
(see chartulary of Dunfermline), who was styled Viscomes de Strivelyn."
He granted to the See of Glasgow, tres marcas annuatim in pura et
perpetua elemosina de Molendino meo de Cadder.* John, a brother of
Alexander, succeeded. There is a royal charter of confirmation to the
See of Glasgow (see chartulary of Glasgow) of certain lands, date 1242,
witnessed by Johanne Vicecomite de Strivelyn.
The Comyn family, of
whom Thorald, William, Alexander, and John, above mentioned, were
members, continued to be proprietors of Kirkintilloch, and Cumbernauld
Barony, and heritable Sheriffs of Stirlingshire, until their forfeiture,
consequent on their rivalry with Robert de Bruce. The barony was then
granted to Robert Fleming, who died in 1313 or 1314. The Bruce*
confirmed a charter to Malcolm Fleming, son of Robert, of the whole
barony of Kirkintilloch, with its pertinents, which formerly belonged to
John Comyn, Knight; also created him Earl of Wigton, and also appointed
him Sheriff of Dumbartonshire and Governor of Dumbarton Castle.
Afterwards the estate is described in the title-deeds as the Barony of
Lenzie. In 1390 David Fleming, by a charter, in which he is styled,
*Davi, Lord of Bigare and
Lenzie," mortified his lands of Duntiblay, with a part of its mill, to a
chapel in the town of Kirkintilloch. John, Lord Fleming, Chamberlain of
Scotland during the minority of King James V., kept back for seven years
payment of the tythes of his lands in Kirkintilloch, amounting to
thirty-three bolls of wheat and two bolls of barley each year, and was
prosecuted at the instance of the abbot and monks of Cambuskenneth.
Thereafter they leased the tythes to the Fleming family for £So yearly.
At the Reformation time John, Earl of Mar, acquired the property of the
Cambuskenneth Abbey, and sold or transferred Kirkintilloch tythes and
church to the Earl of Wigton. In 1621 (see Acta Pari. IV., 607) the
people of Cumbernauld district petitioned Parliament to have Lenzie
Barony made two parishes, or to have the church brought nearer to the
centre of the parish. In 1646 a new church was built at Cumbernauld for
Easter Lenzie, now made a separate parish, and the chapel in
Kirkintilloch became the church of the western parish. The old church
was then deserted.
Its precincts, called
The Old Aisle,* have never been deserted; and, after being continuously
a graveyard for seven hundred years, they have now received the
enlargement sanctioned by the Sheriff of the county on 7th May, 1863,
and compose with it the burying-ground of the parish of Kirkintilloch,
in terms of the Burial Grounds (Scotland) Act, 1855.
At Carrickstone, in the
parish of Cumbernauld, near the track of the old Roman wall, is an
ancient Roman ara or altar, which is now set up on the road-side, and
has evidently given the name to the place, as it is known as the
Carrick-stone. Tradition says that on this height Bruce, marching from
Carrick in Ayrshire, rested his army on his way to Bannockburn, and on
this ancient stone fixed his standard. A feeling of reverence seems to
have long clung to it, on account of it having been, at one time, used
as a resting-place, where the coffins of the dead were placed while
being conveyed to the 1 Auld Isle/ formerly the common graveyard of the
then united parishes of Cumbernauld and Kirkintilloch, or Easter and
Wester Lenzie. Before the bridge at Brigen was built, the Luggie was
crossed by burial parties at a ford, and in the centre of the stream was
a large stone, on which the bearers rested the coffin.
Tradition says that a
market was held at St. Ninians church every Sunday after service, and
this was so common throughout Scotland as to render it more than likely
to have been the practice there also.
The holding of markets
on Sunday was a custom which originated at a very remote period, and
from the long time the practice continued, it had doubtless been found
convenient both for exposer and purchaser. Indeed, the same course was
carried on even after the Reformation; and it was not until the year
1593 that Parliament thought of legislating upon the point, when an Act
was passed to discharge, remove, and put away all fairis and marcattis
haldin on Sondays; but the people were so much prejudiced in favour of
the custom that nearly a century elapsed before the terms of the Act
were even generally complied with.-Jervise.
No more romantic and
beautiful burying-ground than the Old Aisle can be seen anywhere.
The ancient part, which
has been in use so long, consists of about an acre, and stands on the
summit of a gentle acclivity, but entirely secluded from all signs of
life as regards the immediate surroundings. The old belfry is the most
conspicuous object, and, like an ancient banner, proclaims by its
presence the antiquity of the place. As may be expected, the ground is
long ago fully occupied, or, more properly speaking, every yard of it
has been tenanted and retenanted for ages; and the ground is now
covered, as a rule, with old time-worn tombstones, the inscriptions on
which are mostly illegible. David Gray, the poet, is interred in this
Under the new regimh
about six acres have been added to the area and enclosed ; three acres
sloping gc tly down to the south-west, and the other three to the
south-east, ending in a retired and beautiful dell; a prominent object
in the foreground being the iron bridge over the Bothlin bum.
In these are interred
many well-known inhabitants of the town and parish, among whom we can
only mention Miss Cluggton, the philanthropist. An elegant monument of
red sandstone marks her last resting place, faced with a massive tablet
of bronze in the f<ğrm of a Gothic window. An admirable likeness of the
deceased lady is on the top, and the inscriptions are with great good
tasteshort, but expressive; the institutions founded through the
exertions of that noble spirit being her best monument, and will keep
her memory fresh and fragrant long after the red sandstone has crumbled
into dust The inscriptions bear: Beatrice Clugston, 1827-1888. Dunoon
Homes, Broomhill Home, Glasgow Convalescent Home. Charity, Mercy,
The history of the Old
Aisle would require a volume in itself, and we heartily wish and hope
that some Guthrie Smith will arise in the near future to do the subject
the justice it deserves.
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