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Warriston Cemetery

A garden cemetery of N Edinburgh, Warriston lies on the north bank of the Water of Leith, a mile (1.5 km) north of the city centre and 1¼ miles (2 km) west southwest of Leith. Opened by the Edinburgh Cemetery Company in 1843, Warriston was the model for several new garden cemeteries which opened in the city in the 1840s. It occupies a sloping site, which extends to 5.7 ha (14 acres), and was once divided by the Edinburgh and Leith Railway, of which only the embankment and a fine Gothic bridge remain. The work of local architect David Cousin (1809-78), the design owes much to that of the Kensal Green Cemetery in London; a line of extensive vaults (or catacombs) occupies the centre of the site, while a fine mortuary chapel, intended for use by the Edinburgh Episcopalian community, has subsequently been removed.

Warriston Cemetery is the last resting place of judge Lord Deas (1804-87), the painters Robert Scott Lauder (1803-69) and Horatio McCulloch (1805-67), newsagent John Menzies (1808-79), astronomer Sir William Peck (1862 - 1925), sculptor John Rhind (1828-92), anatomist Sir John Struthers (1823-99) and surgeon Sir James Young Simpson (1811-70).

Having become overgrown and suffered badly from vandalism, the cemetery was subject to compulsory purchase in 1994 by Edinburgh City Council, who are now responsible for maintenance. However, they have not helped the ambiance by laying flat any monuments they considered dangerous. Just to the east is the Warriston Crematorium which opened in 1929.


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