The lush splendour of Warriston Cemetery is tucked away behind overgrown stone walls, hemmed in by Warriston Road and the Goldenacre Path. There appears to be an ongoing battle between the caretakers and nature, and I’m somewhat happy to say, nature is winning. Warriston Cemetery is eerily beautiful, partly because it is so green, partly because most of the world has forgotten it. Trees and ivy have subsumed many of the tombstones and memorial plaques, and while this would likely be to the horror of many of those interred, it is a gorgeous reminder that life will continue to go on, long after we have left it behind.
The efforts of the Friends of Warriston Cemetery are quite impressive — you can see where they’ve carefully reclaimed some of the stone work, much of it beautifully engraved — and yet they’ve still retained the wilderness that makes the area attractive. According to the Edinburgh News here, Warriston Cemetery “was designed by city architect David Cousin in 1842 in response to wealthy Victorians’ demands for carefully groomed burial places that could reflect their status. He designed it with space for lavish monuments, large family tombs and ornate stones all set in carefully landscaped gardens and walkways.” Many of the tombs remain intact, and you can catch glimpses of where the walkways may have once traversed the grounds, and occasionally find the distant memory of a garden bed, at one time tended with great care and cost.