This beautiful garden beside the church is a haven of peace in the city centre. It has been a graveyard for nearly two centuries; burials began here when the church was built in 1818, and continued until 1965. It is the only graveyard in Edinburgh maintained by an Episcopal church, and is separated by a wall from Saint Cuthbert's graveyard, which is owned by the City of Edinburgh Council. Part of the graveyard is an unusual enclosure called the Dormitory, with a high wall to give security against grave-robbing.
Over 300 monuments in the graveyard depict Scotland's impact on the world since 1800. People buried here include the artist Sir Henry Raeburn; Mrs Cumming, who inspired Burns to write a poem to "Bonnie Lesley"; and Anne Rutherford, the mother of Sir Walter Scott. A complete list of the inscriptions is available in the church office.
The church recently obtained funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and other sources to carry out the first phase of a conservation plan for the graveyard drawn up by Peter McGowan Associates. This has enabled extensive restoration of monuments, new trees and plants, a booklet for visitors, and an information pack for schools. The graveyard has thus been given a new purpose as an attractive community resource in the public realm.
The Peace Garden is open free to visitors at the same time as the church, from 8 am to 4.45pm every day; access is either from Princes Street or down steps from Lothian Road. Henderson's Cafe, the Cornerstone Bookshop, the Peace and Justice Centre and the One World Shop are all situated on the lower terrace.
Guided tours can also be arranged at other times for schools and other organised groups. Please contact the church office for details.
Use the numbered buttons above to view our Peace Garden from different points. At each view point you can look around and zoom in and out using the controls on the image, or by holding down the left mouse button and moving the mouse around [requires Flash]
This Virtual Tour has been made possible thanks to the support of a number of organisations: