Last year five historic graveyards in the heart of the World Heritage Site were included on the World Monuments Fund 2010 Watch List. The Watch selection panel recognised that Greyfriars, Old and New Calton, Canongate and St Cuthbert’s graveyards are all exceptional burial sites, the monuments within them recording the transition of Edinburgh from a medieval Burgh in the 15th century to an Enlightenment European city in the late 18th century. It was also agreed that the monuments are in themselves significant architectural objects of great aesthetic merit and cultural value.
In March this year a partnership of the City of Edinburgh Council, Edinburgh World Heritage and the World Monuments Fund Britain, commissioned Dr Susan Buckham to prepare a comprehensive project design for the care of the graveyards and to consider ways to enhance their social and community ‘potential’. Dr Buckham will be assisted in the summer by Kirsten McKee and a researcher appointed under WMFB’s Yale Scholar programme.
In addition to assessing existing care strategies and identifying potential partners to help in the future management of the graveyards, Susan’s recommendations will be informed by a survey of local community interest and visitors to Greyfriars Kirkyard.