About Dean Cemetery

Parkland Open to Visitors

The Cemetery is open to visitors and the general public alike to enjoy the peaceful surroundings of the cemetery's grounds.

In 2000 a grant of £150 000 from the National Lottery Urban Parks Programme allowed for the restoration of paths and the renovation of the entrance gates and since this time the numbers of people who visit the cemetery has increased  greatly.

History of Dean Cemetery, Edinburgh

Shortly after is opened in 1846, the Dean had established itself as the most fashionable cemetery in Edinburgh and one of the most secure – this at a time when the memory of resurrectionists such as Burke and Hare was still fresh.

Law lords, philosophers, artists, and academics -  the Cemetery is a window in to the later Enlightenment. Here lies David Octavius Hill, the pioneer of early photography, nearby are veterans of the British Army's Indian and African campaigns.

Sir Thomas Bouch was interred here, just a year after the original Tay Bridge which he had designed, suffered its disastrous collapse and the Cemetery is the final resting place of Samuel Bough, Francis Cadell and JD Ferguson – all three members of the Colourists, that group of  Scottish artists who at the turn of the 20th century  set alight fireworks beneath the art world. In a unique twist of fate, Lt John Irving was buried here, 30 years after he disappeared in 1849 as a young man on the ill fated Franklin expedition to find the North West Passage, while just a few yards away is the memorial to Robert Anstruther Goodsir, the famous Arctic explorer, who perished on the 1895 attempt to discover what had become of Franklin's men.

History is built into the very fabric of the cemetery – it sits on the site of the former Dean Mansion House and some of its beautiful walls formed part of the original estate.



Carved Naval Hat on Head Stone

Park Bench at Dean Cemetery