Monday, December 6, 2010

Kirkliston Churchyard

Creaky iron gates led to a creepy old cemetery...
The church at Kirkliston, within ten miles of Edinburgh and very close to the Forth Bridge...  It dates to the 12th century.

One of these headstones, dated 1706, reads:

"If ye would live & die in peace
then love God mercy & justice.
And keep from guilt your conscience clear
as strove this man who lyeth here."

Skull and crossbones...  Is a pirate buried here?  No, a little research on Wikipedia taught us that the symbol belonged first to the Knights Templar... a religious political force before and during the Crusades...  Originally endorsed by Rome, they eventually became too powerful and fell into disfavour.  When the Holy Land was lost, so went the popularity of the Knights Templar and their secret initiation ceremonies...  The Jolly Roger symbol of skull and crossbones had its roots in the Knights Templar as early pirates were sometimes associated with the order... 

Not sure what these symbols mean...    We could have stayed here and taken photos all day....

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