227 Dalry Road, Edinburgh, EH11 2EQ
Dalry Cemetery was opened in 1846 as a private garden cemetery, designed by architect David Cousin, who also designed Warriston, Dean, Rosebank, and Newington Cemetery. There are 26,775 recorded interments in 5,500 plots or lairs, and 1,834 recorded monuments. The owners, the Edinburgh Cemetery Company, were dissolved in 1978. After a decade of neglect and vandalism, Edinburgh District Council took over the cemetery in 1988 and closed it for repairs. Dalry Cemetery reopened to visitors in 1991.
At the heart of the cemetery is a pair of vaults or catacombs, intended to hold a total of 48 leaden coffins above ground at a cost of 10 guineas each: far more than the 1 ½ guinea starting price for a plot. However, this type of interment was already going out of fashion when Dalry opened, and the vaults remained empty.
Friends of Dalry Cemetery have been active since May 2020, removing litter, planting trees, installing bird and bat boxes and bins, and making Dalry a welcoming space for the living and a respectful place to remember the dead. Thanks to the hard work of our volunteers, Dalry Cemetery is now a thriving community greenspace and wildlife haven.
The cemetery is open to visitors every day, but this Doors Open Days weekend on Sunday 26th September our volunteers will be on hand to answer questions and offer some free tours of the cemetery (more info below).
If you can’t make it along in person we will also be providing an opportunity to visit us virtually on our website, where we have published a slideshow of highlights of some activities from our first year of looking after Dalry.
Visit in Person
Volunteers from the Friends of Dalry Cemetery will be on hand on Sunday 26th September 2021 as part of Doors Open Days weekend to answer questions about their work and the history of the Cemetery and offer free guided tours of this unique site.
Please note the Cemetery lodge house is a private residential property and will NOT be open to the public during Doors Open Days.