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Plague Gravestones, Bogwell Lane

A Category B Listed Building in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 56.961 / 56°57'39"N

Longitude: -2.2083 / 2°12'29"W

OS Eastings: 387433

OS Northings: 785544

OS Grid: NO874855

Mapcode National: GBR XK.2Z1T

Mapcode Global: WH9RN.19QH

Plus Code: 9C8VXQ6R+9M

Entry Name: Plague Gravestones, Bogwell Lane

Listing Name: Bogwell Lane, Plague Gravestones

Listing Date: 23 March 2006

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 398227

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50249

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Stonehaven

County: Aberdeenshire

Town: Stonehaven

Electoral Ward: Stonehaven and Lower Deeside

Traditional County: Kincardineshire

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Pair of 17th century inscribed graveslabs set in later cement-faced rubble wall. Stone to N dated 1608 with death's head and shield incorporating 'MT' monogram, reading 'Heir lyes ane honest man, Magnvs Tailiovr, seyman, qvha depairtit in November, (in the time of) pest 1608'. Stone to S dated 1648 and reading 'Heir lyes ane Honest mans bairns Alexander and William Brokie, sones lawful to Alexander Brokie, who departet the 12 of Jwnie, of the age of tvalf and nyn yeirs old, in ano 1648'.

Statement of Interest

These strangely out-of-context incised stones are an eloquent reminder of sad events in Stonehaven's history when plague or 'pest' victims were interred not here but in a nearby hollow to the south east of Victoria Street, at a site know as The Maltman's How. They were discovered during the 19th century and now (2006) form part of the east boundary of a public footpath. The death's head on the north stone is typical of the seventeenth century, with the frontal skull without a lower jaw, and a horizontal femur. The legend 'Memento Mori', 'Remember that you must die', is inscribed around the skull. The two stones exemplify the fact that before 1616 lettering was inscribed marginally around the edges of the stone, and that after that date horizontal bands of writing were used. Often, though, as in the case of the 1648 stone, the marginal inscription would be included as well.

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