This monument was built to honour a villager, George Buchanan. Who was he?
Buchanan was born in 1506 just outside Killearn at The Moss, a farm near the Blane Water. He was initially brought up in Killearn and had his early education here. His father died when he was young and the family lived in poverty for a while, until a wealthy uncle sent him, aged 14, to Paris to continue his studies.
He was renowned across Reformation Europe as a poet, teacher, political theorist, historian, and Royal tutor to both Mary, Queen of Scots and James VI. You can read more about him on the board by the monument’s entrance or by following this link to the Buchanan Monument.
The monument was built in 1788 from local stone, and is 31.4 metres (103 feet) high. It was designed by James Craig, the architect of the layout for Edinburgh’s New Town. When plans for a monument to Buchanan at the bottom of Glasgow’s Buchanan Street did not happen, the minister of Killearn Kirk, the Revd James Graham, organized the building of one here, funded by public subscription.
It was restored in 1850, when a dedication in Latin was added. A translation is given on a board next to the monument or by following this link to the Buchanan Monument.
Did you know
George Buchanan was tutor to James VI. He was severe, beating the young king if he did not do his work correctly.