The launch of the Trail

The oldest part of the graveyard surrounds the Old Kirk. Two extensions were made to the south. The graveyard contains gravestones that date back to the early 17th century. Many of the older graves are marked with flat stones, now under grass.

There are a number of interesting gravestones. That of John and Mary McKinley is dated 1766. It is decorated with the traditional symbols of mortality (the skull, crossed bones, and an hour-glass).

The gravestone of John and Mary McKinley, dated 1766, in the Old kirk graveyard.

A tall cast-iron column in memory of William Paterson is dated 1832. Cast iron is an unusual material to use for a grave marker. A miniature Buchanan Monument, dated 1896, is for Alexander Buchanan, who paid for a water supply to be brought to the village. A Killearn Courier article has more about Alexander Buchanan gravestone (opens pdf, 3MB).

There are two memorials produced by the Glasgow sculptors, J & G Mossman. They did much work for the Glasgow architect, Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson (who was born in Balfron). Their design reflects Thomson’s style, though they were created after his death. The larger of the two, erected in 1881, is for the Jamiesons of Gartness Mill. There is also an ornate Celtic Cross memorial to Andrew and Jean Buchanan, from 1902.

There are two formal and two acknowledged Commonwealth War Graves in the graveyard. In addition, several monuments remember servicemen of the First and Second World Wars. The Kerr family monument, an obelisk near the south wall of the kirk, includes the brothers Alexander and David. They are not remembered on the village War Memorial.