Community blocks bid to buy part of ancient Dull graveyard

© DC Thomson
Dull parish church

A homeowner’s bid to buy part of an ancient burial site has been vetoed by the local community.

Dull church was converted into a house after it was put up for sale by the Church of Scotland.

However, a bid by the owners to acquire a strip of ground bordering the building caused outrage among locals, many of whom have relatives buried in the graveyard.

There are no gravestones on the area in question but the request query prompted a search of the records, since there was no guarantee that the area was free from burials, and a meeting to try to resolve the issue.

The plans have now been shelved, but community leaders say they and the homeowner are keen to come to a compromise, which could include leasing access rights to the property.

Tom Pringle, secretary of Dull and Weem community council said: “People at the meeting were against the sale of the ground.

“We couldn’t find any proof of graves in the records because the surveys are hit and miss – there are some gravestones I know about that weren’t on the list.

“There were some people with family or plots in the graveyard who were concerned about the sale proposal but we are trying as a community council to compromise because the owner has been forthcoming.

“The feeling was that we could compromise on access but we couldn’t compromise on the sale.

“One of the options is to grant a lease. The owner would not have the right to buy it – but she’s quite happy with that.”

A spokeswoman for Perth and Kinross Council said: “Dialogue is ongoing with regards to this request.”

A further meeting on the issue will take place on November 8.

The parish church at Dull dates to the 17th Century, but the site is believed to have hosted religious activity as far back as the 8th Century.

Excavations of the church floor uncovered stone foundations, an incised cross, a simpler cross incised slab and several skeletons.