It’s an oasis of city centre calm beloved by generations of Dundonians.
And this year represents a special anniversary for Dundee’s Howff cemetery.
It was 450 years ago, in 1564, that Mary Queen of Scots granted the lands of the former Greyfriars Monastery and its orchard for use as a burial ground.
To mark the anniversary, I enlisted the help of historical “double act” Iain Flett and Innes Duffus to produce this special video tour of the Howff.
Mr Flett, the Dundee city archivist, and Mr Duffus, the honorary archivist of the Nine Incorporated Trades of Dundee, run regular tours of the cemetery and they tell the story of the Howff’s founding and how it came to be a lively forum for local businessmen fighting corruption in the old town council.
They also introduce us to some of the cemetery’s most fascinating residents including the French Lieutenant, the Green Man, the lonely cholera victim and the former provost who jailed a tree!
And, as the stones face the ravages of time, they make an appeal for Dundee folk to continue to support the Howff by visiting and taking an interest in the stories it contains.
As Innes puts it: “Come here often. Bring your sandwiches and have your lunch here. It’s a wonderful place.
“Every gravestone has a story. You’ll see 1500 gravestones, but 80,000 people were buried here so there are a lot of stories we’re still trying to unearth.”
To find out more about the Howff visit: