Saturday, 3 December 2011

John Allan

John Allan has a remarkable gravestone in West Linton graveyard. He's buried very close to the side wall to the right if you enter from the Main street and towards the back near the wall separating the graveyard from the Lower Green.

The inscription is very hard to read, only an occasional word can now be traced and I have Sheila A. Scott's book Peeblesshire Monumental Inscriptions - pre-1855 to thank for the text. Once I consulted the book I could even deciper some of the text on the stone. She doesn' mention the date of the gravestone but by closely looking at it I could see the year 1798.

The gravestone belongs to John Allan Leat Col (which is Colonel) Master in Collie Burn. This probably means he was in charge at Coalyburn Mine, which is the open cast mine the remnants of which can still be seen in our neighbouring field. The nearest house to ours is in fact called Coalyburn, so this gravestone is of very local interest.

His gravestones is adorned with this wonderful compass rose

as well as this circle of instruments which include (again according to Sheila Scott) 2 picks, a shovel, hammer and a couple of wedges, no doubt the tools of his trade.

This is the reverse of his gravestone with pillars, a winged (although the wings are hard to distinguish) soul and crossbones. There was also text on this side, now sadly lost to us. A detail of the top of this side can be seen at the very top of this post and became my blip for today!


Freespiral said...

What a fascinating memorial, and it hold so many clues as its 'owner' - a shame we can't do the same thing today

Lenna Young Andrews said...

That really is a decorated grave and it seems all done with meaning for what he did. I like how sturdy and well decorated it is.