Greyfriars Kirk and Graveyard

Just a few minutes’ walk from 123 High Street, the graveyard adjoining the 17th century Greyfriars Kirk contains one of the most impressive and fascinating collections of tombstones and memorials in Britain. But what attracts the thousands of visitors who make a pilgrimage here each year is the legendary story of Greyfriars Bobby.

Bobby was a Skye Terrier who was so devoted to his owner John Gray (known as Auld Jock) that he remained guarding his master’s grave from the day of the funeral to his own death 14 years later in 1872. Staying out in all weathers and refusing all offers of shelter, Bobby became a fixture in the area and was kept alive with food from members of the Kirk and local residents.

The story goes that Bobby, on hearing the One O'clock Gun being fired from the castle ramparts, would appear punctually at the nearby Coffee House or ‘Eating Place’ for his dinner. This included a weekly treat of steak given by a certain Sergeant Scott of the Royal Engineers posted at Edinburgh Castle.

An association called the American Lovers of Bobby erected a red granite headstone to mark John Gray’s grave, accompanied by an almost identical headstone to Bobby himself donated by the Dog Aid Scotland of Scotland and given a Royal unveiling in 1981.