An elderly Edwardian gentleman sits on the “through stone” (derived from the Old English “thruh” meaning “sarcophagus”) in what was Scotland’s smallest cemetery.
The photograph comes from Old Galashiels by Stenlake Publishing and shows the cemetery, which measured just 21ft by 14ft, and was between Bridge Street and High Street in Galashiels.
The cemetery appears on the 1858 Ordnance Survey plan of the town as a burial ground and was part of the large area known as Darling’s Haugh.
The Darlings of Appletreeleaves were influential local landowners and this was once their private cemetery. The through stone was inscribed with the name of Hugh Darling and described him as “laird, owner and proprietor of this haugh” who died at the age of 78 on April 1, 1717.
In 1928, the East United Presbyterian Church in the High Street, – built in 1844 – opened a suite of halls over the cemetery area and later generations of Darlings were intered in the Gala Aisle Cemetery.