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Kirriemuir Cemetery (also known as The Cemetery on the Hill)


Kirriemuir is one of fifteen cemeteries in Angus and was established in 1857 to serve the town and surrounding area. It contains the area's war memorial and the grave of playwright J M Barrie (1860-1937), who was born in Kirriemuir.


The cemetery is on a south-facing hillside.

Kirriemuir Cemetery is situated on a south-facing hillside to the north-north-east of the town centre. Being on a slope the site is terraced into separate sections, the various levels being linked by short sets of steps. In the quarry section to the east are several stairways.

The main approach is via Brechin Road and Cemetery Road. At the road junction there are stone gate posts and Cemetery Road is lined on both sides with pollarded Lime Trees donated by Mr Smith of Aberdeen in 1901. A car park is located to the north of the cemetery and allows access to one of the avenues through the double gates. From the main drive, carriage drives enter various parts of the cemetery giving vehicular access over the entire site.

At the main entrance is the Lodge, a single storey building in local red sandstone with a pitched tile roof. A short flight of steps leads to the front door. Originally the Keeper's Lodge, it is now used as a waiting room and to house the plan of the cemetery. Attached to the Lodge is an outbuilding (double garage) to house various tools for the maintenance workers.

To the north, east and west, the boundary is a stone wall approximately 1.75 metres high but dropping on the east to varying, lower heights topped with iron railings. The west boundary of high stone wall continues along the new (1979) section which is bordered on the east and south by Beech hedges about 1.75 metres high.

To the east and to the west of the lodge, double wrought iron gates give access to the older section of the cemetery. Also to the west of the lodge and slightly further south, another pair of gates gives access to the newer part of the cemetery. At the north end of the cemetery there is a single pedestrian wrought iron gate giving access from Kirriemuir Hill. From the car park at the north end of the cemetery a pair of gates with gateposts allows access for cars. To the east is a single pedestrian gate.

A pavilion lies to the north-east of the lodge. This is a single storey wooden building with a pitched wooden roof. It is open to the south overlooking the Strathmore Valley and the Sidlaw Hills.

At the north end of the site is the war memorial, erected after the World War 1. It is of grey granite and shows a Highland soldier in combat dress including a rifle. A smaller inscribed stone carries the memorial for 1939-45. The cemetery also contains the family grave of J M Barrie, novelist and playwright. In 2010 this was surrounded by a low grey granite wall.

Part of the topmost section of the cemetery has no gravestones and is maintained as a lawn containing an area of mature shrubs and bordered by two rows of young trees. This was the area of free interment specified in the original plan. There are many trees set randomly across the site including several consistent with the age of the cemetery. There is a small group of trees in the quarry section and mature shrubs are abundant throughout. Herbaceous planting is individual to the graves. The section of the cemetery left aside for future extension is maintained as grassland.

All parts of the cemetery give views to a greater or lesser extent over the Strathmore Valley and to the Sidlaw Hills, and from the north gate there is a view to the Angus Glens.

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts

Access contact details

The cemetery is open at all times. The Lodge containing the 1910 and 1979 Lair Plans is usually open from Monday to Friday as follows: April to November 07.30 to 16.00 November to mid-February 08.00 to 15.00 Mid-February to March 07.30 to 15.00


The cemetery is located to the north of the B957 Brechin Road, approximately half a mile from Kirriemuir.


Angus Council

Orchardbank Business Park, Forfar, DD8 1AX

In 1855 discussions were started about the need for a new burial ground. A committee of nine men was set up to implement the proposal of a new cemetery. Although the names of the committee are given in the 'Regality of Kirriemuir' page 276, those of the architect and designer are not recorded. In March 1858 the new cemetery opened and from that August no further burials were allowed at the old Kirriemuir churchyard.

By 1870 the cemetery needed to be expanded and documents and plans refer to the 'original' and 'new' cemetery. David Orr (2009) states that the Lime trees along Cemetery Road were donated by a Mr Smith of Aberdeen in 1901. These have subsequently been managed as pollarded trees.

Following World War 1 the town's war memorial was erected in the cemetery and in 1929 the cemetery's layout was revised. J M Barrie, who died in 1937, was interred in the cemetery in the family grave. Names of the casualties of World War 2 were added to a memorial at the close of the war.

In 1979 the cemetery was extended again and included in the 2005 Angus Local Plan for Kirriemuir is provision for future expansion.


Victorian (1837-1901)

Associated People
Features & Designations


  • War Memorial
  • Description: A grey granite structure showing a Highland soldier in combat dress with a rifle.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Tomb
  • Description: The family grave of J M Barrie, novelist and playwright 1860-1937
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Gate Lodge
  • Description: A single storey building of local red sandstone with a pitched tiled roof.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Pavilion
  • Description: A single storey wooden building with a pitched wooden roof. It is open to the south overlooking the Strathmore Valley and Sidlaw Hills.
Key Information


Funerary Site


Sacred / Ritual / Funerary

Principal Building

Religious Ritual And Funerary


Victorian (1837-1901)





Open to the public





  • Angus Landscape Survey Group