After relaxing in the afternoon we ventured out again in the late evening for a tour of the South Bridge vaults and the Greyfriar’s Kirkyard. We showed up in the wrong place to start, but were quickly hustled over to the vault entrance to meet up with the remaining 35 people on the tour.
Although the vaults were interesting, the Kirkyard was far more impressive. Many luminaries are buried here, including one of my personal heroes of science, James Hutton, the father of uniformitarian geology. I’m certain most of you won’t recognize his name, but Hutton’s intellectual capacity made him a paradigm-destroyer in his time. Without Hutton, there would have been no Charles Lyell, and without Lyell, perhaps no Charles Darwin.
The funerary monuments at Greyfriar’s were amazingly impressive. I particularly like those that were constructed before the Beautification of Death Movement (pre-19th Century), when images of death on funerary architecture were used to frighten the living into observing prevailing social conventions, lest they fall prey to the devil and never exchange their corruptible flesh for their incorruptible Heavenly rewards.