The oldest gravestone in the world

Grange Graveyard
The oldest gravestone
As a burial site Grange probably dates back over a thousand years. While there is a local tradition of monks’ graves in the graveyard or its immediate vicinity none can now be identified. The oldest surviving gravestone in Grange graveyard commemorates Robert Granger who died in 1630. In 1617 a Robert Granger of the manor of Dunnalong was granted denizenship. This allowed him to carry out legal transactions and pass on property to an heir through a will. In a document of 20 September 1626 a Robert Granger who lived at Cloghboy in the manor of Dunnalong is mentioned. It is likely that we are dealing with the same man here. The stone features a heraldic shield bearing three stags heads indicating the status of the deceased. A further stone bears an inscription incised around the edge of the stone. It is partly buried and no name or date can now be read, though 1679 has been suggested as the date. There are a significant number of stones dating from the eighteenth century, many of which commemorate individuals who were born in the latter part of the seventeenth century. Joseph Logan died in 1760 aged 66, while John Lindsay died in 1780 aged 87. Both men had been born in the early 1690s. One wonders whether they had been born in Ireland or had been part of the large scale Scottish migration to the area in the aftermath of the Williamite war (1689-91).