Edinburgh crime: Another historic headstone stolen from Capital graveyard

A cash reward has been offered for the safe return of a 123-year-old Victorian gravestone after it was stolen from an Edinburgh cemetery.

It comes just weeks after the Evening News reported that a woman with an American accent was being hunted by police following the theft of a ‘historic’ and ‘irreplaceable’ headstone from another Edinburgh graveyard.

The previous incident happened in Greyfriars Kirk, Candlemaker Row, between 10.30am and 4.30pm on Sunday, 21 August, 2022.

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Now, another historic gravestone has been stolen in the Capital, this time from Dalry Cemetery.

A cash reward has been offered for the safe return of a 123-year-old Victorian gravestone after it was stolen from an Edinburgh cemetery.

The theft reportedly took place last weekend and involved the removal of a book-shaped headstone.

Jakob Assarsson, who looks after Dalry Cemetery alongside a team of volunteers, shared an appeal in a local group.

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He wrote: “Elizabeth McDougall’s 1899 gravestone, resembling a small book with engraved text in sandstone, was removed from its home near the main entrance of Dalry Cemetery, Dalry Road, probably on Friday 16 September or Saturday 17 September”.

Mr Assarsson added that the cash reward for the safe return of the headstone is £150.

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Police Scotland have been contacted for comment.

In July 2020, The City of Edinburgh Council warned that a graveyard in town had been severely damaged due to Harry Potter fans paying visits.

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In a tweet, sent by a council-run account about Edinburgh’s cemeteries, they wrote: “Greyfriars Cemetery suffering significant erosion on ground around Tom Riddell (Tom Riddle) grave due to 100,000’s of visitors.

“It’s great the cemetery is so popular, so we are looking at solutions”.

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It has been reported that the grave of Thomas Riddell – a general who died on 24 November 1806 at the age of 72 – in Greyfriar’s Cemetery could have inspired JK Rowling when she was naming the character, although the spelling differs.

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