Monthly Archives: August 2015

Finding Hume’s Grave in Edinburgh

HumeI had the good fortune of traveling to Edinburgh, Scotland recently, and while I was there I decided to track down the grave of one of my favorite modern European philosophers, David Hume.  I learned that his grave was located on Calton Hill, near the end of the Royal Mile and Scottish Parliament.  Even so, I had a bit of an adventure trying to find it.  At first, I thought it was somewhere in the Canongate Church graveyard, but failing to find it there I wandered down the rest of the Royal Mile to the cemetery that I could see was on the side of Calton Hill.  I saw a circular tower that was a possible candidate.

Hume Grave A

Yet as I walked up through the cemetery I found that Hume’s grave was not there, though there is a stunning view of Arthur’s Seat, an outcrop of rock that shot out of the side of a volcano long ago.

Hume Grave B

I decided to walk the rest of the way up Calton Hill, which had beautiful views of the city.

Hume Grave G

As I rounded the hill, I spotted a cemetery that I had missed, tucked away down the hill.

Hume Grave H

I ran down the hill and the stairs to Princes Street, and found the gate to the Old Calton Cemetery.  I was greeted by a plaque that told me it was here!

Hume Grave I

Hume Grave J

There, next to a monument to Abraham Lincoln and the Scottish soldiers who lost their lives in the American Civil War, was Hume’s mausoleum.

Hume Grave L

Here is a map showing the site of the grave:

Hume's Grave Map

The next morning, I decided to walk back to the grave and hill before I left Edinburgh on my travels.  As I walked back up the Royal Mile from North Bridge, I found that some drunken Saturday night reveler had placed a cone atop Hume’s skeptical head.  I would like to think he would have appreciated the joke.

Hume Statue Edinburgh Cone on Head