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Page last updated at 10:40 GMT, Thursday, 21 October 2010 11:40 UK
'New life' for Edinburgh graveyard
Exterior of St John's Church
The churchyard of St John's has been restored

St John's Church in Edinburgh has had its graveyard restored, bringing "new life" to the 19th Century churchyard.

The £100,000 project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, involved grave repairs, new landscaping and improved access to the site.

The cemetery is of historic interest, as well as providing a peaceful sanctuary from the busy city centre.

Graves include those of the painter Henry Raeburn and the mother of Walter Scott, Anne Rutherford.

The Reverend John Armes, rector of St John's, said: "I suppose you might say that our project has brought the graveyard to life.

"Visitors will find wildlife and human history all around them. Here past and present speak to each other."

Part of churchyard at St John's Church
New seating and landscaping help provide a quiet haven

St John's hope that the graveyard will be used to enjoy the views towards Edinburgh Castle and provide a tranquil place to escape the hustle and bustle of Princes Street.

A re-dedication ceremony of the graveyard by the Bishop of Edinburgh took place on Thursday.

Colin McLean, head of the Heritage Lottery fund, said: "These historic grounds not only provide sanctuary from the rush of central Edinburgh, they give us a fascinating glimpse into the lives of those that played a role in the history of the city.

"We are delighted to have been involved in restoring these lovely surroundings so that people can enjoy a little bit of peace and reflection in their busy lives."

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