Avoch and Killen Places

Avoch and Killen Community Collage

Avoch and Killen Burial Grounds

Old cemetery, Parish Church

There are 549 graves with head/flat stones.The inscriptions give a history of the people of Avoch Parish: James Fletcher of Rosehaugh, Sir Alexander Mackenzie (explorer of Canada after whom the Mackenzie River is named), ministers, headmasters, farmers, tradesmen - but most of all the fishing community. The oldest gravestone is a flat stone placed by a Donald Jack (fisherman) in memory of his spouse Bessy Main who died sometime in harvest 1733 aged 42 years.

Many stones tell of drownings at sea, giving us a picture of the hardships faced by fishing families. Ann Jack lost her sons Donald aged 20, Alexander aged 17, 18th March 1872 and just one year earlier she lost her husband William and son George aged 21. The last two drowned along with 12 others on 14th. June 1871 just off the beach at Avoch - known locally as The Drowning.(There were 6 funerals on the Thursday and 8 funerals on the Friday and 5 were mothers with 19 children between them.)

New cemetery

Situated on the top of Gallow Hill, overlooking the Firth, a new burial ground was opened in1925 and supplemented in 1940. In 2000 it was extended to a third phase. Access is by way of a very steep road now named Cemetery Brae.

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