A minimal epitaph
This old gravestone is to be found in the ancient graveyard of St Columba in the parish of Belhelvie.
The epitaph is short and to the point!
In Memory of
Lawrance Brown late
Farmer in (unclear) who
When Lawrance died is unrecorded but the style of the grave stone, with a carved winged soul. suggests the late 1700s.
Old Scottish gravestones are often carved with symbols of our certain mortality and possible immortality. The reminders of our mortality include corpses, skeletons, skulls, crossed femurs, coffins, grave-diggers' tools, hour glasses, angels of death, Father Time, and the Deid Bell.
The immortality symbols are somewhat more cheerful, one of the commonest being the winged soul, or cherub. In Scotland the cherub represents the soul leaving the body at the time of death and ascending to await the Day of Judgement when the body will follow to be reunited. Winged souls vary greatly in form, some look cheerful, others less so, some are young and innocent, others look old.