St Michael's 2
DUMFRIES TOWN  -- Churches and Graveyards
High Cemetery St. Michael's Old St. Michael's New St. Mary's Troqueer Holy Cross Calside
St. Michael's ~ Views to the Street
Starting at the top of the steps, paved paths take the visitor all around St Michael's and throughout the graveyard.
From the gates, paths go left around the near side of the church and ahead, past the main door and around the far side of the church. The Rev. John Paton in his "Book of St Michael's Church" published in 1904, tells us that these paths were developed in the mid 19th century. The high graveyard retaining walls are of an earlier vintage, probably 18th century.
Two hundred and fifty years of time and weather have reduced this monument to what you see today.
Glimpses of the street below show through gaps in the monuments lining the outer walls.
The Minutes of the Presbytery, detailed in the above source book, record how the church was completely rebuilt in
the 1744 to 46 period.  Up to that time the floor plan had remained in its pre-reformation cruciform shape.  
The church foundations were moved to make the square shape we see today. This extension encroached on the
 old burial ground.  Paton tells us how in the mid 1880s, while replacing a floor, it was discovered that the whole
 church floor area had been used for early burials, gravestones and human remains were found. These remains
were all removed and reburied before a heavy layer of concrete was laid over the whole area to support the new floor.
Northern end of the old graveyard where human remains from below the church floor were reburied.
Very little is know about most of these early burials.  Recently one very old Dumfries family, the MacBRAIRs, were identified as having been buried within or near to the old  church. They are now commemorated by a bronze plaque.
Rev John Paton, in the source referred to above, describes this monument as, the 
" .. most remarkable monument in the churchyard, from an architectural point of view.."
Here again we see what time and weather can do to man's vanity.
above: - as seen by Paton in 1900
right: - as see today in 2008
The inscription on this monument, as seen today,  is virtually unreadable.
Here is interred the body of Sussana MUIR, Spouse to John SHARP of Hoddam
who died in the 57th year of her age, 26th day of the month of October, in the year of our Lord 1710
The photograph below shows the back of the monument as seen from the street.
This newer, very ornate, monument would have been constructed in the the post-1746 period.
The earlier inscription most likely belonged to a much simpler gravestone which was replaced by the newer one
Here we see three fragments of an earlier memorial built into structure supporting the newer monument.
St. Michael's ~ Views to the Street