The Boleskine Burial Groundmorthouse

Boleskine broadly covers an area from Loch Ness to Loch Killin but is more often associated locally with a small strip of land about which exists stories of death, witchcraft and religion.

The Boleskine burial ground is undoubtedly one of the better known land marks around South Loch Ness. It is situated on the B852 between Inverfarigaig and Foyers between the road and the loch and sits below  the burnt Boleskine House owned in past times by Aleister Crowley and later by Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin fame.  There was a medieval church here, the walls off now part of the roofless enclosure on the east side of the graveyard, the only roofed building remaining being a small mort-house.  A mort-house was a mortuary where the coffined body would lay under guard until such time as it was of no use to body snatchers  and resurrectionists who would dig up newly interred bodies to sell to surgeons for medical studies. Boleskine has the only Mort house in the Highlands of Scotland all the other buildings in cemeteries are watch-houses where someone would watch over the grave till such time as it was no use to body snatchers (generally around six weeks) .

No comprehensive record exists of the stones in this ancient graveyard. Therefore a small contingent from the South Loch Ness Heritage Group with help from some local people is undertaking the task of mapping the graveyard and recording all the known graves, slabs and memorials. Each known stone will be identified by position (a map will be included), description (shape, colour and motifs etc.) and the inscription recorded exactly as written (misspellings and errors included). A digital photograph will be taken of each stone and an index of names will be produced. It is expected that this survey will be of use and interest not only to the local population as part of its heritage but also to historians and genealogists tracing their family history.  When the survey is completed details  will be intimated on this web site , also of how to obtain relevant information of  the grave inscriptions and accompanying photo .

Two particular gravestones are perhaps worthy of mention

grave stone

The tombstone of Donald Fraser of Erchit dated 1730 clearly shows three holes made by musket balls. Legend has it that, just after the Battle of Culloden, a military wagon carrying supplies to Fort Augustus and guarded by soldiers, passed along the road above the burial ground as a funeral was taking place. One of the mourners is said to have grabbed a loaf of bread from the wagon and thrown it to some dogs. The soldiers fired their muskets to frighten the mourners before arresting the culprit and taking him to Fort Augustus. Those musket holes are still visible today. The story has a happy ending in that the minister of the time, one Thomas Fraser, followed on to the fort and persuaded the Duke of Cumberland to release his prisoner. In the attached photo, the musket holes can be seen in a line downwards toward the right-hand side of the stone.grave stoneAnother grave, that of The Honorable Jane Fraser, mentions her husband, The Honorable Archibald Campbell Fraser, 38th Chief of the Chief of the Frasers, son of Simon 12th Lord Fraser of Lovat beheaded at Tower Hill in 1747.


Copyright © 2007 SLNHG all rights reserved

28 Responses to Boleskine Burial Ground

  • Hi there, I visited Loch Ness last year and had a look at the burial ground which is lovely. I was wondering who owns it now?
    Thank you

  • Hi there
    I was up yesterday and took some photos… Probably not amazing ones, but if you’d like copies I’d be delighted to forward them to you. I ‘think’ my GGG Grandad was from there around 1777, but have been unable to definitively certify this… Yet!!
    I am certainly interested in any information that anyone has regarding the Fraser family from here.


    • Hi Ish,
      Sorry unfortunately we do not research genealogy in the area as it is very time consuming we are more involved with place names of the area. Inverness the largest local town has an archive centre incorporating a family history centre which have employed genealogists, one of them Ann Fraser comes from Dores and may be able to help you but there will be a charge involved as she is employed by the Archive centre.

      The Highland Family History society based in Inverness may be able to help, see contact email address
      Thank you for the offer of current Boleskine cemetery photos, but as we local, so any we require specifically we would be able to take as required. As this is Fraser clan area the predominate surname in the area was Fraser so as you can imagine it is quite difficult to trace Fraser family lines


    • I missed your reply yes thank you so much if you have any photos I would realty like to see them. Many thanks Louisa

  • Interesting! My G (x4) grandfather Corporal Thomas Fraser was born in Boleskine in 1755; I went to this graveyard in hope to find his parents: Thomas Fraser and Mary “McGilvry”. Alas! Too many graves and too many Frasers. Corporal Fraser fought for the British in the US revolution, was defeated at Yorktown and re-settled in New Brunswick Canada; he was a member of the 42nd Blackwatch Regiment, many of whom also settled in the same New Brunswick, Canada valley with surnames of Ross, Cameron, MacPherson, McNabb and MacKenzie. Your info. is very helpful.

    • To Harry McKone. Hi. I would really like to hear from you. I have written a book on the 71st Fraser Regt in the American war of independence. I have hundreds of original musters, documents etc. I am working in a reprint and am concentrating this week on Capt Thimas Fraser of Leadclune. I have researched 71st settlers in New Brunswick too.
      please contact me.
      Anyone else interested in the Frasers of Leadclune too

      • Cptn Fraser of the 71st had a brother Alexander who was a well known solicitor of Lincoln’s Inn. Alexander Fraser of Lincoln’s Inn is mentioned in a will of a cousin of mine. My cousin’s will refers to Alexander as his cousin. I am tracking how this relationship could be documented. Do you have any information on the mother of Cptn. Fraser? She apparently was the daughter of William Fraser of Ruthven. Did William have any other daughters?

        Any information will be appreciated.

        • Gordon
          I don’t have anything on his mother but I know he had sixteen children. I don’t know how I would put all the documents I have on here, so although I am reluctant to put my email address on, it is

          I mis spelled on my previous!

      • Ed Brumby: Are you still working of Capt. Thomas Fraser of Leadclune?

    • Hello Harry McKone. I too am a decendant of Corp Thomas Fraser out of Nashwaak NB, and have been very interested in visiting Boleskine to do further research as you had. Family surnames include Craig, MacKenzie, McLaggan and McKay. If you have found any further info on Thomas’ parents or siblings I would glad to hear from you.

    • Harry
      I would really like to hear from you re your 42nd descendant. I don’t really like putting my email address in but it is

  • Hi

    My grandfather was Angus MacArthur and he is pictured in the 1908 photograph at Boleskine school with his brothers and sister.

    His father, my great grandfather I understand was the parish minister and reverend John MacArthur. I am interested to know if anybody would know where his burial site may be or if there is a record of him anywhere.(Dealt with)



  • Hi everyone,
    My great grand-father was Peter Fraser born in Bunchovie Road Boleskin c 1844. His parents were Donald Fraser and Mary Fraser ( nee Fraser) Peter and his brother Thomas migrated to Australis in the 1860s. Peter married Catherine MacDonald in 1879 in victoria Australia. He died in 1916. I know a fair bit from the Australian side about peter BUT absolutely nothing about his mother whose father was YES Donald fraser and his wife was Ann McDonald.
    CAn anyone out there HELP? PLEASE.
    LoVe THIS AREA AND LOVE SCOTLAND. Marie Dealt with

  • My Great Great Grandmother was Catherine Fraser Stewart from 1858 to 1946. Her father Duncan Stewart was a teacher at Boleskin School around 1850. His wife was Flora. I am trying to find his burial site (Graveyard)

    Would there be any way of finding out?

    Thank you (Dealt with)

  • Very interesting Kirkyard indeed…many Fraser’s to be seen.

  • My mother is interned at the burial ground Fraser’s are not the only clan in the burial ground.

  • I am visiting the Glenmoriston area for a couple of days visiting various places graveyards etc & it would appear that my GGG grandpa Allan Macintosh died 1861 married to Jean or Jane Grant died 1875 had some link with the Boleskin area so could possibly have been buried at this site. Just wondered if you would have any information . Regards James McIntosh

  • Hello,
    A few of my ancestors are buried in Boleskine cemetery, the Macleans. My family and I have been researching any history of the MacLeans and the battle of Culloden . We have been told that our family took part in the great battle. Do you know of any records that may contain references to MacLeans from Boleskine fighting in the battle of Culloden?

  • Apparently, my ancestor is buried here. His name is Thomas Fraser 1740- 1814. If there’s one I suppose there could be others as well. I look forward to visiting someday from BC Canada.

  • I am doing the family tree a lot of Frasers are supposed to be buried in Boleskine cemetery I have looked and cannot seem to find them. William Fraser 1703/1770 Alda John Fraser 1746/1785 (Dealt with)

  • I am doing the Fraser family tree, there is quite a few of them living in Boleskine I have checked all the cemeteries round Inverness but found nothing. Is there anyway I can check where they would be buried they died in 1772 and 1792 there is a couple of others.
    Would appreciate any help.(Dealt with)

  • thanks for info on Simon christian name little me always thinking it a moden name live and learn

  • Dear Sir/Madam, My great great grandfather, Donald Fraser born 1820 came from Abertarff and his wife, Elizabeth Fraser (nee Fraser) came from Dores, Boleskine. Donald joined the police force and ended up in Dunoon where my great grandfather, Alexander was born and where Donald and Elizabeth died in 1896 and 1897 respectively. It would be heartening to find out if there is any way l could trace the Fraser families that could be connected to them. I understand there is one Ann Fraser from Dores who may be connected to assisting families with their enquiries and l wonder if she could be connected to Elizabeth Fraser. I recently visited the Boleskine Cemetery and was touched to see so many Fraser memorial gravestones.
    Many thanks for your very kind co-operation, Yours faithfully,
    Pamela Jenkinson (nee Fraser)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.