Arrochar, Tarbet and Ardlui Heritage Group: Graveyard Project

In this article you can find out about Arrochar, Tarbet and Ardlui Heritage Group's Graveyard Project.

Mary Haggerty, of the Arrochar, Tarbet and Ardlui Heritage Group tells us about the group's Arrochar graveyard project and their plans to catalogue Tarbet graveyard.

What are the aims of your project?

Website page for Arrochar, Tarbet and Ardlui Heritage groupThe aim of the project was to give access to a wider audience the opportunity to ‘wander' through the graveyard without having to travel distances, tramp through wet moss and in the end not accomplish their goal of finding their roots. This ‘virtual reality' way of displaying the Arrochar graveyard does just that.

Where is it?

The graveyard is situated at Tighness to the south of the village of Arrochar and serves a very wide community both local and worldwide.

Who was involved?

The project was undertaken by three of the group. The instigator Jamie MacTavish, who was the photographer, Mary Haggarty the scribe and Howard Page the group's Webmaster.

How it was funded?

Album of graveyard photosNo funding was involved in the project - all time, effort and materials were given on a voluntary basis. As well as being recorded on our website we also have a collection of albums containing the hard copies. Walter Harvey and David Grey donated these albums in memory of the mother Mary Grey.

Where did you go for help and advice?

To be truthful we did not ask for help or seek advice, as we had never seen this type of project done before. We, at the time, never realised how successful this exercise would turn out to be. Maybe on hindsight we could have been more professional in our approach but we can only judge by the end result which has been a great achievement in fulfilling the aim of our project.

What has been your greatest achievement so far?

Two aspects top the list.

  1. Cataloging the Arrochar graveyard1. The satisfaction that we have enabled people who live all over the world the contentment of being able to ‘visit' their loved ones resting place in their own time.
  2. 2. It has made it easier for us in answering genealogy questions as we can now direct the person enquiring to the website. We have also encouraged anyone who wants to make the stone come ‘alive' to attach a story about the person named on the stone; this is another unique feature of our project.

And the biggest challenge?

This is still to come. In our area at Tarbet we have a very old graveyard that dates back to 1263. It is maintained by our local council but is not laid out in such a grid pattern as the Arrochar graveyard. We intend to catalogue this one in the same way as the Arrochar graveyard. Also we intend re addressing the Arrochar graveyard to fill in some ‘holes' that we know exist, but because of no headstone we will have to look at the official graveyard records.

Any tips for someone setting up a similar project?

Arrochar Graveyard documentPick a spell of good weather. It will make the task easier and the photographs brighter and easier to read. It is very helpful to have knowledge of the site you are recording and where the official records are held for reference. Consult with your Webmaster as to the involvement he/she will have to the project. Good luck.

What is next for your project?

As said above we intend to catalogue another graveyard in our area.

More info

Contact Details

Mary Haggarty
Hawthorn Cottage
Arrochar. G83 7AA
Argyll & Bute

Tel 01301 702553
E mail -

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