Durham Covenanters' Grave

Elvet Hill Road Cemetery

Elvet Hill Road


NGR - NZ 270143


The sandstone memorial marks the mass grave where the bodies of Covenanters buried after being held in prison at Durham were reburied in 2018. The service of reburial took place on Friday 18 May 2018.

The university, after consultation, agreed to erect a memorial at the graveside, bearing the inscription:


Here lie the remains of those Scottish soldiers from the Battle of Dunbar who died in Durham 1650-1651, were excavated from Palace Green Library in 2013, and were reburied here on 18 May 2018.


At the Palace Green, next to Durham Cathedral, a memorial plaque was erected to mark the site of the original graves.

Durham Covenanters


At the Battle of Dunbar on 3 September 1650 hundreds of Scottish Covenanter soldiers were captured and taken south to Durham, where they were held prisoner. The Scots fought under David Leslie, the English under Oliver Cromwell.

A mass grave of the bodies was thought to have existed at the castle, but it wasn't until 2013, when excavations took place for developments at the university discovered the bodies, buried at the Palace Green. They were analysed and confirmed as being Scottish, and from the correct period.

Photo: Sophie Daniels, Durham University