Crail Kirkyard is recognised as a significant burial ground that carries the evidence of how affluent a trading town Crail was in earlier centuries.
Crail Kirkyard has a significant number of Mural Monuments, 17 in total, whereas most other Kirkyards in Scotland would have maybe one or two.
A Mural Monument is a funeral monument built into a wall, usually that of a kirkyard, sometimes that of a building. They were most common in Scotland between 1400 and 1750 and often had an elaborate mixture of sculpture and carving. Other significant examples can be seen St Magnus Cathedral in Orkney and Huntly Castle in Aberdeenshire.
We are very fortunate that in 1893 Erskine Beveridge completed a photographic survey of Crail Kirkyard memorials. Erskine Beveridge was a Dunfermline factory owner with a fascination for Scottish antiquities and a keen interest in early photography. His book can still be purchased, The Churchyard Memorials of Crail, it has many interesting details on Crail Church and Crail Kirkyard.
The Mural Monument for James Lumsden of Airdrie is deemed to be the most significant and oldest monument in Crail Kirkyard. It is situated in the North West corner. James Lumsden was born in 1555 (or 1556, there is doubt on which year he was born) and died in 1598.
So this monument is probably over 400 years old. This monument may have possibly come from Holland. It was not uncommon for major monuments to be purchased in Holland. A Ledger from that time records that one tomb cost 28 shillings for the design, and £31 8s 2d for manufacture, packing and shipping from Holland.