At A Glance
Inspired by Sir Walter Scott’s novel “Old Mortality”
Sir Walter is shown sitting on a grave marker to talk with an aged peasant who recuts faded names on tombstones
The sculpture was restored in connection with Laurel Hill’s 150th anniversary
The title character of Sir Walter Scott’s novel Old Mortality is an aged peasant who travels from one churchyard to another to perform the pious act of recutting the faded names of Scottish Covenanters on their tombstones. In James Thom’s sculptural group at Laurel Hill Cemetery, Sir Walter is shown sitting on a grave marker to talk with the old man, who has interrupted his work on the tomb beneath him. Between the two figures stands Old Mortality’s weary pony. As many decades passed, the aged tomb restorer himself came to need retouching. This was accomplished in 1986, when the Old Mortality figure was restored in connection with Laurel Hill’s 150th anniversary.