The village of St Madoes lies five miles east of the centre of Perth. To its south is the River Tay, while immediately to its north is the A90 dual carriageway. The churchyard is mainly to the south of St Madoes Church, which itself stands on the edge of the village nearest the main road.
The churchyard is home to a number of beautifully carved and fascinating old gravestones, some still in remarkably good condition. Especially nice are the farmer's grave with the depiction of a plough and what seems to be a carter's gravestone complete with a carving of a figure driving a horse and cart: though confusingly this also carries carvings of farming implements including a plough and a pitchfork. Perhaps the deceased was what might today be called an agricultural haulage contractor?
Elsewhere you can find a fine old stone carrying the high relief carving of a tree, complete with a figure either side of its trunk. This could well be a variant on a theme found in a number of Scottish graveyards, a depiction of the story of Adam and Eve.
Hiding away against the wall of the churchyard nor far from the church itself is a stone believed locally to be one of the oldest in the churchyard. The faintness of the surviving carvings and inscription make this difficult to prove one way or another. Also on view in the churchyard is a little angel surrounded by a wire dome. This would once have protected a glass domed cover for the angel, now missing, and the whole thing would have stood as what is known as an "immortelle" on the nearby base. These Victorian memorials were exceptionally fragile, and few survive intact.
One thing you won't find on view is the magnificent Pictish cross slab that was found in the churchyard. Measuring 1.75m high by 0.91m wide, this stood in a porch next to the church from 1853 to 1991, when it was moved to Perth Museum and Art Gallery to prevent further weathering. The need to protect the stone was understandable, but it is a great shame that when it was moved it was not replaced by a replica that could continue to stand at St Madoes.
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Grid Ref: NO 196 213