Monks of the Franciscan Order came to Edinburgh in 1447, establishing a monastery on the Eastern end of the Grassmarket from the time of James 1st. They were medical missionaries working with the poor and remained until they were forced to flee to Europe in 1558.
The Kirk of the Greyfriars was the first Church built in Edinburgh after the Reformation, taking its name from the Franciscan Friary. With permission from Mary Queen of Scots in 1562 the Town Council took over the grounds to use as a burial yard known today as containing one of the most impressive collection of tombstones and memorials in Britain. Progress in building the Kirk was slow, work started in 1602 but the Kirk did not open for regular use until Christmas 1620.
Originally there was an entrance in the east gable, signs of which can still be seen today.
Due to the facts that John Gray (Auld Jock) was buried in Greyfriars Burial Ground, and that Bobby spent most of his life in the Burial Ground, he became known as Greyfriars Bobby.
Old Greyfriars Kirk East Gable