Dalmellington Old Cemetery in the heart of the village is dominated by the mausoleum to the McAdam family who own land nearby. The most famous of the family, of course, was John Loudoun McAdam, the road surfacing pioneer.
The cemetery, unfortunately, has been subjected to considerable vandalism and parts of the outer walls are in a considerable state of disrepair. The oldest stone we have come across is inscribed as follows:- A.A. C.M.M. 1682 with a skull and crossbones carved on it (No. 134).
The only other person of real note buried here is Robert Hettrick (No. 206) the poet. Some of his songs achieved popularity through being published in newspapers during the war with France, and a volume called ‘Poems and Songs’ in 1826. He earned his living in the village as a blacksmith. There is also a floor plaque (No.219) to a 'Major Carmyne', but it is badly weathered and no dates or details can be made out.
The cemetery also has a memorial to the covenanters of the district, erected in 1929. There are a number of very old stones which have the skull and crossbones carved on them (No’s. 134, 192). One stone has a thigh length boot and tools of a cobbler, (No. 129) and another has a winged soul and two hearts with a hand beside each of them. The heart is probably used here as it is today as a symbol of love. The angels head or 'winged soul' is common to many 18th Century stones in the district and examples can also be seen in Muirkirk churchyard, Dalrymple churchyard, Sorn churchyard and elsewhere. The winged soul is generally taken to be a 'symbol of immortality’ with the skull and crossbones as a symbol of mortality’.
No. 54 - Patterson “Could you but see the happy shore/ where perfect bliss I find/ You'd weep not that I went before/ but that you are left behind.”
No. 62 - Stevenson “After short years of trials past/ ... reach the happy shore/ where death divided friends at last/ shall to part no more.”
No. 107 - Gerrand “Fair was their cheek and sparkling was their eye/ yet were they doomed in early life to die/ stern death unpartial unto age or state/spanned their short life and sealed their fate.”
No. 218 - Walker 'Behold God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid, for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song, he is also become my salvation. Till the day breaks and the shadows flee away.'