Grave of Sting the Dog – Larne, Northern Ireland - Atlas Obscura

Grave of Sting the Dog

A beloved pet is buried in among the many old and famous residents of a Northern Ireland cemetery. 


St Cedma’s is one of the oldest places of worship in all of East Antrim, dating back almost 1,500 years ago. It has seen a lot of history, including the 1641 rebellion, the Irish Migration, and the Larne Gun Running. But what makes this church different from its fellow sanctuaries isn’t its history or the hundreds of old headstones, but what is buried in the ground among the many dead people.

In the northwestern corner of the church ground, you will find a small plaque commemorating not a person, but a family dog. Sting the dog was owned by Thomas Barklie, who was one of the owners of John & Archibald Barklie & Co and a lifetime member of St Cedma’s congregation.

Sting was described as faithful family favorite. The terrier traveled everywhere with his owner. He died on February 19, 1883 at the age of 12. The graves of four other members of the Barklie family can be found near his burial place.

Know Before You Go

It may be a good idea to do some genealogy research beforehand if you are on a trip tracing your ancestral roots. The church is opposite the Larne Football Grounds (Inver Park) and is on the outskirts of the town center. To get to Larne, you can take a train to Larne Town or a bus and then walk up Larne Main Street or Station Road to the Inver Road, which is only a 10-minute walk. There is also car parking available at St Cedmas grounds.

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