Sunday, 3 May 2015

Govan Old Parish Church and the Govan Stones

After watching the Time Team episode on Govan and the ancient Kingdom of Strathclyde, I decided that a visit to Govan Old Parish Church to see the Govan Stones was in order. 

I ventured out on April 26th in the chucking rain and was not disappointed. What an amazing history this church has. 

During an excavation, a number of ancient stones, dating back to between the 9th and 11th centuries, were uncovered in the church yard. It is thought that these stones are so large and elaborate because they originally were carved to commemorate the lives of some of the more powerful kings and families in the ancient Kingdom of Strathclyde. 

The church has done an amazing job of showcasing the 31 stones, which are displayed throughout the church, with storyboards explaining the carvings and thoughts behind their meaning. 

Perhaps the most impressive part of the collection are the 5 Hogback stones. These date from the 11th century and are relics from the time when Viking lords were settling in the area. The stones are thought to be in the same shape as the Viking longhouses. The stones are referred to as Hogbacks because the curved carvings look similar to a pig's back. 

This historic display of old gravestones, including the very rare Hogbacks is open to the public every day from 1:00 - 4:00 and only a couple of blocks from the Govan subway station. The display is free to view, although a donation is a terrific idea. The guides are very knowledgeable and eager to share the rare display with others. 

If you have an interest in: grave slabs, old stones, graveyards, ancient history, vikings, archaeology, Scotland, Glasgow or old churches, I highly, highly recommend a visit. 

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