Sunday, 23 April 2017

Glasgow Necropolis

This morning the those who were still with us from the Highland History and Research Tour and new group with the Glasgow Tour had the morning free. Some slept in. Some walked and others went to church. Several of us met up at the breakfast table then we gathered at 1:00 to make our way over to the Glasgow Necropolis for a guided tour of the cemetery. Our tour guide, Jannis, was wonderful and shared some lovely stories about not only those interred but also some of their descendants who have come to pay homage.

The Merchant's House was an influential body in Glasgow in the 1700s. They were responsible for benevolence and as such, they founded the Glasgow Necropolis. A garden cemetery where anyone could be buried regardless of social stature or religion.

These gates were originally built by T Edington & Sons and a few years ago, a descendant of T Edington visited the Necropolis and donated the money to have the gates restored to their original glory.

The Glasgow Crest represents St Mungo's 4 miracles: 

Here is the bird that never flew (Mungo restored life to a Robin that had been killed by some of his classmates
Here is the tree that never grew  (Mungo had been left to tend a fire. He fell asleep and the fire died out. Mungo took a branch of a Hazel tree and restarted the fire)
Here is the bell that never rang (Mungo brought a bell from Rome that was used in services and to mourn the dead)
Here is the fish that never swam (The Queen of Strathclyde lost her ring in the river. Mungo sent a man to fish in the river and upon opening the fish, discovered the Queen's ring)

The Superintendent's Home is just inside the gates of the Cemetery. No longer in use, it has fallen into disrepair

Listening attentively to Jannis

 Crossing the Bridge of Sighs - leaving the World of the Living and Entering the World of the Dead
Bridge of Sighs

The Monteath Mausoleum is the latest restoration project of the Friends of the Glasgow Necropolis

 Inverted lit torches are a symbol of death - lighting the afterlife
 A draped urn - a common symbol. A long drape is meant to mean a long life although that wasn't always the case
Inverted Laurel Leaves another symbol of death

 An hour glass with wings symbolizes that Time Has Run Out

A cracked plinth symbolizes a broken life - a life broken by death

 These incomplete pillars are symbolic of lives that have been cut short

Part of the restoration is the addition of colour on the iron gates to some of the mausoluems. These show that the Victorians did not live in a black and white world, but were actually quite colourful. 

The Jewish Cemetery within the Necropolis

Grave of Corlinda Lee, Queen of the Gypsies

Visitors have left coins on Corlinda's tombstone as a way to show they have paid their respect


  1. I wonder if there are any of my Goodfellow or Mac/McTavish ancestors at this Cemetary:)
    Love to visit Scotland again :)

  2. Check with the Glasgow and West of Scotland Family History Society