Glasgow Necropolis in Winter – 12 Photo Highlights

1) Glasgow Necropolis Facing South
Glasgow’s Necropolis (The City of the Dead) is one of the largest cemeteries of it’s kind in Europe, containing the burial places of over 50,000 individuals. Many buried in the cemetery were wealthy Victorian businessmen – these rich individuals ensured that their legacy would never be forgotten by building elaborate tombs and mausoleums.

Glasgow Necropolis Winter

Glasgow Necropolis Facing South.

2) Aikens of Dalmoak Mausoleum
Not surprisingly, the Necropolis has a spooky atmosphere. However visiting the cemetery just before sunset, and with freezing fog prevailing, the ‘spook factor’ is bumped up to 10. On entering the cemetery, one of the first sights to greet visitors is the ‘Aikens of Dalmoak Mausoleum’, a tomb built in the Classical Greek style for a wealthy Wine and Spirits Merchant.

Aikens of Dalmoak Mausoleum

Aikens of Dalmoak Mausoleum.

3) The Necropolis – An ‘Essential Glasgow Attraction’
The cemetery is regarded by many as an ‘essential Glasgow attraction,’ and whilst wandering about a graveyard may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it attracts thousands of visitors every year. The elaborate grave stones and tombs give the visitor a glimpse into how the elite of Victorian Glasgow lived, and died.

Glasgow Necropolis Tourist

A Lone Visitor Makes Their Way up the Hill.

4) Built to Last
Leading Scottish Victorian architects including Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson, Mackintosh, Bryce, and Hamilton are some of the highly respected names behind the elaborate tombs that would draw attention for centuries to come.

Vaults Glasgow Necropolis

Vaults Glasgow Necropolis.


5) The Reverend Ralph Wardlaw
The Reverend Ralph Wardlaw born in 1779, and laid to rest in 1853 stares into the winter gloom at Glasgow Necropolis. The Reverend strongly influenced Scottish missionary David Livingstone, and inspired him to take a stand against the African slave trade.

Reverend Ralph Wardlaw Glasgow Necropolis

The Reverend Ralph Wardlaw Looks into the Gloom.

6) Charles Tennent 18th Century Industrialist
The slumped figure seated in the middle of this photo, is Charles Tennent (3 May 1768 – 1 October 1838), an industrious individual whose claim to fame is the invention of bleach. The Tennent family were also responsible for establishing the nearby Wellpark Brewery – home of Glasgow’s famous Tennent’s lager.

Charles Tennent Glasgow Necropolis

Charles Tennent Inventor of Bleach.


7) John Henry Alexander Monument, 1851
One of the most ornate monuments in the Necropolis is dedicated to John Henry Alexander, a theatre manager with a tragic story. Mr Alexander was the owner and manager of the ‘Theatre Royal’ located on Dunlop Street. One fateful night, a drunken idiot in the crowd decided to shout ‘fire’ as a ‘joke.’ In the panic that ensued, 65 people were crushed to death in the stampede of people trying to get out the building. Mr Alexander died not long afterwards, supposedly a broken man.

John Henry Alexander Glasgow Necropolis

The John Henry Alexander Monument.

8) Glasgow Necropolis – Built on a ‘Bleak Hill.’
The story of Glasgow’s Necropolis (Greek for ‘City of the Dead’), began in the 1600’s when the Merchants’ House of Glasgow purchased the land on which the cemetery is now situated for the sum of £1291. This land purchase would eventually set in motion the development of what one historian described as ‘bleak hilly ground, on which grew a clump of skanky fir trees,’ into one of the most significant cemeteries in Europe.

Glasgow Necropolis

Glasgow Necropolis Built on a ‘Bleak Hill.’


9) Glasgow Cathedral Viewed from the Necropolis
Dating back to the 13th Century, Glasgow Cathedral is sometimes also referred to as the Cathedral of St. Mungo or St. Kentigern’s. The building’s main distinction is that it’s mainland Scotland’s only remaining medieval cathedral that is still intact.

Glasgow Cathedral Necropolis

Glasgow Cathedral Viewed from the Necropolis.

10) Glasgow Cathedral and Royal Infirmary
The building that can be seen to the right of cathedral, is the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. This site has been occupied by hospital buildings since the late 1790’s, though the buildings that can be seen today, originate from the 1800’s/early 1900’s.

Glasgow Cathedral Royal Infirmary

Glasgow Cathedral and Royal Infirmary.

11) John Knox Looks Out Over the Necropolis
The figure in the top right of this photo, is John Knox, leader of the Scottish Protestant Reformation. Knox has a 12 foot statue is set on a gigantic pillar, which was erected in 1825, some years before the Necropolis was built.

John Knox Glasgow Necropolis.

John Knox Peers Out Over Glasgow Necropolis.

12) The Very Reverend Duncan Macfarlan Monument
As the sun sets it’s time to leave the Necropolis. However, time for one more photo. The prominent monument on the right hand side in this image is dedicated to the Very Reverend Duncan Macfarlan, who was made Minister of the nearby Glasgow Cathedral in 1824, and died in 1857.


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