Cemetery Series: Glasgow

Lush green park dotted with trees in the middle of a bustling city. Overlooking both the park and the city, a rocky hill stands, covered in the greatest tributes to the disposable wealth of the Victorian Era. The land began life as a legitimate park when the local merchant’s house purchased the land in 1651 and planted fir trees on the land, transforming it into Fir Park. By 1831, those same merchants thought the land could turn a profit and thus Glasgow Necropolis was born. Scotland’s answer to the world-famous Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

The land on which the necropolis sits is dotted with extra-ordinary monuments. Each one dedicated most often to just one individual, but also many were built to remind Glasgow and its visitors of the great families that were part of the population. These monuments were enormous – even those for one individual – and easily showcase the weath of the people who made up the elite of Glasgow. In this photo from Undiscovered Scotland, you can see a man standing near one of these monuments to get an idea of just how enormous they are.

There are 50,000 people buried in Glasgow Necropolis in around 3,500 tombs. Many of the tombs reach 14 feet into the ground. In the upper reaches of the hill, many required the use of blasting powder to get through the rock. The cemetery covers 37 acres and is a virtual outdoor museum of Scotlands leading architects of the day. The largest monument belongs to John Knox, the famous Presbyterian minister who led the Protestant Reformation in Scotland. It stands a whopping 70 feet high, with the statue of him at the top alone standing 12 of those 70 feet.


Undiscovered Scotland: Glasgow Necropolis


One thought on “Cemetery Series: Glasgow

  1. Oh WOW!!!! Those monuments are amazing! You can really see the craftsmanship that went into them.

    I remember once we discussed how often cemeteries that are replaced with something else are talked about..but not as often do we hear about a cemetery that has a history of being something else at one time. Awesome post!


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