Today seemed the perfect time to share my visit to the Glasgow Necropolis. (Though in full disclosure, it wasn’t spooky at all!). I’ve mentioned before that I find Victorian cemeteries quite striking. Hauntingly beautiful, in their own ways.
The Glasgow Necropolis is Glasgow’s answer to London’s Highgate cemetery. It’s on a very prominent hill to the east of Glasgow Cathedral, so even if you have zero interest in cemeteries, it offers stunning views of the city. It’s also a dog-walkers paradise and we met so many other dog owners (including the owner of 3 dachshunds!)
There are over 50,000 individuals buried in the Necropolis, and the vast majority aren’t listed on monuments or have headstones. (There are only 3500 monuments there.) In terms of design, it was modeled on its reasonably contemporary partner in Paris, Pere Lachaise. It covers more than 37 acres. And apparently there are freemasonry symbols and puzzles scattered throughout.
The giant statue of John Knox atop the hill actually predates the cemetery and it was built around him. He founded the Presbyterian Church in Scotland and was a leader in the Protestant reformation, and he had some really unsavoury views about women. One of his works is famously called “The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstruous Regiment of Women” (1558) – a reaction to the reign of Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I in England and arguing that female rule was against God and against nature. (An “abominable empire of wicked women”.) I therefore danced around his monument entirely disrespectfully.
The main entrance to the Glasgow Necropolis is stunning. It’s a bridge that was built over the Molendinar Burn, and it was nicknamed the ‘Bridge of Sighs’ an allusion to the famous bridge in Venice and also the fact that it was part of the funeral route into the Necropolis.
Have you ever visited the Glasgow Necropolis?