Wednesday, 17 February 2010


John Betjeman called Glasgow 'the greatest Victorian city in the world' and the Necropolis - watching over the city - its greatest legacy. Interdenominational from the start, the first burial in 1832 was of a Jewish jeweller, Joseph Levi, followed by around 50,000 burials - and 3500 tombs. See the marvellous  website for further details - 
There are often deer present in the Necropolis; sadly, men hunting the deer with dogs have also been seen.  If you come across these scum here or in any other of the wilder parts of the city, your best bet is to phone 999 rather than approach them (Strathclyde Police take this issue very seriously). 
And no one answers (author's bike on right)

John Knox and his neighbour Duncan Macfarlane

Knox with wee bits of purple heather just visible on his platform 

This Charles Tennant is no relation to the Dr Who actor David Tennant, though many of the Necropolis statures resemble the entities in the classic 'Blink' episode who mimic statues to capture their prey. Fanciful conjecture, of course.

Entrance from the Drygate
Glasgow Cathedral and bridge across to Necropolis (more pics of Cathedral further down)

The back of the Tennant's brewery: a juxtaposition  of alcohol and death. For the brewery see

Even on a bright day, the Necropolis is a place of long shadows

I walked up this path and chatted to this wee group of tourists, turned round to take the pic then saw what was on the back of the girl's shirt. Never seen that before; think she was German or maybe Swiss-German.  I've always been inclined to the Gnostic (Blakean) view that the creation is at best a mistake, but  Jesus is one of the good guys. Bit harsh, dear.

Graveyard entusiasts  may fancy that Scottish graveyards are covered in celtic crosses: not that common really.

I grew up in Collins St, just a few hundred yards from the Necropolis.
In the 1990s, a boy I knew in the early 60s became a man who lived in one of these tombs for several years - a well-meaning person found out how he lived and got him accommodation, where he soon died. 
The boy's name was Hamilton. One of his brothers was jailed for murder. Another brother was Gordon Hamilton. In 2007, Gordon Hamilton (who died in 1996) was linked by DNA profiling to the 1977 'World's End Murders' of two girls in Edinburgh - also in 2007, the convicted murderer Angus Sinclair (who is unlikely ever to be released) was tried and acquitted for the World's End murders and blamed Hamilton for the killings.
If these stones could speak their words would drown us

The entrance over the bridge from Glasgow Cathedral


  1. The Glasgow Necropolis is an interesting but kind of scary place. I love the city, but this landmark is definitely not one of my favourite. There are people who like it, though.

  2. I loved going to the Necroplis, but I'm no longer able to walk very far. I'm mostly in my wheelchair which I have to get someone to push me. I'd maybe get back for a wee visit.