This afternoon, I am posting some images from yesterday’s private tour of Glasgow. Weather was fine and we enjoyed a good variety of sites of interest.

The following two images are of Holmwood House in the Southside.

This was designed by Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson ( 1817-1875) who believed that the architecture of the Ancient Greeks could be the basis of truly modern architecture, yet he never visited Greece.

Holmwood House as built 1857-8 and represents Thomson’s finest and most elaborate villa, which was built for the owner of the paper mill beside the White Water of Carte in the valley below. The house had a dual function: it was a residential home for the owner’s family and served as a high status entertainment property to impress potential customers of the paper mill who would be wined, dined and entertained in very impressive surroundings.

Thomson appears to have been the first modern architect to make houses in the Greek style, asymmetrically, according to Picturesque principles.

We were provided with a personalized tour of the interior which is still undergoing preservation work.


The following eight images are from Govan Old Church, dedicated to Saint Constantine. Although the current (and very impressive church) is Victorian it is located on a very ancient site which may have been dedicated to Christian worship for possibly two millenia.

Govan Old Church is most famous for its collection of 1000 year old stone sculptures which total 31 most of which are intact and highly decorated. These date from a little known period when the Norsemen were Christianised and represent an important part of Scotland’s prehistory legacy.

Here is the sarcophagus which is linked to St. Constantine. It was first discovered in 1855 and the surface suggest it was intended as a reliquary in which to display the bones and relics of St. Constantine who was martyred defending Scotland from pagan invaders.

This is the ‘sun stone’ with its swirl of fat serpents. This seems to be a very clumsy version of a motif familiar from some of the finest early Christian sculpture in Scotland, known as snake-and-boss.


This one of five ‘hogback’ monuments in the Govan collection. It is a personal memorial designed to lie along the grave at ground level and it consists of a solid block of stone carved into a long hump-backed shape. Typically, the carving includes rows of ‘roof tiles’ copying wooden shingles, and there are often animals embracing either end of the stone. Most of the hogbacks belong to the latter 10th century.

This is the broken shaft of the Jordanhill Cross which is decorated by panels of elaborate interlace. On one side rides a solitary horseman. This shaft is almost 1,7m high and seems to have been broken just below the head.

This is the reverse side of the ‘sun stone’ with a rider on a strange beast below the cross.


The following two images are of the interior of the Govan Old Church which was designed by leading Scots architect ( 19th century) Robert Rowand Anderson. Sadly this church, although in good condition, is no longer used for worship.



This is the oldest legible grave marker in the Govan churchard and records one John Rouan of Greenhead who died 1624 age 76. The stone and inscription are in excellent condition for such an ancient monument.


Here are a couple of happy travelers at House of an Art Lover.


The following two images are Glasgow Necropolis. This has been described as a ‘unique representation of Victorian Glasgow, built when Glasgow was the second city of the empire. It reflects the feeling of confidence and wealth and security of that time.’ It is a memorial to the merchant patriarchs of the City and contains the remains of almost every eminent Victorian of its day.



The following are images of the (mainly) 13th century Glasgow Cathedral. However, the site has a history dating back perhaps to the 5th or 6th centuries.


This interesting stained glass window can be found in the Blacadder Aisle. In medieval times it was opened so that lepers outside could here the service without being seen by worshippers inside.

Interior of the Blacadder Aisle

The Nave.

Overall, we had a good day.

Read more on Private Glasgow Tour Scotland…