This morning, with relatively clear skies but still sub-zero temperatures, I went off on my bike to visit Glasgow’s Necropolis (City of the Dead) with two objects in mind: (a) to obtain information on various memorial stones for my Glasgow Ancestry blog and (b) to photograph some of the grander memorials in anticipation of setting up a new web page for this important site which is popular with visitors to Glasgow.

In essence the Necropolis was founded in the 19th century to house the remains of the wealthy and high status elite of Victorian Glasgow at a the time when the City was growing rapidly and aspired to the position of Second City of the (British) Empire.

This is an elevated site, conveniently close to the Cathedral, and as such affords a good panorama over Glasgow and environs.

The magnificent tombs and memorials now feature in a dedicated Heritage Trail for the benefit of interested visitors. In total there are 35 significant memorials which feature in the Trail. Below can be found a selection of relevant images. I aim to complete the set in due course.

This is the Major Archibald Douglas Monteath Mausoleum (1842). Monteath made his fortune in India. The design is based on the Knights Templar Church of the Holy Sepulchre.


This 35 ft high memorial to William McGavin dates from 1834. McGavin had a varied business career but was notable for his publication “The Protestant” which campaigned against Catholicism.


This is the Peter Lawrence Monument (1840). Lawrence was himself a sculptor of some note with examples of his work elsewhere in the Necropolis.

This is the Davidson of Ruchill Mausoleum and dates form 1851.

Davidson was a wealthy businessman whose wealth came from the lucrative muslin trade. The monument is modelled on a Greek temple.


Aitken of Dalmoak Mausoleum.

This grand and impressive building was designed by James Hamilton II and dates from 1875. Designed in Greek renaissance style it ranks as one of the largest mausolea on the site.
This is the William Miller Monument which dates from 1872. Miller was Glasgow born poet who lived 1810-1872. He died penniless but is remembered for for the poem ” Wee Willie Winkie runs through the toon.”


This is the entrance facade dating from 1836. Due to flooding and change of sentiment this subterranean crypt never achieved its original purpose.

This video clip provided a panoramic shot of the Necropolis including the nearby Cathedral. Included is the 70 ft. John Knox Monument (1825) which actually predates the Necropolis Cemetery. Knox was a famous Protestant reformer of the 16th century who is buried in St Giles Kirkyard, Edinburgh.

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