Ramshorn Kirk, Glasgow, Scotland


Earlier today I spent a few hours at the old burial ground attached to Ramshorn Kirk, a redundant church in central Glasgow, Scotland.

Purpose of the visit was to source information from old grave markers and tombstones for my separate Glasgow Ancestry blog.

This site is the last resting place of members of the Glasgow business class of the period from around 1760-1850 and as such provides a fascinating insight into social history, mortality rates and occupations of about 200 years ago.

Many of the memorial stones are horizontal (deliberately so) and as such have acquired a thick layer of moss and grass. To access the inscriptions entails an exercise akin to archaeology in scraping away of layers of moss and vegetation. Once the overlay is removed then there is the challenge of reading the ancient inscriptions which can sometimes feature a mix of elaborate copperplate script, Roman type script and Roman numerals for dates.

From my experience, the information shows a high rate of infant mortality but at the other end of the scale, some of the deceased had lived well into their 60s, 70s and 80s.

Many of the stones record occupations of the deceased at a time when the country was on the cusp of the Industrial Revolution. Here are the occupations of persons from today’s research:

  • Tanner
  • Flesher (butcher).
  • Book Seller
  • Merchant ( a businessman).
  • Baker.
  • Manufacturer
  • Artist
  • Writer
  • Barber
  • Tobacconist