Scottish Tour Guide's Blog

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This afternoon, I visited Dunkeld, a small town which sits in the centre of Scotland. The reason was to witness a march by the Atholl Highlanders, the only legal private army in Britain (and Europe), to commemorate the 200th anniversary of completion of the bridge over the River Tay at Dunkeld. There are a couple of issues of significance here, viz:

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This evening, I am posting an image of a couple of elaborate memorials located at Glasgow’s famous Necropolis (City of the Dead).

In the foreground is the John Houldsworth of Cranston Hill Mausoleum, designed by John Thomas in 1845.

This is a Graeco-Egyptian style monument made in marble with two statues at the entrance. On the left stands Hope and the right stands Charity.

John Houldsworth (1807-59) was a prominent local politician and founder of the Anderston Foundry and Machine Works. He was the son of a Nottingham cotton-spinner and educated at Glasgow, Geneva and Heidelberg. He was keen on art and sailing.

To the right of the picture is a memorial to Charles Clark Mackirdy, the owner of a large cotton spinning company who lived 1811-1891. The monument was designed by James Thomson of Baird & Thomson with David Buchanan being responsible for the finely detailed choragic Corinthian rotunda.

The Necropolis contains a vast array of elaborate monuments dedicated to the wealthy Glasgow business community of Victorian times and is well worth a visit as such offers a combination of social history and design work.

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This afternoon, I cycled into the centre of Glasgow with prime aim of visiting the Necropolis (City of the Dead). Visibility was mixed with some rain in the air.

Here is an image of Glasgow Cathedral taken from the Necropolis. This building dates from the 13th century but on the site of much older places of worship, possibly dating back to the 6th century.

View from high point of the Necropolis looking south towards the industrial city of Glasgow.

Here is a video clip of the stunning John Knox Monument which is positioned at the highest point of the Necropolis and overlooks the Cathedral. In fact, the monument (designed 1825) pre-dates the Necropolis. The monument is some 70 feet high high and comprises a 58 feet high Doric column surmounted with a 12 foot statue of Knox in his Geneva gown with bible in right hand.

Knox lived 1512-72 and, in fact, had little connection with Glasgow, he was more closely associated with Edinburgh (where he died) and St. Andrews (where he studied) on the east coast of Scotland.

Knox was famous for his role in leading the Protestant Reformation and famously denounced the Catholic, Mary Queen of Scots from the pulpit of St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh.

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