Glasgow Graveyards

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Postby job78989 » Sun Mar 12, 2006 11:51 pm

Come on guys, that is possibly the most famous cemetery in the city.

You must have herd of the Govan Hogback Stones, St. Constintines cofin etc. also time team did an excavation there some years ago.

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Postby crusty_bint » Mon Mar 13, 2006 1:54 am

Blaeu's map of 1654
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No one's quite sure just how old the burial site at Govan actually is but the popular version of it's history has it's origins associated with the monastery of St Constantine in the 6th century. When the Vikings sacked Dumbarton, the capital of the Kingdom of Strathclyde, in AD870 the capital moved to Govan, centred on the Church of St Constantine which housed a royal burial cult. Dubeity exists as to whether govan became a Royal hub or whether that was located across the river ford in Partick where a castle had been sited up until the expansion of shipyards into the area at the turn of the 20th century. I read smething recently suggesting the Partick had served as the the Royal estate with Govan being the site of an associated town or settlement, however I havn't read anyting since to confirm nor denounce this theory yet.

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Govan displays several curious features. Firstly, and most obviously, is the curvilinear boundary of Govan Parish Church denoting early Christian origins. The graveyard therein contained several carved monuments in the British style with affinities to Pictish, Anglo-Norse and Scottish traditions, spanning the 9th and 10th centuries. 31 in total survive, a few being lost in the early 20th century which include a collection of 5 hogback burial stones of Norse origin along with a few free standing "Celtic" crosses and a sarcophogus none the less, which probably marked burials of the royal house of Strathclyde. Now housed inside the church for safety.

Govan Hogbacks
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In the neighbouring site of the caravan encampment and market place was located the Moot, or Doomseter Hill. This feature was a terraced mound of huge proportions with a flat top and an equally huge ditch. A Moot Hill is particularly associated with the (Norse) Manx dynasty of the isle of Mann and was a ceremonial hill where judgemnet was dispensed. The site is thought to have later been re-used as a Norman Motte and Bailey.

Govan 1757
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Govan from Yorkhill 1758
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Govan from Partick 1839
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Govan 1930's, the large shed and slips is the site of the Moot Hill
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Postby Alex Glass » Mon Mar 13, 2006 11:31 am

Thanks for the history lesson Crusty and the fantastic pictures.

I should point out that being a Cowcadden's boy I don't buy into the whole thing about everyone coming from Govan. It is not an area of the city that I know much about and although I have heard about the famous stones and dig by the Time Team I didn't know the location. I have only ever been in Govan on very few occations. So thanks for puting this into some context the photos are great and I now know what that grave yard next to the Pearce Insitute is. The Blaeu's map of 1654 I think I have seen before but didn't pay much attention to the detail.

Now I know where the Old Church is I will make that long put off trip to see this World Famous site.
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Postby job78989 » Mon Mar 13, 2006 11:51 am

:D :D Well done Crusty!

Cool sequence of pics and a nice potted history, great stuff!

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glasgow graveyards

Postby melloyello » Tue Mar 14, 2006 8:29 pm

I remember visiting the cemetry at the bottom of Abercrombie St years ago and finding the stone of a guy who was Abraham Lincoln's personal physician. Last year on Doors Open Day I revisited, but couldn't find the stone-can anyone enlighten me? :roll:
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Re: glasgow graveyards

Postby Ronnie » Tue Mar 14, 2006 10:49 pm

melloyello wrote:I remember visiting the cemetry at the bottom of Abercrombie St years ago and finding the stone of a guy who was Abraham Lincoln's personal physician. Last year on Doors Open Day I revisited, but couldn't find the stone-can anyone enlighten me? :roll:


The Glasgow Graveyard Guide lists the Reverend James Smith, who was Lincoln's pastor, rather than doctor. The book has a map that shows Smith's grave on the west side of the path, around the middle of the cemetery. Hope that helps.
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Postby Fossil » Sat Mar 18, 2006 8:40 pm

St Peters
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F
Bum tit tit bum tit tit play yer hairy banjo
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Postby viceroy » Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:38 pm

viceroy wrote:That must be the graveyard belonging to Govan Old Parish Church, Alex.

This is the only picture I can find at short notice, not a very good one. Maybe somebody else has a better one.


A slightly more contemporary picture than the one I posted the other week.

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Memento Mori

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Postby Alex Glass » Wed Mar 22, 2006 7:42 pm

Brilliant pic viceroy. Now i know what to look for the next time Im in Govan.
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Postby viceroy » Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:08 pm

Thanks Alex

The graveyard is certainly worth visiting. It is well looked after and there has been little or no vandalism although I did notice some graffiti on the rear boundary wall. Unfortunately the older gravestones are badly weathered, probably pollution has had a hand in this as well. And of course there are no hogback stones out in the open any more.

The church itself is not particularly old [late 19th century], but this has been a burial ground since the early Christian period and its tremendous antiquity does forcibly come across to you while you're wandering about the place.
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Postby Alex Glass » Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:16 pm

Hi viceroy

Do you think there would be value in trying to transcribe the headstones before they get much worse?

I don't know if anyone has ever don this graveyard although there are some that are transcribed within the city.
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Postby viceroy » Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:32 pm

Alex, I would imagine that this has already been done, bearing in mind the fact that this graveyard is of considerable archaeological and historical importance.

Probably the church has records. If you're interested in taking this further the contact details are here
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Postby Alex Glass » Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:19 pm

Thanks viceroy

I will contact then to find out if they have the records of the headstones.
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Postby job78989 » Thu Mar 23, 2006 7:49 pm

Some of the oldest Govan stones are inside the church along with the St. Constantine Sarcophagus. There are a number of books on the Govan stones.

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Postby job78989 » Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:32 pm

Crusty_Bint wrote:

http://www.freewebs.com/ngs/gorbalsburialground.htm

Had a peek but na pics, took some crapy ones today:

Its now called Gorbals Rose Garden and is on Old Rutherglen Road, opposite the socialwork Office. Sorry about the size of these pics had to dig out an old digi camera and a forgot how ta work it. Please note that the date on some of the pis is wrong, it should be todays date!

Quote from: Glimpses of old Glasgow Andrew Aird 1894
Part 1 Historical, page 102


Situated in Rutherglen Road is the old Gorbals burying-ground. Up till the opening of the Southern Necropolis in Oatlands district, more than half-a-century ago, this was the only "God's Acre" on the south side. It is now closed as a place of sepulture. The Southern Necropolis has tripled its size since it was devised by the late Mr. Colin Sharp M'Laws, a merchant, and son-in-law of Bailie Gilmour of Oatlands



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The oldest stone I saw:


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And a few more:

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War Memorial or just a general memorial to the people of the Gorbals:

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Some of the artwork on the site:

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John[/quote][/b]
Last edited by job78989 on Fri Mar 31, 2006 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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