14th August 2018

A trip to Glasgow to visit the Necropolis

Anne and I went on a bus journey to Glasgow to visit the Necropolis. 

It is a Victorian cemetery on a low but very prominent hill to the east of Glasgow Cathedral. Fifty thousand individuals have been buried here. Anne has wanted to visit it for some time.

We caught the Gold Bus at 8.30. It is run by City Link and provides you with refreshments on the journey. I had an Empire Biscuit and Irn Bru. We kept the shortbread and Irn Bru we were given a bit later for our afternoon picnic. I get all this free with my over 60s bus pass. Anne’s return ticket was £48.60!

The weather was fine in the north but we hit torrential rain at Perth. The rain continued all the way to Glasgow. We arrived about midday and then went to a place to eat – ‘Best Kebab’ at the corner of Dundas Street. We didn’t order kebabs. I had a burger and chips and Anne had a vegeburger and chips. It was a bit of a dive but the food was lovely. This is from Google Street View.

We should have followed Cathedral Street out to the Cathedral but I wanted to see George Square. If I can find Queen Street Station then I have my bearings! I used my Garmin Etrex 20 for all our navigation. I had put in ‘waypoints’ the night before.

Believe it or not I used to live in Glasgow. We moved there when I was eight and I hated it. I finished primary school there and did all my secondary schooling there (Broomhill Primary and Hyndland Senior Secondary). I do enjoy going back. But I’m quite the country bumpkin now. At one time I knew all the buses and trains and how to get about Glasgow. Now it is vague memories.

We went down Dundas Street and onto West George Street and George Square. It is a very nice and quite imposing city square. It’s a pity so much was going on in it and obscuring it. I don’t know was there to be some concert or show.

And Queen Street Station. It is being rebuilt at present. But at Queen Street Station I know where I am.

At the end of George Square we went up North Frederick Street to get back onto Cathedral Street. We followed Cathedral Street to the Cathedral. It is starting to show in this picture. The amazing building to the left is Glasgow Royal Infirmary. 

This building is Provand’s Lordship.

The Royal Infirmary.

This beautiful building is the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art. 

We wandered a bit here going into the St Mungo Museum to buy a guide book for the Necropolis. We had been going to order online – GLASGOW NECROPOLIS An Easy to follow Guide WITH FULL COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE MEMORABLE MONUMENTS
By Ruth Johnston. We had left it a bit late and found it was supposed to be available at the St Mungo Museum. So we planned to buy it here. The lady that served us was so helpful. The book was out of print even though the website is still taking orders! She advised us on an alternative – ‘The Glasgow Graveyard Guide’. A nice cheery little volume. Pages 37 – 72 are about the Necropalis. We already have ‘The Edinburgh Graveyard Guide’. We used to take our children, with many complaints, on ‘exciting’ tours round Edinburgh graveyards.

The Cathedral.

This is the main gate into the Necropalis.

It was closed so we had to use a side gate.

The Bridge of Sighs with the Entrance Facade ahead.

It was lovely in the cemetery. We followed the guide getting lost as usual following the instructions. This used to happen in Edinburgh with the Edinburgh Guide.

This headstone seems to be made of cast iron.

This imposing structure is Monteath’s Mausoleum.

Looking to the cathedral.

At the top of the Necropolis is a monument to that great reformer John Knox.

A different perspective of the Bridge of Sighs.

We cut our trip round the Necropolis short as there was rain starting so we went to see the cathedral. It is a most imposing building but it did not have a feeling of worship about it.

Having seen the cathedral we went round the St Mungo’s Museum. We didn’t enjoy this. There were exhibits of every religion imaginable all mixed up as if to make us feel all religions are of equal merit. ‘Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14: 6 KJV) 

Glasgow ‘s motto; ‘Let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of His word and the praising of His name’ is often abbreviated to the more secular ‘Let Glasgow flourish’. This came from a sermon of St Mungo where he is supposed to have said ‘Lord, let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of the word’. There is not much care in Glasgow now to the preaching of His word and the praising of His name.

After that quick visit we set off in the drizzle down John Knox Street and then Hunter Street, Barrack Street, Claythorn Park and Morris Path to Glasgow Green where the People’s Palace is. The People’s Palace and Winter Gardens, set in historic Glasgow Green, the oldest public space in the city, tells the story of Glasgow and its people from 1750 to the end of the 20th century. Adjacent to the People’s Palace is the extravagant and recently restored Doulton Fountain, unveiled in 1888 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.

Anne and I had our picnic, courtesy of the Gold Bus, by the Doulton Fountain.

Then we went round the People’s Palace.

Then came, for me, possibly the best bit of the day. We headed back to the city centre via Monteith Row, the Trongate and Argyle Street. I know Argyle Street well but the Trongate was new to me. Anne and I commented on what a similarity to the feeling of Krakov there was. There are derelict buildings and beautiful historic buildings all mixed up. There is a sense of a rich past and a poor present.

This is the Tolbooth Steeple at Glasgow Cross. The Tollbooth Steeple is all that remains of what was once the most important building in Glasgow. It served as a city chambers, jail, courthouse and stagecoach station amongst others.

This is the Trongate.

We went to some shops on Argyle Street to get cutlery for Mairi’s new house. We found some in Debenhams. 

We then made our way up Queen Street back to the Buchanan Street bus station. It was raining more heavily. We went to Greggs to get sausage rolls and then got on our bus which left at 5.40. It was another Gold Bus on which we got fed again.

The journey wasn’t so enjoyable because of the guy in front of us. He kept using his mobile phone in a very loud Glasgow voice. He kept talking to the driver addressing him as ‘big man’. Just as you were about to fall asleep, he would start up again.

We got into Inverness at about 9.10. Our car, my Ford Ka, was left in the multi-story car park from which we retrieved it at a cost of £6.00. We stopped for a wee while on the Black Isle to eat. Mairi was having friends round so we gave her more time.

A great day out.