Gillipaw's Journal

By Gillipaw

Doors Open Day : Southern Necropolis Tour

An excellent guided tour by Colin Mackie, around the Gorbals "city of the dead". Over 250,000 buried here. It opened in 1840, with the gatehouse in the distance, designed by Charles Wilson in 1848.

This obelisk monument remembers Peter Ferguson, 1801-1885, one of the leaders of the Temperance Movement, and founder of the Band of Hope Union. Colin had us all raising our hands and taking the Pledge.

We heard many tales of those laid to rest here, including Sir Thomas Lipton, of "Tea" fame; John Begg, the nephew of Robert Burns; Allan Glen; George Geddes of the Humane Society who saved over 70 lives from downing; and famous Glasgow architect Alexander Greek Thomson. Thomson's stone is fairly new, of black granite, and I didn't particularly like it. His grave had been unmarked for many years.

Colin explained the meanings of many carvings on the stones, and told the story of the Vampire with iron teeth. At every stop, he opened his briefcase, and brought out something of interest related to the grave we were viewing.

More information on the website here, including a pdf download of the marked trail around the cemetery.

We then crossed the road and had a look inside the A Listed St Francis Centre. A huge church, designed by Peter Paul Pugin in 1861, it is now a community centre run by Glasgow Life.

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