A-Z of Secret Glasgow: Necropolis

The Necropolis, Glasgow. Image: Ruth Johstone.

Glasgow’s city of the dead is the earliest example of a Scottish garden cemetery.

Before it was built in 1833, town graveyards were not places to hang out in, let alone take the family on a Sunday stroll.

There were noxious fumes and even the odd bone or two sticking out.

The Necropolis made things far more hygienic and is now a favourite picnic spot for locals who see this glorious 37 acre site as another city park.

Situated in the east of the city, behind Glasgow Cathedral, it was modelled on the famous Pere-Lachaise cemetery in Paris.

You won’t find anyone as famous as Jim Morrison or Oscar Wilde buried here but you will find amazing tombstones and monuments to the great and the good of Victorian Glasgow.

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Look out for ones designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and local architect, Alexander “Greek” Thomson.

Entry to the cemetery is over the “Bridge of Sighs”, which earned its name because it was part of the funeral route. Scramble up to the highest point, John Knox’s monument, for an amazing view across the city and breathe in those malty aromas coming from the nearby Tennent Caledonian Brewery.

For a complete tour of the crypts, mausoleums and ancient Egyptian catacombs and tales of Gothic ghostly goings on, book a tour with the Friends of Glasgow Necropolis. These tours are very popular so book well in advance or you’ll be in ”grave” danger of missing out.


Tours are free but a donation for the restoration project is requested. 

Address: Glasgow Necropolis, Castle Street. (The Main Gates are behind the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art.)

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