I’m running late and so haven’t managed to book a walking tour of the Glasgow Necropolis. Fortunately my nine-year old’s running commentary as we walk through the sprawling grounds keeps me in-the-know. A previous school trip has apparently turned him into an expert.
We meander along the path up the hill enjoying the sights and checking out the gravestones. Our birds-eye view of the Cathedral from the second highest hill in Glasgow means the landscape is fantastic.
But the necropolis isn’t just a bunch of tombstones. This Victorian cemetery is a beautiful garden, including numerous grand monuments – and is said to have over
50 000 people buried here, though not all have stones.
Its many graves tell the story of generations of families in Glasgow spanning over 100 years. Along our explorations, we discover the grave of William Miller who wrote the nursery rhyme Wee Willie Winkie – which we dutifully sing as we climb further up the hill.
Not gloomy, just spectacular views
Arriving on the top of the hill I realise how spectacular gravestones can be; intricate carvings, statues, mausoleums and inscriptions detail the history of each person. The Necropolis allows you to explore Glasgow’s rich history, chart its achievements through the celebration of its past people – all the while surrounded by an impressive 360 degree view of the city.
As I look out at the city far away from the hustle and bustle, I can’t help but have a sense of peace in this quiet natural space.
It’s worth a visit and worth the climb. And if you’re not fortunate enough to have your own personal tour guide, book one of their tours – but do it early as they fill up quickly.