Glasgow Necropolis


This burial ground was always intended to be interdenominational and the first burial in 1832 was that of a Jew, Joseph Levi, a jeweller. In 1833 the first Christian burial was of Elizabeth Miles, stepmother of the Superintendent, George Mylne.

After 1860, the first extensions east and south were to take up the Ladywell quarry and in 1877 and 1892/3, the final extensions to the north and south-east were constructed, doubling the size of the cemetery. The Necropolis is now 37 acres (15 ha).

50,000 burials have taken place at the Necropolis and most of 3,500 tombs have been constructed up to 14 feet deep, with stone walls and brickpartitions. On the top of the Necropolis tombs were blasted out of the rockface.

In 1877 the Molendinar Burn, running under the Bridge of Sighs, was culverted. This burn in which St Mungo was said to have fished for salmon is now underground on its way to the Clyde.

The Necropolis was one of the few cemeteries to keep records of the dead, including profession, ages, sex and cause of death. In July 1878 the visitors book shows that 13,733 people visited the Glasgow Necropolis - 12,400 citizens and 1,333 other visitors.

In 1966, the Merchants' House gave the Necropolis to the Glasgow City Council which now administers and maintains it. The benches and grave surrounds have been removed and most of the area put to grass for maintenance purposes.

There are monuments here designed by major architects and sculptors of the time, including Alexander 'Greek' Thomson, Charles Rennie Macintosh and JT Rochead, in every architectural style, created for the prominent and wealthy entrepreneurs of the 'Second City of the Empire'.

The Glasgow Necropolis still has a wonderful atmosphere and still attracts many visitors both locally and from all over the world.