Listen to Glasgow Necropolis:
A resting place with a view
We are now approaching the City of the Dead, but the name may be misleading. Glasgow Necropolis was designed to banish fears of dying among those who could afford a plot here.
Ranald MacInnes, of Historic Scotland, leads us to the gates of one of the greatest planned graveyards designed for the new wealthy of Glasgow. Just as they had their mansions in the Merchant City, so they could look forward to a last resting place in a park on the hill behind Glasgow Cathedral – after rolling through the Bridge of Sighs on a horse drawn carriage.
From here, Ruth Johnston, chair of the Friends of Glasgow Necropolis, takes us into the cemetery which officially opened in 1833 as an interdenominational burial ground though the history of the site itself dates back to 1650 when the Merchants’ House bought the land.
The first person to be buried in Glasgow’s ‘garden cemetery’ was Joseph Levi, a jeweller who died of cholera in 1832. Since then more than 50,000 people have been laid to rest here. And not just the rich and powerful. Artists, writers and musicians can be found among the monuments created by famous names including a tomb by Alexander Greek Thomson and a Celtic cross by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.