Thursday, 28 March 2013

Glasgow Cathedral area

Glasgow Cathedral
After lunch at the Peoples Palace, the weather and subject material turned interesting but austere and grim. Although it would be a little unfair to suggest that there were parallels with my current life, there were similarities with difficulties that related to the editing of the images and the publication of the post.
For example I kept tinkering with the first image as the light wasn't great in a variety of ways. As in life, time to move on to the next image !!

The first time I visited Glasgow back in 1983 I had two spare hours free in the afternoon and remember an exhausting walk to the Cathedral and back after spending an hour in a large bookshop unique to Glasgow. I didn't do the location justice and felt a little cheated that it didn't look on first glance pleasing to the eye like other Cathedrals that I was more familiar with. At the time I didn't realise the significance of the location away from the city centre as this was where Glasgow was born ... and not George square or ... Glasgow Central station :-)

Chalmers Gate / Gallowgate, Glasgow
Having walked south eastwards to The Peoples Palace in the previous post, I had no specific route in mind to walk northwards to The Cathedral area. The scenery commenced with a journey through a local housing estate.
I was somewhat intrusive and surprised to come across this little gem with it's rear circular staircase. I traced it later from Google maps to find ... that there's not much said about it.There are two images on Flickr of number 4 -7 Chalmers gate (formerly 394 Gallowgate) on the A89 road. The house was built in 1771, became a listed building in 1981 due to the rarity of external brick walls in the 18th century. The building was renovated into flats during 1983. Amazingly it was once used as an establishment for the motor trade ...  394 Gallowgate.

Industrial Unit, Glasgow East End
Continuing further northwards to my next destination, I was well off the tourism track and took in the sites of East Glasgow housing estates and industrial depravation. TV Taggart country indeed !! ... "Let Glasgow Flourish .... " !!

Lord Provost House, Glasgow
Unsurprisingly at the original centre of Glasgow, The Lords Provost house built in 1471 is the oldest. I decided to make the image more authentic by removing the signs, traffic lights, bollards and lamp posts :-)
Built by a former bishop, the building was used to run the affairs of Glasgow on behalf of the Bishops by a Provost (an early Lord Mayor, a role that still exists today although in more salubrious surroundings :-)  ! ). No doubt the Bishops at the time who seemed to have control of the City and the associated power and money that went with it, felt that there was some need for social action. An adjacent St Nicholas hospital was built that was unfortunately demolished in the early 20th century when building preservation was not high on the agenda. It may be sad to think that this building nearly went the same way but was saved due to the noble efforts of the occupants.

Lord Provost House, Glasgow
The building is currently used as a museum furnished with 17th century furniture and needless to say Mary Queen of Scots seems to leave her trail of scent everywhere I go !!

Old house, new Garden, Lord Provost house, Glasgow
To the rear of the building is the redeveloped 1990's "Cloister like" St Nicholas garden with its low hedgerows and covered walkway on two sides.

Garden, Lord Provost House, Glasgow
Various sizeable strange stone Tontine faces that were lost or hidden across Glasgow were eventually brought to this location during the redevelopment  and placed on the walls of the covered walkway.

St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art, Glasgow
Just across the road to left is one of the Glasgow hospitals, possibly replacing the demolished St Nicholas just a stones throw away. To the right is the lane leading to the Cathedral and in the centre is the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art. The Museum opened in 1993 and is the ultimate in finding out about comparative religion. Time was pressing on and I visited briefly two of the floors but didn't feel comfortable with some of the extreme material and left for the Cathedral behind with the excuse that I had two more sites to see.

Coat of Arms on a street light, Glasgow
The Glasgow coat of Arms on a lamppost in Cathedral square that remembers St Mungo.

"Here is the bird that never flew, here is the tree that never grew,
here is the bell that never rang, here is the fish that never swam".

(interestingly, I decided to research this and it seems to show that there are many different versions with the order of the lines alternating)

Saint Mungo once entitled a sermon "Let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of the Word and the praising of His Name" and it was later tagged on to the end of the poem.

Interpretations on the rhyme in a positive way as it was thought to represent various things that St Mungo did in his lifetime such as bringing a robin back to life, restarting a fire with branches of a tree, bringing a bell to the City from Rome and finding a fish in the river with a ring in its mouth to clear the name of Queen Languoreth of infidelity. Various bells have replaced the original and Glasgow's accompanying motto has been shortened to the more secular "Let Glasgow Flourish". ( Hmm, I wasn't quite sure if it was, the bits I saw on the second half of my walk !)

Nave, Glasgow Cathedral
St Mungo was born in Culross (A place I'd love to return to ... "in digital" ) by The River Forth in Fife. He was brought up by Saint Serf in the 6th century and was inspired to become a missionary near The River Clyde. He essentially founded Glasgow and is now known as their patron saint.

Steps and Arches, Glasgow Cathedral
He built a church on the current site of Glasgow Cathedral and was eventually buried on the same site  ... downstairs !!

Steps, Glasgow Cathedral
The current 12th century building is significant because it was the only medieval cathedral in Scotland to make it through the Reformation. Due to a legacy of land and money, the King of Scotland and the town councillors came to an agreement to look after the Cathedral.

Flowers, Glasgow Cathedral

To the choir, Glasgow Cathedral
The building was once a Roman Catholic cathedral but was converted into a protestant cathedral at the time of the Scottish Reformation

Up the steps, Glasgow Cathedral

Lecturn, Glasgow Cathedral
"... with the Preaching of the Word" !!
It seems another one of my obsessions to photograph Eagle Lecturns in Cathedrals ... Chester, Bangor, Sheffield ......  haha
Necropolis Gates, Glasgow
On leaving the Cathedral it was time for my last and most grim location of the day, The Necropolis.

Necropolis Entrance, Glasgow
Crossing over the valley on "The Bridge of Sighs", the Victorian deceased and the modern tourist are met by this structure that welcomes them. The inscription above the closed door reads...

"The adjoining bridge was erected by The Merchants house of Glasgow to afford a proper entrance to their new cemetery combining convenient access to the grounds with suitable decoration yo the venerable cathedral &surrounding scenery to unite the tombs of many generations who have gone before with the resting places destined for generations yet unborn whee the ashes of all shall repose until the resurrection of the just when that which is born a natural body shall be raised a spiritual body when this corruptible must put on incorruption when this mortal must put on immortality when death is swallowed up in victory. A.D. MDCCCXXXIII "Blessed is the man who trusteth in God and whose hope the Lord is"

Tombstone, Glasgow Necropolis
In 1831 a competition was held to transform Fir Park into a cemetery with a few prizes ranging from £10 - £50. The winner was announced and a landscape gardener was given the task to bring the plans to reality.
Glasgow Necropolis

I thought I'd keep the grass green ... if nothing else !!!

Necropolis, Glasgow
The Necropolis opened in 1833 and was a place that became fashionable for the Victorian rich and famous to be laid to rest with a colossal 3500 monuments on site and 50,000 people buried here.

Mausoleum, Glasgow Necropolis

Tomb or Time Machine ?? !

At this point in the day I just wanted to be transported out of this place (maybe the weather didn't help) and back to the railway station...

East Coast Liveried Class 91, Glasgow Central station
Unfortunately when I arrived on my own steam, it seemed that my real time machine wasn't going anywhere as there turned out to be a 90min delay due to fallen overhead power cables further south than I was going.

It might have been better using a nearby TV Doctor Who style Police box for time travel ... bringing me back from the 6th and 12th century if nothing else !! ..... 3 types of tardis in the last 3 images haha

Police Box, Glasgow East End


  1. Hi, J_on_tour! I liked your photos of the Cathedral. My only visit to Glasgow was also of a couple of hours but I didn't visit that majestic building you show us here. I also like the lamppost with the coat of arms:) Thanks for sharing.

  2. Can't stop saying WOW esp on photographs inside the cathedral. I discovered a lot of interesting stories reading this. Very informative!

    Have a nice day ahead! :)

  3. Another great tour round. Good to see you back again.

  4. Thanks for your grateful informations, am working in Tourism Portal, so it will be helpful info for my works.

  5. Ciao J. , places that you described need time to be appreciated in their full beauty and I unfortunately I have not had so much when I was in Glasgow, but your posts help in this and one day I hope to visit again!
    I wish you and the people you love a happy Easter!

  6. I have never been to Glasgow let alone the cathedral. It looks a fantastic building, I must add it to my 'To Do' list.

    You have taken some wonderful photos.

  7. Someplace I have always wanted to go and haven't made it .....yet!
    I just love seeing your pictures and reading about your time spent in all of these great places!

    Have a fabulous day!


  8. Thanks for sharing another tour with even more more stunning shots......

  9. Love that first photo, even if you were frustrated with the light aspect. I'd love to visit there sometime. Also loved the arches within arches photo. The third photo looks like it should be part of a Banksy portfolio. I'm also wondering about the photo you managed to remove signs of modern transportation. Is there an easier way to do that than I'm aware of, or did you do the tedious clone or paint method? Whatever, it looks beautiful. Glad you took them out. The necropolis is fascinating. Oh how I'd love to walk those grounds! And last but not least, enjoyed the play on words, i.e. 'on my own steam' referring to returning to the rail station. lol Very nice and informative post. Makes me want to go to Glasgow!

  10. Traveling Hawk ... Thanks, this is an interesting area. I had to choose one of the better lamp posts for the photo.

    Rizalenio ... Thanks for your comment, the inside of the Cathedral is unusually dark as well, hope I showed it at its best :-)

    Adrian ... Thanks, as always, it's good to have your input.

    Suresh kumar ... thanks for your visit, hope you found what you were looking for.

    Sciarada ... Thanks for your kind thoughts. By the amount of Google hits I have had previously from my Glasgow posts, I must be a friend of the city by now !!

    Cherry Pie ... Glasgow is definitely worth a visit but like I said before, it needs a bit of pre planning. Some of the elements of the C.R. Mackintosh tour are always popular.

    Debbie ... Thanks for your nice comment. Hope you are well, I'll catch up with your new blog soon.

    Trevor ... Thanks for your great comment, hope things are going well with you.

    Cranberry Morning ... Thanks, I'm a bit set in some of my photographic ways with framing arches etc ... might be an OCD thing. it was the tedious clone and paint method ... stuck in the house for two months, I had to find something to do :-) I would have like to spend more time in the Necropolis but I thought I was going to get caught in a thunder storm and it was the end of a long day. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  11. Fascinating stories accompanied by great photos, J. I thoroughly enjoyed all of them, especially the ones of the Glasgow coat of arms, cathedral and Necropolis.

    I was also watching the videos, thank you for sharing them. They were both very interesting although I have to admit that I couldn't understand quite a lot of the first one. Lovely Scottish accent though. :)


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