IIf you wish to learn about Glasgow's saints and sinners, roam where once clandestine Body Snatchers stole fresh bodies from the grave, look no further.
I knew a Glaswegian whose great grandfather, says he, stood guard over a relative’s grave with a shotgun for a fortnight - to keep "Resurrectionists” at bay! In that not so distant past one really was “worth more dead than alive.” Heavy iron cages called Mort safes - designed by their sheer mass to discourage disinterment of loved ones, dot the old graveyard while creepy crypts, vaults, obelisks, pyramids and flat grave stones galore, pay tribute to the famous and infamous depending on one’s religious or political points of view.
Best see on a gloomy day, Glasgow’s sprawling Necropolis, located next to the ancient Cathedral, could contain burials dating back to the 11th century. Glasgow – older by far than Stirling, Dunfermline and the rest - already had a history of 1,000 years when Edinburgh was no more than a group of huts nestling beneath its rocky fortress. St. Mungo, who died in the year 603, is buried in the ancient vaults of the Cathedral. However it is the plethora of garish Victorian tomb extravaganzas that best depicts and preserves this “City of the Dead” amidst outlandish cemetery architecture, perhaps the best in Europe.
Panoramas of the old city can best be enjoyed from John Knox’s lofty tomb and steep braes which meander down towards the High Street. Here Sir William Wallace himself walked en route to devotions at the altar of the Cathedral So much history lies hereabouts a half day is soon spent exploring here, there, and everywhere nearby.
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