CATHCART TOWER AND BURIAL GROUND
WHERE IS IT? In the southern Cathcart district straddling the city limits, on the corner of Menock Road and Carmunnock Road
Cathcart Tower is all that remains of Cathcart Old Parish. It was dedicated to St Oswald of Northumbria, and built by architect James Dempster between 1830 and 1831, possibly on the same ground as a former church building.
The previous church was built in 1707 but had to be rebuilt in 1744 after it soon fell into disrepair. The church parish is believed to have a history stretching back to 642 AD. Dempster’s new building was designed in the modern Gothic style of the time and was a small yet elegant church with a secluded burial ground. The church was partly demolished in 1931 when a new church was completed further along Carmonnock Road.
The burial ground holds a couple of headstones worthy of note; those of two holy men, the Reverend A.O. Beattie and Reverend G.M. Middleton, were designed by Alexander Thomson, as was that of his builder friend John McIntyre. Among the other graves are the Polmadie Martyrs, Robert Tam, John Urie and Thomas Cook, three weavers who were dragged from their workplace and shot dead in 1685 because they were Covenanters. This was a Scottish Presbyterian group who signed the National Covenant in 1638, which opposed the Stuart kings interfering in the works of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. The three headstones appeared sometime in the 1700s, and in 1717, writer Daniel Defoe wrote about the incident, with one of the alleged shooters as a source.
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