GOVAN OLD PARISH CHURCH

WHERE IS IT? In the Govan district, west of the city centre on the opposite side of the River Clyde from the Riverside Museum

The district of Govan was originally an independent burgh until 1912 when it officially became part of the city of Glasgow. It is thought to have been the earliest known Christian site in the region, and part of the old kingdom of Strathclyde, ruled from Dumbarton Rock, known in the 7th century as Alt Clut.



Although there is some confusion in separating fact from fiction, it is believed that one of the kings, Constantine, founded a monastery in Govan, where he would later be buried. This is supported by a number of surveys on the grounds, which have unearthed evidence of Christianity from the 5th and 6th century. A number of stones etched with Christian carvings were also excavated from the burial ground dating back to the 9th century. Only 31 of these have survived and they are now on display within the church.


The current church was built in 1888 by architect Robert Rowand Anderson, although it was believed to have been the fourth church built on the land of the burial ground. Among the stones dug up where a number of tombstones, including hogback tombstones, whose design is most likely influenced by Vikings when they had control of York, as well as the Govan Sarcophagus, which is believed to have belonged to Constantine himself.



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