SOUTHERN NECROPOLIS

WHERE IS IT? In the Gorbals district, entered via a solitary gothic gatehouse halfway along Caledonia Road.

The Southern Necropolis may lack the charm (and funding) of its northern counterpart, but that does not make it any less important or significant to Glasgow’s history.



The Southern Necropolis is home to a quarter of a million souls, the cemetery expands out across the grasslands of the Gorbals area. Many of the headstones are damaged and broken, and yet wandering through its tree-lined paths, it feels less like a place of death, and more like a secret garden, lacking the tourist trappings that drive so many to climb the northern Necropolis’ hilly pathways. In the 1950s the area was a playground for the area’s children, hunting for vampires and ghouls.


Despite its rundown appearance, one tomb stands out from the rest; an odd, cuboid structure in the western section, made entirely of black marble, in stark contrast to the surrounding grey, the headstone marked with a single star. This is the resting place of Alexander 'Greek' Thomson, Glasgow’s most prolific architect, second perhaps only to Charles Rennie Mackintosh. One of Thomson’s churches, the Caledonia Road Free Church, still stands at the end of the same road the cemetery is on, although it too has fallen into disrepair.


On the opposite side of the cemetery lies another famous name; Sir Thomas Lipton, the tea baron whose company survives to this day selling Lipton Ice Tea. It also contains the graves of 11 Commonwealth service personal from the two World Wars.



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