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Glasgow Cathedral, precinct and graveyard

A Scheduled Monument in Dennistoun, Glasgow City

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Latitude: 55.8633 / 55°51'47"N

Longitude: -4.2346 / 4°14'4"W

OS Eastings: 260247

OS Northings: 665605

OS Grid: NS602656

Mapcode National: GBR 0QK.NX

Mapcode Global: WH3P2.XWPH

Entry Name: Glasgow Cathedral, precinct and graveyard

Scheduled Date: 30 November 1981

Last Amended: 20 November 2002

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM90150

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Ecclesiastical: burial ground, cemetery, graveyard

Location: Glasgow

County: Glasgow City

Electoral Ward: Dennistoun

Traditional County: Lanarkshire


The monument comprises those elements of Glasgow Cathedral that are not in ecclesiastical use as the parish church, the ground underlying the whole of the cathedral (in ecclesiastical use), and the precinct which now includes the surrounding graveyard, excluding lairs for which burial rights survive at the date of scheduling.

The reason for the rescheduling is, firstly, that no adequate documentation can be traced related to the original scheduling; and secondly, to extend the scheduled area to include more of the medieval precinct, while excluding the church in ecclesiastical use (which was incorrectly included in the original scheduling).

The parts of the cathedral that do not form part of the present parish church comprise: the buried and partially visible remains of the transepts built to the order of Bishop Jocelin at the end of the 12th century; and the foundations of the two western towers which were demolished in the 19th century. The cathedral is traditionally believed to have been founded by St Kentigern (Mungo) around AD 600, although there are no remains of this period. A graveyard, along with one or more chapels, is believed to have already been created here by this time. The earliest fabric relates to the cathedral founded by Earl David (later David I) between 1114 and 1118, and dedicated in 1136. Work to enlarge this cathedral was begun in the late 12th century, but never completed. From 1240 to 1300 the cathedral was largely rebuilt, with an enlarged eastern arm, and it is this plan which survives to the present day.

It is considered likely that the graveyard contains the buried remains of early Christian ecclesiastical structures and graves associated with the use of the site, including possible early monastic use, from the 6th century up to the time of the major development of the cathedral in the 12th century. The cathedral had no cloister, but instead had a precinct, or chanonry, where the dignitaries and canons had their residences. Much of the chanonry to the north contained the close of the Vicar's Choral, along with a handful of larger residences and their gardens. This subsequently developed into the New Burial Ground. The west part of the chanonry contained the Bishop's Castle and a towered gatehouse; this area was largely redeveloped in the 1980s, with the construction of the new Museum of Religion and Cathedral Square, and is therefore not included in this scheduling.

The precinct continued to develop as the principal place of burial for the medieval and later burgh. The graveyard contains many important tombs and monuments dating from the 17th century, some set into the boundary walls. The boundaries are defined by cast-iron spearhead railings and coped walls.

The area proposed for scheduling comprises the remains described, and also the ground underlying the cathedral in use today as the parish church, together with the wall surrounding the graveyard and the whole area enclosed by it. Excluded from the scheduling are: the above-ground parts of the cathedral now in use as the parish church; the above-ground parts of the area now occupied by the Monument Conservation Unit Yard; and the upper 300mm of all surfaced paths, roads and cobbling. Modern gates and gate piers, along with lengths of modern walling, are also excluded. This area measures some 204m N-S by 120m E-W, as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland


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Historic Environment Scotland Properties
Glasgow Cathedral
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Related Designations

Glasgow Cathedral, excluding scheduled monument SM90150, 70 Cathedral Square, GlasgowLB32654
Designation TypeListed Building (A)StatusDesignated

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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