Glasgow Necropolis – An Impressive Victorian Garden Cemetery

Victorian cemetery

The Glasgow Necropolis is a Victorian garden cemetery modeled on Paris's Père-Lachaise. It is considered one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world due to its architectural elegance and timeless aesthetics. The area has become a famous landmark in Glasgow, Scotland's largest city.

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Although the 15 ha (37 ac) Glasgow Necropolis is the final resting place of 50,000 people, it contains only a small number of those whose names appear on monuments, and not every grave has a stone. Here are monuments of various architectural styles designed by famous architects and designers of the time, such as Alexander "Greek" Thomson and Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The cemetery is multi-denominational, with a small section for people of the Jewish faith, and contains numerous notable monuments, including the John Knox Monument from 1825.

Old cemeteries in European cities are one of my favorite places to visit. They don't offer new dramas or pain of loss; they only tell the stories of the past. Standing next to an 18th-century family grave, I like to imagine what the dead people looked like when they were alive, how they lived, and what their household was like at the time. I'm sure they, like us today, had hopes and dreams; they wanted to be loved and were in love with someone.

Victorian garden cemetery
Merchant's House burial vaults

Victorian garden cemetery
The cemetery's northwest corner

Victorian garden cemetery
The gravestones look down on the city like watchful spirits

Victorian garden cemetery
The cemetery is a fascinating place to visit, with beautiful views


The most famous cemetery in France is Paris's Père Lachaise, which Napoleon founded in 1804. Following this, a wave of pressure began on cemeteries in Scotland. The Merchants' House agreed in 1831 that Fir Park would be more profitable as Glasgow's version of Paris's world-famous Père Lachaise.

The Victorian Glasgow Necropolis officially opened in April 1833, with the first burial being a Jew, Joseph Levi, a jeweler. Elizabeth Miles, the stepmother of Superintendent George Mylne, was the first Christian buried at the cemetery in its opening year. Thanks to the Friends of Glasgow Necropolis, we know that 50,000 burials have taken place here in 3500 tombs. The Necropolis's use declined after 1900.

How to Get There

The cemetery is on a hill near Glasgow Cathedral, mainland Scotland's oldest cathedral and the oldest building in Glasgow, about a 15-minute walk northeast of the Merchant City. Ornate gates, located south of the cathedral, define the main entrance to the Necropolis.

Address: Castle St, Glasgow G4 0UZ, UK

By Public Transportation:

Collins Street bus stop (lines 19, 38, 57).

Best Places to Stay in Glasgow Near the Cathedral

You might want to stay at Cathedral House, a unique 8-bedroom hotel in a 19th-century Scottish Baronial-style building next to Glasgow Cathedral. All of its rooms feature designs in the shape and quirkiness of Victorian architecture, and most have views of Glasgow Cathedral or the Necropolis.

Another great option is the Moxy Glasgow Merchant City hotel. Popular nearby attractions include Glasgow Cathedral, Necropolis, and Royal Concert Hall.

Glasgow: City Centre Guided Walking Tour

On the City Centre Guided Walking Tour, discover Glasgow with a local guide and see George Square, Glasgow Cathedral and Necropolis, Glasgow Green, and The Clyde, among other iconic sights.

Have you ever visited the Necropolis in Glasgow? Was your impression of the site similar to mine? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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