I must confess that I have a predilection for old Scottish cemeteries. Instead of finding them gloomy, I consider them as peaceful gardens, evocative of histories. Off the beaten track, the Glasgow Southern Necropolis is worth a visit if you’re into history. It feels like a hidden secret garden, away from the hilly pathways that drive many to “The” more famous “City of Dead” located behind the Cathedral. All seasons are good to go, each one brings a different charm to the place.
Entered through a Gothic gatehouse, the cemetery opened in 1840. Home to over 250,000 individuals, the burial ground contains gravestones from wealthy merchants, traders, shipbuilders, and architects, from the time when Glasgow was the second City of the Empire. Many of the headstones are damaged or broken, but somehow it makes your wandering through tree-lined paths very atmospheric.
Look out for Sir Thomas Lipton, the tea baron, Alexander Greek Thomson, Glasgow’s most prolific architect after Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and the White Lady.
In 1954, the Necropolis became the playground for local children who became hunters of “the Gorbals Vampire”. The incident was sparked by the urban myth that a vampire had killed two local children and was blamed on American horror comics. The panic was such that it led to comic’s censorship in Scotland!
How to get there from Central Station: 1 km from Bridge Street Subway Station or Busses no 267 and 21 stopping right outside the gatehouse.