Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Glasgow Cathedral

After arriving into Glasgow by train, I usually dash across to Central Station to get a train down to Dumfries, from where I can get a bus to Kirkcudbright, but Monday was a rather lovely day, there was no hope of getting to Kirkcudbright in time for tea and there's plenty to see in Glasgow, so I decided to catch a later train and go for a wander.

I found my way down to Glasgow Cathedral, which is one mighty lump of medieval gothicness. It is actually not a cathedral any more since it is not the seat of a bishop - the Church of Scotland doesn't have any.

According to the information sheet, the church is sited on a piece of ground blessed by St. Ninian for burial in 397. Sometime round about 550 St. Mungo, or St Kentigan as he's sometimes known, built a church on the sight, probably made of wood.  The first stone built church on the site dates from 1136 and as with most church has continued to evolve since then.

The large open area here, where you enter, is the knave. looking down towards the quire screen and beyond, the upper church. Much of the timber in the knave's roof is thought to date back to the 14th century - there must have been a fair dose of Ronseal painted on it in that time. Way down at the far end, the upper church's wooden roof, that you can just see, is much later (1910 - 1912)

The cathedral has a particularly fine collection of stained glass windows, most of which date from 1947 and after. There's more than enough stained glass to cover one blog so I'll have a complete blog of stained glass at a later date but here's a bit to keep you going in the mean time. This is the Millennium Window by John Clark, unveiled in 1999, and is thought to be one of the most technically demanding stained glass windows ever made.

It's quite wonderful - have a closer look at a bit.

On the way down to the lower church you pass the Blacader Aisle. It was built when Bishop Blacader was boss in around 1500.

Judging by the amount of construction going on round about him, I suspect that this is Bishop Blacader.

This chap doesn't look all that comfortable.

A piece of old and no longer required masonry out on display

At the end of the lower church and the upper church there are a number of small chapels on a small walkway which the leaflet I picked up calls an ambulatory. The chapel below is the Nurses Chapel (Chapel of St Andrew).

I think that this might be the Lower Chapter house (some clues might have been nice). This set table and chairs were in a room barred off by a heavy iron gate.

This is the slightly out of focus tomb of St Mungo.

Part of a tapestry screen in the lower church.

Back outside and the sky is still blue. There's not many gargoyles on the cathedral but there is this little chap.

Out side the graveyard is effectively paved with gravestones on their sides and covered in moss.

This gravestone was uncovered though. Probably because the Robert Stevenson mentioned at the bottom was one of the famous lighthouse Stevensons. He was the engineer of the Bell Rock lighthouse and Robert Louis Stevensons' grandfather as it happened.


Shundo said...

Lovely stained glass - I look forward to seeing more of those. All in all, it definitely looks nicer on the inside than you would expect from the exterior shot

Sandy said...

What an interesting blog. I'll certainly be making my way to Glasgow this summer.

Sandy's witterings said...

Shundo, that's the stained glass posted now. It isn't the most promising place to look at from the outside - I don't suppose the scaffolding helps.

Sandy, there's plenty in Galsgow to fill a few day trips - it's just not terribly central, unless shopping's your thing.

Sandy's witterings said...

Galsgow??? must find my way there sometime.

Poppy said...

Gargoyles yay!! Shame Glasgow is the other end of the country from me, but thanks for the tour round :)

Shane said...

Wonderful stuff,especially like the John Clark window,but all the rest is great.Got to get to Glasgow!

Sandy's witterings said...

Excuse the delay in replying folks, I've been away.

Poppy, Glasgows worth a visit (perhaps best as a day trip from several days in Edinburgh - I have a slight bias) but not really for gargoyles. The one here is on of only 3 I spotted on the cathedral.

Welcome Shane, the John Clark window is quite a marvel. I had a quick look at your blog and it looks good. Going for a better look right now.