The Glasgow Necropolis is a Victorian cemetery in Glasgow, Scotland. It is on a low but very prominent hill to the east of Glasgow Cathedral (St. Mungo’s Cathedral). Fifty thousand individuals have been buried here. Typically for the period only a small percentage are named on monuments and not every grave has a stone. Approximately 3500 monuments exist here.
Glasgow Necropolis officially opened in April 1833.
Just prior to this, in September 1832 a Jewish burial ground had been established in the north-west section of the land. This small area was declared “full” in 1851.
Predating the cemetery, the statue of John Knox sitting on a column at the top of the hill, dates from 1825.
Alexander Thomson designed a number of its tombs, and John Bryce and David Hamilton designed other architecture for the grounds.
The main entrance is approached by a bridge over what was then the Molendinar Burn. The bridge, which was designed by David Hamilton was completed in 1836. It became known as the “Bridge of Sighs” because it was part of the route of funeral processions (the name is an allusion to the Bridge of Sighs in Venice). The ornate gates (by both David and James Hamilton) were erected in 1838, restricting access onto the bridge.
Three modern memorials lie between the gates and the bridge: a memorial to still-born children; a memorial to the Korean War; and a memorial to Glaswegian recipients of the Victoria Cross.
The Glasgow Necropolis was described by James Stevens Curl as “literally a city of the dead”.