Walking Route instructions: Glasgow Necropolis is located on the eastern edge of Glasgow City Centre and is open from 7.00am till 4:30pm daily. Start at Cathedral Square (postcode G4 0UZ.) The main entrance gates to the Necropolis lie behind St Mungo’s Museum of Religious Life and Art, and adjacent to Glasgow Cathedral. Enter the Necropolis by walking across the bridge. A detailed map of the position of the graves we feature on our walk is found at the bottom of this page.
The bridge across to the Necropolis is a nod to the Bridge of Sighs in Venice due to both being the routes for funeral processions. The Glasgow Necropolis has the Emperor Napoleon of France to thank for the idea of its construction. In a move away from burials around churches, the Père Lachaise cemetery, a “garden cemetery”, was created on a hill outside Paris. The Emperor had declared at the beginning of the 1800s, post the French revolution, that “every citizen has the right to be buried regardless of race or religion”, and he personally approved the plans for Père Lachaise, perhaps the most famous cemetery in the world, which opened in Paris in 1804. This idea became renowned across Europe and the men who were behind the plan for a new Glasgow cemetery were quite adamant that it should be based on the model of Père Lachaise in Paris.
The Glasgow Merchants House had bought land near Glasgow Cathedral. This parkland was believed by John Strang, Chamberlain at the Merchants’ House, to be “admirably adapted” to create Glasgow’s own version of the famous Paris Père Lachaise cemetery. It is a multi faith burial ground, designed for Glasgow’s higher classes at the time. The first person to be buried in the Necropolis was Joseph Levi, who was Jewish, and was buried in 1832.
Among the particular people we have highlighted for our Eurowalk are the German Henry Dübs and the Frenchman Pierre Jacques Papillon.
These and others all highlight the importance of European links in Glasgow’s heritage. You may just wish to view the Necropolis from a distance or walk around it – you can easily spend a couple of hours walking around the Necropolis.
(A detailed map of the locations we have highlighted can be found at the bottom of this page)
John Knox Statue
One of the first things to be built was a statue of John Knox which dominates the Necropolis. He is shown wearing a Geneva gown, or preaching robe, which was a robe typically worn by ordained ministers in the Christian churches that arose out of the Protestant Reformation. Knox founded the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. Knox and others, were taken prisoner during the siege of St Andrews castle and he subsequently spent time as a French galley slave!. (see St Andrews Eurowalk!) In February 1549 after 19 months as a galley slave, he was released. From 1554, he spent some time in France, Geneva and then Frankfurt. In Geneva, he met John Calvin. His history is summarised here: John Knox – Wikipedia and this regarding Knox in Geneva: Tudor Times | John Knox: Life Story (Geneva)
At the Necropolis you can find a Memorial to Henry Dübs (1816 – 24 April 1876), a 19th century German-born engineer who worked in Glasgow.
He was Works Manager and Company partner at Neilson and Company in Springburn. A locomotive from Neilson & Company can be seen at the Finnish Railway Museum – Neilson and Company – Wikipedia
Dübs then set up his own company Dübs & Co. in Queens Park at Polmadie.
Interestingly Dübs & Co was one of the first companies to employ women as tracers in their drawing offices. He also invented a type of steam lifting crane to lift the locomotives.
More information: https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Henry_Dubs
Pierre Jacques Papillon
There is also a memorial to the family of Frenchman Pierre Jacques Papillon, who introduced Turkey Red dye. In 1785, Papillon came to Glasgow from Rouen at the invitation of businessman George Macintosh. Papillon, a chemist from Rouen, came to Scotland to show him the dyeing process for this red dye, a process that had been imported from Turkey to the Rouen area of France.
Turkey Red was an important dye as there had been a hunt for a good red dye that would withstand light. :
The EU Funded project about Turkey Red dye: PowerPoint Presentation (gla.ac.uk)
Dalmarnock Turkey Red DyeWorks was established in 1785 by Highlander George Macintosh in partnership with David Dale and then Henry Monteith acquired the business in 1805 when it was renamed Barrowfield Dyeworks. It specialised in dye for these bright red Bandanna handkerchiefs. George Macintosh introduced Turkey Red to Scotland in 1785.
From the same exhibition (2014), photographs of Mackintosh (on the left) and David Dale (on the right):
A Professor of Anatomy and Pathology who had also trained in Wurzburg in Germany – https://www.glasgownecropolis.org/profiles/professor-joseph-coats-md-professor-of-pathology-university-of-glasgow/
Joseph F. Gomoszynski
There is a memorial to a young Polish man who was a Lieutenant in the Polish Army which fought for Independence of his country in 1830. More information about his life can be found here: https://www.glasgownecropolis.org/profiles/joseph-f-gomoszynski/ In exile in Britain, he taught languages here and spread the word about the history of Poland and current political situation there by giving lectures. He died of a heart aneurysm aged 32, leaving his wife and young family behind. He was buried with his infant son who had died of whooping cough.
This short video is an excellent history of the Warsaw uprising, history of Poland and the involvement of Joseph Gomoszynski (and indeed of Thomas Campbell the poet, whose statue is see in George Square and features on our Eurowalk) – November Uprising and the story of Józef Gomoszynski – YouTube
Waldemar Arend, Dorothy Arend and Ronald Arend
We have discovered that Waldemar Arend was a flour merchant in Glasgow, working for Kosmack & Co. which was based between Berlin and Glasgow. (Reference: https://archive.org/details/informationregar00smit). Waldemar seemed to be in charge of purchasing flour within Britain. He lived in various residences in the West End of Glasgow and at Redcote in Helensburgh. His son Ronald attended Kelvinside Academy but was killed in WW1 fighting for the Royal Scots (Reference: http://warmemscot.s4.bizhat.com/warmemscot-post-82452.html).
George Anderson Tombazis
George Anderson Tombazis was a Spirit Merchant and Consul for Greece. His family are also listed here. Clearly, there have been strong connections here with the Island of Samos in Greece.
François Foucart (1793 – 1862)
Francois Foucart (1793-1862), was an officer of the Imperial Guard of France, Knight of the Legion of Honour and Professor of Fencing at the Royal Academy of Paris. He spent 40 years teaching in Glasgow. This monument was erected by his pupils. Full history is here : https://www.glasgownecropolis.org/profiles/francois-foucart/
Detailed map of the Necropolis locations:
This website has further information about the Necropolis: https://www.glasgownecropolis.org/
Walking Route Instructions: Return across the bridge that you entered by and turn right to visit Glasgow Cathedral.