Glasgow Necropolis

Glasgow Necropolis

Glasgow Necropolis is a magnificent cemetery and as a matter of fact, its first burial took place in 1832. Likewise, it now has upwards of 50,000 burials and is a magnificent cemetery to visit. In addition, it is my first holiday break with Mark for a Valentine’s Day celebration. Of course, I have clearly met the right man for me!

Firstly what strikes you is the number of mausoleums and statues nestling among the Celtic crosses. Also, it pleases me to see that we are not the only people with our cameras in hand. In truth, this cemetery is a hot spot for taphophiles.

Taphophile (plural taphophiles). A person who is interested in cemeteries, funerals, and gravestones.


With this in mind, it is time to show you some of my favourite cemetery photographs. Unfotunately, I simply did not have enough time to explore this cemetery fully. Therefore, I shall return to Glasgow Necropolis.

Photographs of Glasgow Necropolis

Glasgow Necropolis by Amanda Norman
Glasgow Necropolis by Amanda Norman

Glasgow Necropolis stands upon a hill overlooking the city. Furthermore, the array of crosses, obelisks, tombs, and statues is simply breath-taking.  

To begin with, I had absolutely no trouble at all with visualising the end result of what I was wanting to create above. The backdrop of a moody sky adds a sense of foreboding, especially if you feel that the dead is looming over you. In addition, the tree above me was a fantastic addition to the image to give it a sense of depth. Also, my timing was good as well considering the trees were not in bloom. You would most certainly be looking at a completely different image inciting different feelings if it was full of life.

Next, you will see a photograph showing the close-up of a hand.

You will often see hands on Victorian graves and they often represent the deceased’s relationship with other human beings, and God. However, this one in particular gives me the creeps. I suppose it’s my view of perspective again with it looming over me. I’m such a short ass! In addition, the peeling paint adds to the eeriness of this image. Even in stone, the elements and aging contribute to the overall look of our hands.

Glasgow Necropolis by Amanda Norman
The Hand

The Dead Do Speak – Cemetery Hand Symbols

We can decipher a lot of information about the deceased by the position of hands on their memorial. However, in some cases, hands will simply be there for decoration as in the photograph above.

  • An index finger pointing up symbolises the hope of heaven
  • A finger pointing down symbolises God reaching down for the soul and commonly representing a sudden death
  • Handshake/Clasped Hands is a very interesting symbol. Firstly, look at the cuff to determine if the deceased is a male or female (frilly cuff).  
    • Secondly, the deceased is signaling a final farewell or an eternal bond between the living and the dead.
A death head from Glasgow Necropolis
A death head from Glasgow Necropolis

A cherubs head with wings either side is a softer version of the skull and crossbones otherwise known as Death Heads.  Skull and crossbones was a common Memento Mori symbolising that death comes to us all.

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