Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Glasgow Flickr Meetup Group Graveyard Shift

Went out with The Glasgow Flickr Meetup Group the other night for a photoshoot in the Glasgow Necropolis, a fascinating Victorian garden cemetery, the first of its kind in Scotland and among the first in Britain. It stands on a hill just to the East of Glasgow Cathedral and it embodies all that was great about Glasgow during an era when the empire was at its power.

Glasgow CathedralGlasgow Cathedral From The Necropolis

The city's wealthy and famous were buried here and some of the monuments are absolutely astounding in both size and beauty. Some were even designed by the architects and sculptors who built the city, such as Alexander ‘Greek' Thomson and Charles Rennie Mackintosh. It's a big place too, with over 50,000 burials having taked place in it and and over 3,500 tombs being built.

Anyway, after a hot coffee at The Tinder Box on Ingram Street, about nine of us headed over the Bridge of Sighs and into the cemetery on a cold and foggy night. Almost immediately, we lost two of our number, who later claimed to have got lost after wandering away from the main group. That's one of the first things you learn from horror movies, you never split up, and definitely not in a graveyard at night!

The Major Archibald Douglas Monteath MausoleumThe Major Archibald Douglas Monteath Mausoleum

It's an amazing place in the darkness, with the lights illuminating the Major Archibald Douglas Monteath Mausoleum, built in 1842, as you climb up the path. I didn't take a torch, thinking that my eyes would get used to the darkness better but there was a lot of ambient light from the city lights and the fog just amplified that as well. That said, once we got up into the bigger tombs on the hill, it was pretty dark and spooky.

We wandered around a fair bit as far as the John Knox monument, which was erected in 1825, at the top of the hill. We had a couple of hours tramping around in the dark until our feet started freezing and our hands were getting a bit numb so we called it a night.

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