Death by Design

Story of the Glasgow Necropolis

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Book review: Death By Design by Ronnie Scott

The silent necropolis near the cathedral is almost like a city


‘Death by Design’ by Ronnie Scott (Black & White Publishing 2005)

On a hill to the east of Glasgow Cathedral stands the Glasgow Necropolis, sprawled across 37 acres of land. This Victorian cemetary was officially opened in 1833, A few of the tombs were designed by Alexander Thomson. At the top of the hill is the statue of John Knox, which is surrounded by beautifully designed monuments glorifying those who helped to make Glasgow a great industrial city.

Ronnie Scott’s little book takes you for a walk through this ‘city of the dead’ and describes in detail some of stories behind the monuments. Ronnie Scott’s style of writing is informative but also humourous. Of particular interest to me was the last section, explaining what some of the symbols mean, such as the butterflies or grapes that appear on the monuments.

On my walk around the Necopolis, I took this little book with me. It served as a fascinating guide and a great history lesson. Even if you never visit Glasgow or its Necropolis, this book will still intrigue you, especially when you find out all about the famous people who have lain there for many years - in peace.


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