The Tycoons of the Past

I will now have the opportunity to express to you my family's neurotic delight in cemeteries.  The past three days have been absolutely fabulous for weather.  Clear skies, temperatures in the sixties - Saturday was perfectly balmy so Tim and I took the bus into town, hopped off at Castle Street, and wandered into the grounds of Glasgow Cathedral.

The leaves are turning here.  I will get a little autumn, after all!

The cathedral grounds are covered with old grave slabs; you can hardly take a step without tripping over a tussock of that thick, lush British grass or treading on someone's grave.  Some slabs are so old that they look like natural rock and you have to take it on faith that there was once writing on them.

At the foot of the cathedral grounds we looked up and discovered the Necropolis nearly on top of us.  You see it in pictures, but nothing prepares you for the grandeur of the real thing.  We backtracked to the entrance and went up, wending our way through some fabulous weather and the gravestones of the movers and shakers of Victorian Glasgow.

I wish I could have pictures of all the fantastic names of these people.  After awhile one began to notice cross-overs: sons and daughters from various tycoon families married into others.  These were serious folk!  Some inscriptions said things like JAMES BUCHANAN - MERCHANT - GLASGOW // CALCUTTA.  It's rather sad that what is left of Glasgow's golden days is the Necropolis, but I will say these families took steps to make sure their legacy lived on in rather impressive stonework.  

How does that sound, Dad?

Of Shaws?

My great delight in cemeteries is, in part, because they are so peaceful.  It felt like Sunday to walk through these terraces - crisp, cool air, surrounded by the bodies of the dead waiting (for good or ill) the coming of the Lord.  Everywhere I looked inscriptions of the hopeful passages of Scripture proclaiming that the dead in Christ will rise met my eye. 

"Could you spend hours here?"
"I don't know about hours.  There's time enough for that later."

The typical tourist pose.

WHY.  WHY is it unsafe!  You can't just leave something like that in a place like this ambiguous!

Wait for it...  Now you got it.

7 ripostes:

  1. The Necropolis... is that what Captain Tightpants is gazing askance at in picture 5?

    Also, picture n-1: the "Beware of Wights" sign must have fallen off.

  2. Having recently studied "Thanatopsis" by William Cullen Bryant, this post struck a familiar chord with me. There's something both haunting and fascinating about a cemetery, as if a host of stories merely slept, waiting for you to cross their paths. In Bryant's own words, "The powerful of the earth,—the wise, the good, / Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past, / All in one mighty sepulchre."

    And when one considers the fact that all of this is taking place in Scotland, it really puts you in an enviable situation! Ethandune will be mammoth-sized before you reach American shores once more.

  3. Oh no, don't say that! Now I'm doomed!

    Sino no, while Ethandune will be a respectable size, I don't believe it will become mammoth. Mammoth is 220,000+ words. We're talking dropping a bomb in G.R.R. Martin's backyard here. Ethandune is ordinary as far as size is concerned.

    I believe I have read parts of Thanatopsis. I haven't picked up the particular book of poetry that I have in mind in years, but I trust my memory is not failing me when I say it is Bryant. I always got his name confused with Byron and had to sort myself out, even though I knew who I was talking about. The confusion continues to this day. I recall that what I have read of him I found beautiful and stirring. That passage you quoted exactly represents my feelings on the Necropolis.

    Tim is actually on the Necropolis in that picture. He is performing the "fabulous" pose, which we may make a habit of snapping in all the places of note that we visit. As far as wights are concerned, we saw quite a few holes in the ground by gravestones, and several slabs had been broken open. Quite a few Buffy jokes were made that day as we hurried by...

  4. BLAZER ENVY. You are my new style inspiration.

    And Scotland is gorgeous, too, of course. ^.^

  5. BLAZER. Tim has a thing for pocket-squares: now every time I put on my blazer, he routs out one of his most appropriate pocket-squares and stuffs it in my blazer pocket. It makes me absurdly pleased to be so stylish. :P

    ...I was also ridiculously gratified to hear that Scotland came second to my gorgeousness. Poor Scotland. XD

  6. I am so late to comment on this, but I suppose you'll still see this comment: these photos are b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l, and I love your outfit ^_^. Just sayin'.

    What is a girl to do?

  7. Beautiful photos, Jenny! Scotland is a paradise for any historian...or writer! A legendary place of true inspiration! Enjoy your time there, Jenny!