7th July 1136

Glasgow Cathedral is consecrated

Glasgow’s patron saint, St Mungo, is said to have built a church where the cathedral named in his honour now stands. His remains are buried there.

The first cathedral on the site was constructed around 500 years after St Mungo’s death and consecrated on 7 July 1136 in the presence of King David I. It only lasted around 60 years before being replaced by a larger building, the development of which continued for several centuries during which it was expanded and improved several times.

Cathedral appears in Rob Roy

Sir Walter Scott described the building in some detail in his novel, Rob Roy:

“The pile is of a gloomy and massive, rather than of an elegant, style of Gothic architecture; but its peculiar character is so strongly preserved, and so well suited with the accompaniments that surround it, that the impression of the first view was awful and solemn in the extreme. I was indeed so much struck, that I resisted for a few minutes all Andrew’s efforts to drag me into the interior of the building, so deeply was I engaged in surveying its outward character.

“Situated in a populous and considerable town, this ancient and massive pile has the appearance of the most sequestered solitude. High walls divide it from the buildings of the city on one side; on the other it is bounded by a ravine, at the bottom of which, and invisible to the eye, murmurs a wandering rivulet, adding, by its gentle noise, to the imposing solemnity of the scene.

“On the opposite side of the ravine rises a steep bank, covered with fir-trees closely planted, whose dusky shade extends itself over the cemetery with an appropriate and gloomy effect. The churchyard itself had a peculiar character; for though in reality extensive, it is small in proportion to the number of respectable inhabitants who are interred within it, and whose graves are almost all covered with tombstones. There is therefore no room for the long rank grass, which, in most cases, partially clothes the surface of those retreats where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest.

“The broad flat monumental stones are placed so close to each other, that the precincts appear to be flagged with them, and, though roofed only by the heavens, resemble the floor of one of our old English churches, where the pavement is covered with sepulchral inscriptions. The contents of these sad records of mortality, the vain sorrows which they preserve, the stern lesson which they teach of the nothingness of humanity, the extent of ground which they so closely cover, and their uniform and melancholy tenor, reminded me of the roll of the prophet, which was ‘written within and without, and there was written therein lamentations and mourning and woe.’

“The Cathedral itself corresponds in impressive majesty with these accompaniments. We feel that its appearance is heavy, yet that the effect produced would be destroyed were it lighter or more ornamental. It is the only metropolitan church in Scotland, excepting, as I am informed, the Cathedral of Kirkwall, in the Orkneys, which remained uninjured at the Reformation…”



Other events that occured in July

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