Glasgow Cathedral

Glasgow Cathedral
The west front of Glasgow Cathedral, from Cathedral Square
Glasgow Cathedral is located in Central Glasgow
Glasgow Cathedral
Glasgow Cathedral
Location in central Glasgow
55°51′47″N 4°14′05″W / 55.8630°N 4.2346°W / 55.8630; -4.2346Coordinates: 55°51′47″N 4°14′05″W / 55.8630°N 4.2346°W / 55.8630; -4.2346
DenominationChurch of Scotland
Previous denominationRoman Catholic
StatusHigh Kirk
DedicationSaint Mungo
Dedicated7 July 1136
Functional statusActive
Heritage designationCategory A Listed Building
Designated15 December 1970
Architectural typeChurch
Length87 m (285 ft 5 in)
Width20 m (65 ft 7 in)
Height32 m (105 ft 0 in)
Spire height68.6 m (225 ft 1 in)
PresbyteryPresbytery of Glasgow
Minister(s)Reverend Mark E. Johnstone
Director of musicAndrew Forbes
Organist(s)Dr Malcolm Sim
Flower guildNorma A Clarkson-Gorman

Glasgow Cathedral (Scottish Gaelic: Cathair-eaglais Ghlaschu), also called the High Kirk of Glasgow, St Kentigern's or St Mungo's Cathedral, is the oldest cathedral in mainland Scotland and is the oldest building in Glasgow. The cathedral was the seat of the Archbishop of Glasgow until the Scottish Reformation, and it's congregation is today part of the Church of Scotland's Presbytery of Glasgow.[1] Glasgow Cathedral is Crown property, and is the responsibility of Historic Environment Scotland.[2]


The history of the cathedral is linked with that of the city, and is allegedly located where the patron saint of Glasgow, Saint Mungo, built his church. The tomb of the saint is in the lower crypt. Walter Scott's novel Rob Roy gives an account of the kirk.

Built before the Reformation from the late 12th century onwards and serving as the seat of the Bishop and later the Archbishop of Glasgow, the building is a superb example of Scottish Gothic architecture.[3][4] It is also one of the few Scottish medieval churches (and the only medieval cathedral on the Scottish mainland) to have survived the Reformation not unroofed.

James IV ratified the treaty of Perpetual Peace with England at the high altar on 10 December 1502.[5] The cathedral and the nearby castle played a part in the battles of Glasgow in 1544 and 1560.[6] Twenty years after the Reformation, on 22 April 1581 James VI granted the income from a number of lands to Glasgow town for the kirk's upkeep. He traced the ownership of these lands to money left by Archbishop Gavin Dunbar as a legacy for repairing the cathedral.[7] The town council agreed on 27 February 1583 to take responsibility for repairing the kirk, while recording they had no obligation to do so.[8] The church survives because of this resolution. Inside, the rood screen is also a very rare survivor in Scottish churches.

The cathedral has been host to number of congregations and continues as a place of active Christian worship, hosting a Church of Scotland congregation. The current minister (since April 2019) is the Rev Mark E. Johnstone DL MA BD, who was previously minister at St. Mary's Church, Kirkintilloch. The building itself is in the ownership of The Crown, is maintained by Historic Scotland, and is a popular destination for tourists.

University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow originated in classes held within the precinct of the cathedral. William Turnbull, Bishop of Glasgow was primarily responsible for the foundation of the university around the year 1451. In 1460, the university moved out of the cathedral to an adjacent site on the east side of the High Street, known locally as the college, and moved to its current home on Gilmorehill in 1870.


Glasgow Cathedral Choir is a professional adult ensemble, singing at the two regular Sunday services each week. The current director of music is Andrew Forbes and the cathedral organist is Malcolm Sim. The four-manual Father Willis organ was installed in 1879, and has been maintained by Harrison & Harrison since they rebuilt the instrument in 1996.

Directors of Music

  • 1879 Alfred Peace
  • 1897 Herbert Walton
  • 1929 R H Clifford Smith
  • 1936 Wilfred J Emery
  • 1965 John Turner
  • 2010 Ian Simcock
  • 2012 Richard Pratt
  • 2014 Andrew Forbes
Herbert Walton 1903

Other cathedrals in Glasgow

Other cathedrals in Glasgow are St. Andrew's Cathedral (Roman Catholic), St. Mary's Cathedral (Scottish Episcopal) and St Luke's Cathedral (Greek Orthodox).

List of Ministers of Glasgow Cathedral

  • David Wemyss (1565-1615)
  • Archibald Douglas (1571-1593)
  • Robert Scott (1616-1629)
  • John Maxwell (1629-1639)
  • Edward Wright (1641-1646)
  • Robert Ramsay (1647-1651)
  • James Durham (1651-1658)
  • Ralph Rodger (1659-1662)
  • Arthur Ross (1664-1675)
  • Richard Waddell (1682-1684)
  • Archibald Inglis (1685–1687)
  • Ralph Rodger (1687–1689)
  • James Brown (1690–1714)
  • George Campbell (1715–1748)
  • John Hamilton (1749–1780)
  • William Taylor (1780–1823)
  • Duncan Macfarlan (1824–1857)
  • John Robertson (1858–1865)
  • George Stewart Burns (1865–1896)
  • Pearson McAdam Muir (1896–1915)
  • James McGibbon (1916–1922)
  • Lauchlan Maclean Watt (1923–1934)
  • Nevile Davidson (1935–1967)
  • William Morris (1967–2005)
  • Laurence A. B. Whitley (2007–2017)
  • Mark E. Johnstone (2019–present)

Other burials


See also


  1. ^ http://www.glasgowcathedral.org.uk/
  2. ^ https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/glasgow-cathedral/
  3. ^ Architecture of Glasgow, by Andor Gomme and David Walker, published in 1968
  4. ^ The Buildings of Scotland: Glasgow, by Elizabeth Williamson and others, published in 1990
  5. ^ Bain, Joseph, ed., Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland, 1357–1509, vol. 4, HM Register House, Edinburgh (1888), p.339, nos.1690–2
  6. ^ Dickinson, Gladys, ed., Two Missions of de la Brosse, SHS (1942), 81, 85–87
  7. ^ Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, vol. 8, HMSO (1982), 38–39, no. 232.
  8. ^ Extracts from the Burgh Records of Glasgow, (1876), 100.

External links

  • Official site of Glasgow Cathedral
  • Historic Environment Scotland. "Glasgow Cathedral, precinct and graveyard (SM90150)".
  • Historic Environment Scotland. "Glasgow Cathedral, excluding scheduled monument SM90150, 70 Cathedral Square, Glasgow (LB32654)".
  • Glasgow Cathedral Precinct – History and original drawings of the Cathedral area.
  • Glasgow Cathedral – from Virtual Scotland
  • Glasgow Cathedral Photographs

This page was last updated at 2021-05-23 22:29, update this pageView original page

All information on this site, including but not limited to text, pictures, etc., are reproduced on Wikipedia (wikipedia.org), following the . Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License


If the math, chemistry, physics and other formulas on this page are not displayed correctly, please useFirefox or Safari