The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening tours by J.C. Loudon 1831-1842
Chapter: Northern England and Southern Scotland in 1841

Glasgow Necropolis Monuments

Previous - Next

Many of the monuments are magnificent combinations of architecture and sculpture; others are simple and grand forms, such as pyramids, obelisks, columns, arches, &c.; but perhaps the most instructive of these architectural memorials are those of the commonest kind, which may be considered analogous to common gravestones. These are mostly, pedestals of different descriptions, varied in their proportions, magnitude, and decorations, so that no two monuments of this class, or indeed of any other, can be found alike. The greater number of the monuments, both great and small, are so placed with reference to the grave as not to give the idea of preventing the mortal remains from mixing with the earth. This, in our opinion, indicates the true cosmopolitan spirit of interment. Let there be monuments, as durable as rock and architecture can make them, to the mind and character of the deceased; but let not the mortal remains be prevented from returning to the elements from which it originally sprung. Such are our sentiments: but we have also another sentiment which we hold at the same time, viz., that those who think otherwise should have their wishes gratified. Hence, in this cemetery, while we approve of most of the coffins being interred in the free soil, yet we also approve of some which are deposited in horizontal excavations made in the face of the perpendicular rock. We observe in this cemetery, that the German custom of planting flowers over the graves is adopted in various instances; the plot over the grave being generally surrounded with kerbstones, which form a proper architectural separation between the general surface of grass and the dug ground. In some cases, where the family burying-ground is a square of 15 or 20 feet, these little flower-gardens are planted with roses and other shrubs, and if they were kept free from weeds, they might prove pleasing ornaments: but it is always painful to see anything like neglect in a burying-ground, and therefore we think another Continental custom should be adopted (Gard. Mag. for 1841, p. 291.), of putting such gardens under the care of the curator of the cemetery; at least so far, as that, when the family to whom the tomb and garden belong neglect to keep it in order, this should be done by the curator at their expense.