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Glasgow cathedral

Glasgow cathedral. The earliest church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was part of a monastic foundation established by St Kentigern (more popularly, St Mungo, d. 603) on ground consecrated by St Ninian in the 5th cent., where Kentigern had buried the holy man Fergus. This site is now covered by the Blacader aisle. The diocese of Glasgow was re-established by David I and the first stone building consecrated in 1136 in his presence; despite later major rebuilding under Bishops Jocelin (after fire damage) and Bondington, there is a generally unified appearance. Its importance as a place of pilgrimage was underlined by a papal decree of 1451 declaring that journeys to Glasgow and Rome were of comparable merit; Edward I made three visits to the tomb of St Kentigern and his shrine in 1301.

Although furnishings were stripped or damaged, the cathedral survived the Scottish Reformation in 1560, before being adapted to house three separate congregations. By 1835, it became possible to open up the interior again, but the fabric escaped the proposed restoration ‘improvements’ by Kemp, although the western towers were demolished. It is now crown property, worshipped in by the Church of Scotland in the reformed tradition, under presbyterian government.

A. S. Hargreaves

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