Head church of the diocese of GlasgowGlasgow Cathedral stands majestically in the heart of Scotland’s largest city. It is the only medieval cathedral on the Scottish mainland to have survived the Protestant Reformation of 1560 virtually intact.
The shrine of St KentigernThis inspiring edifice dates mostly from the 1200s. It was dedicated to St Kentigern – also known as St Mungo. Kentigern was the first bishop within the ancient British kingdom of Strathclyde, whose political capital was at Dumbarton Rock. His influence spread widely, and it was later claimed he presided over a diocese reaching from Loch Lomond in the north to Cumbria in the south. He is believed to have been buried on the cathedral site in 612.
A beacon of prayerGlasgow Cathedral is the finest building of the 1200s now surviving in mainland Scotland. But parts of it are even older.
Reform and re-useThe Protestant Reformation of 1560 removed the need for bishops answerable to the Pope. Bishops did continue in the established church in Scotland until their final abolition in 1689, but their role was greatly reduced. Their cathedral was ‘cleansed’ of its Catholic trappings and put to use as a parish kirk – in fact, three parish kirks. The choir housed the Inner High Kirk, the west end of the nave the Outer High Kirk, and the crypt the Barony Kirk.