The Govan Stones

Fascinating history of the Govan Stones, Glasgow

The Hazel Tree

On the south bank of the River Clyde in Glasgow is a district called Govan.  Shipbuilding was once a major industry here, and now it’s a busy urban area of houses, flats, businesses and shops.  Not the most obvious place to start looking for early medieval history.

But appearances can be deceptive.

Govan Church (3)Secreted within this concrete jungle is a little time-bubble in the shape of Govan Old Parish Church.  The building itself isn’t really that old – it dates from 1888 – but it’s surrounded by a much older graveyard;  and if you step inside, you’ll come face to face with some jaw-dropping medieval treasures.

“One of the best collections of early medieval sculpture anywhere in the British Isles.”   Gareth Williams, curator of the British Museum Viking exhibition

Govan church interior (3)

I’m not talking just about the fabulously carved Jordanhill Cross or the Sun Stone with its writhing bouquet of serpents, although…

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