Govan Stones – Glasgow, Scotland - Atlas Obscura
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Glasgow, Scotland

Govan Stones

Early Medieval stones sit on display at the beautiful Govan Old Church in Glasgow. 

In the heart of the working-class Govan district of Glasgow are 31 early medieval carved stones, dating from the 9th-11th centuries, standing in the Old Parish Church.

The exact use of the carved stones and their elaborate decorative designs is still shrouded in mystery, but they stand testament to the power and wealth of the rulers of the lost Kingdom of Strathclyde. Many feature intricate interlaced designs and take the form of crosses or crossed shafts. There are also 5 huge hogback stones, massive monolithic blocks carved to resemble the backs of boars or hogs. There is also a sarcophagus which was suspected to have contained artifacts belonging to King Constantine, who was considered to be a saint.

In March 2019, a 14-year-old student named Mark McGettigan found three more stones while volunteering on an archaeological dig. This brings the total of stones owned by the Church to 34. 

Know Before You Go

It's open April 1 through October 31 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are welcome. Guided tours available. For more information contact info@thegovanstones.org.uk.

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