Walking Glasgow's cemeteries and Crematoria

Key facts

  • Cost: £100
  • Credits: 0


Glasgow’s historic cemeteries offer unique symbolic landscapes, architecture and sculptures that mirror the changing fortunes and beliefs of its people. These symbols, once we can “read” them, reveal the social, religious and cultural attitudes of the city over the past 200 years. Cemeteries and crematoria also record significant people and events, epidemics, public health and other aspects of life, and how families chose to celebrate and remember their loved ones. 

Whether you are interested in Glasgow history, how we approach death, health history, architecture, sculpture, or local and family history, take this fascinating course to see the bigger picture of how the people of the city understood death, funerals and mourning.  

During a series of five walks our expert tutor will explain: 

  • how you can “read” and understand the landscapes, monuments, symbols and texts of cemeteries and crematoria 
  • the social and cultural contexts in which Glasgow’s cemeteries and crematoria were developed 
  • how you can research your own family history in the records of the city’s cemeteries and crematoria 

You will also have the chance to discuss and reflect on what you learn with other students and the tutor while on location 

Choose this course if you want to learn: 

  • the hidden language of cemeteries and memorials 
  • the histories of five significant elements in Glasgow’s urban landscape  

Who is this course for?

Anyone new to studying history and interested in: 

  • The history of Glasgow during the past 200 years 
  • The history of cemetery and crematoria development in Glasgow and Scotland 
  • Anyone involved in a cemetery “Friends” group 


No credits are offered by this course. 

Mode of study

This five-week course will be delivered on location through three-hour walks led by a tutor in person.  

The five locations are:  

  • Glasgow Necropolis 
  • Cathcart Cemetery (including Jewish and Muslim sections) 
  • Western Necropolis and Glasgow Crematorium 
  • Sighthill Cemetery 
  • and the Eastern Necropolis. 

We would like to ensure that these walks are enjoyable and accessible for all participants, so please let us know when you book if you have any health or mobility difficulties which may affect your participation. Please email us at lifelonglearning@glasgow.ac.uk  as early as possible before the start date of your course so we can ensure that your support needs and requirements are taken into account when planning the walk. Please be assured that any information you do pass on to us about your health or mobility impairment will remain strictly confidential and will only be made known to staff who have a need to know.

Course materials, maps and meeting points will be provided 


  • Can begin your study of history at university level  
  • Help you explore the urban environment of Glasgow 

Find out more

The University holds open days throughout the year where you can meet with staff to discuss our short course provision. Find out more about University of Glasgow open days