In February 2013 I was whisked away for the weekend by my lovely Mark to visit Glasgow Necropolis.
It’s a magnificent cemetery, built by the merchants of Glasgow and there was lots to photograph. I was amazed at the amount of tourists in the cemetery who were enjoying photographing the various tombs, mausoleums and statues. Below is a collection of my favourite cemetery photographs with some showing the most common graveyard symbols and what they represent. The phrase ‘The Dead Do Speak‘ is my interpretation of how the dead speak to us from beyond the grave with the symbols shown on their headstone, grave or tomb.
Photographs of Glasgow Necropolis
Glasgow Necropolis is situated upon a hill overlooking the city and the array of crosses, obelisks, tombs and statues is breathtaking. Below is a photograph showing the close up of a hand. Most commonly found on Victorian graves, they often represent the deceased’s relationship with other human beings and God.
The Dead Do Speak – Cemetery Hand Symbols
Index finger pointing up symbolises the hope of heaven
Index finger pointing down symbolises God reaching down for the soul and commonly representing a sudden death
Handshake/Clasped Hands is a very interesting symbol. Firstly, look at the cuff to determine if the deceased is a male or female (frilly cuff). The person who died first, symbolised by the right hand in a grasp with fingers overlapping the left hand, which is open, is guiding his/her spouse to Heaven.
I wonder what danger lurks within this tomb showing inverted torches either side of the gate. An inverted torch symbolises the extinction of life, death and mourning.
A cherubs head with wings either side is a softer version of the skull and crossbones otherwise known as Death Heads. Skull and crossbones was a common Memento Mori symbolising that death comes to us all. You can read more about this here Graveyard Mortality Symbols.
For three years I’ve had the photograph shown below and I always knew that there was something stopping me from deleting it. I just love the Gothic feel to this graveyard photograph. For more graveyard photography, please visit my Graveyard Cemetery Gallery
Above is a photograph of a headstone belonging to the author of Wee Willie Winkie that looks out to Glasgow Cathedral.