Article kindly provided by David Shelton of the Friends of Cathcart Cemetery.
There is more information on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cathcartcemetery. [You need to be a facebook member to view this]
Cathcart Cemetery is a peaceful graveyard bordering Linn Park. Having opened in 1878, the cemetery has a number of beautiful gravestones and memorials dating back to the 19th Century nestled within a designed landscape setting. The cemetery is divided into two sections, the “old” Victorian section and the newer Linn extension, divided by Netherlee Road.
Cathcart cemetery was opened against the background of the 'garden cemeteries' movement in Britain. The growth of this movement was a radical response to problems with overcrowded churchyards. The new cemeteries were an expression of Victorian civic pride reflecting the tastes and aspirations of society. It is not surprising that the new cemeteries became favourite places for recreation. These were places to visit and take a stroll, while enjoying open space, fresh air and the magnificent monuments.
Cathcart cemetery was laid out on a green field site overlooking the White Cart Water on land, formerly a farm steading, negotiated from the Bogton Estate. By the mid-19th century Cathcart was still mostly a rural area with farms and estate policies adjacent to the wooded banks of the White Cart Water. Despite industrial development and mining, the area retained its leafy character. The verdant setting and easy access from Glasgow were the reasons why the site was chosen for a new cemetery to meet the growing needs of the south side of the city.
The site was laid out to designs by William R. McKelvie of Dundee. McKelvie's experience in this line of work was described in the Cemetery Company's leaflet as "unequalled in Scotland". He came to Dundee in 1863 from Greenock, where he had served as Superintendent of Cemeteries and Parks. McKelvie later designed Balgay Park in Dundee and Duthie Park in Aberdeen, which are scheduled for inclusion in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland, which gives an indication of the quality of his work.
Cathcart New Cemetery (as it was known when it was opened) superseded Cathcart Old Churchyard on Carmunnock Road, Glasgow. The date of the first burial was 10 November 1876, but the cemetery includes several older gravestones moved from the College Churchyard in Glasgow in 1873 and from the Gorbals Burial Ground in 1883.
The success of the new cemeteries depended to a great extent on finance. Plots were sold in perpetuity. Family graves became popular and relatives could spend money on memorials that would not be removed. The style of funeral and monument helped to establish social position and, therefore, the Victorians celebrated the dead with the best monuments they could afford. This was reflected in the architectural quality.
The 1938 Ordnance Survey map shows that Glasgow had grown considerably and the cemetery was now well within the suburbs. The Linn section of the cemetery was opened in 1927 with the path layout of the new areas of the cemetery was designed to take advantage of the White Bridge across the White Cart Water in Linn Park. It became fashionable to visit the tea rooms which emulated Miss Cranston's in the city centre.
The cemetery was in Cathcart Parish before the Local Government boundary changes in 1996 which transferred management responsibilities to East Renfrewshire Council.
From a leaflet produced by the Cathcart Cemetery Company in 1888 to give out to prospective customers:
In 1706 Cathcart was a small settlement at the bridge (dated 1624) crossing the White Cart Water and a toll point on Netherlee Road. By the mid 19th century Cathcart had a population of 745, mainly engaged in agriculture and manufacturing. The vicinity of the cemetery was a rural area with farms and estate policies adjacent to the wooded banks of the White Cart Water. Despite the industrial development and mining, the area retained its leafy character (according to a leaflet produced by the Cathcart Cemetery Company in 1888 to give out to prospective customers). The verdant setting and easy access from Glasgow were the reasons why the site was chosen for "a new cemetery to meet the growing requirements of the south side of the city".
"A cemetery in the country, easy of access from the city, yet sufficiently removed to be clear of its deleterious vapours, surrounded by woods and echoing to the sound of murmuring streams, laid out and embellished with artistic taste, and yielding flowers and blossoms for nine months of the year, was hardly dreamed of. Yet these advantages have now been combined in Cathcart Cemetery" ("Notes on Cathcart Cemetery and Surrounding District", 1888)
Access from Glasgow was further enhanced by the opening of Cathcart District Railway in 1885
Maps of the Cemetery ares hown here: [Dates and Titles missing]
The Friends of Cathcart Cemetery have created a google map of the most notable items which includes:
- Cathcart Cemetery Gate Lodge
- Cross of Sacrifice
- Macbeth Family
- Mary Garrow
- William Maley - First Manager of Celtic F.C.
- William and Mary Hood's Mausoleum - Which is based upon the Philae Temple of Hathor
- William E. Scott
- John Bennie Wilson
- George Ferguson
- Joseph Taylor - Football Manager for Queen's Park
- The Dallas Memorial
- Margaret "Madge" (née Metcalfe) Jefferson, actress and mother of Stan Laurel.
- Jessie MacLachlan (1866–1916), Scottish Gaelic soprano.
- Mark Sheridan (1864–1918) - English music hall comedian and singer. In 1909 he first performed what was to become his most famous song "I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside", which he later recorded. His career took a decline in later years and he suffered severe depression, as a result. He committed suicide in Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow in 1918 aged 53.
- RS McColl - Footballer and from the newsagent RS McColl
- William Craig - Former Chairman of Rangers F.C.
- William Wilton
- Hugh MacColl (1861–1915), Scot who founded Sevilla Fútbol Club being their first captain in 1890.
The photographs which relate to the above items are shown below in the same order.
This is a random collection of photographs which also appear on the Friends of Cathcart Cemetery's Facebook Page. A great collection.
Some other links:
- Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathcart_Cemetery which identifies the following additional notable persons:
- The Herald reported on 10th July 1995 that graves were being damaged including:
- The grave of Robert McColl, Scottish international footballer and founder of the R S McColl confectionery chain.
- A Stonehenge-style memorial to quarrymaster and ship-owner Mr Archibald Robertson was deliberately pushed over, despite its height (15ft) and weight (50 tonnes).
- The headstone of Sir John Mactaggart, co-founder of the original Mactaggart and Mickel builing firm responsible for many of the city's suburbs, has also been vandalised with spray paint.
- Gang slogans have been daubed on the grave of Mr Robert Pollock, one of the founder's of the Victoria Infirmary.
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission: https://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/74259/CATHCART%20CEMETERY - 240 casualties from the two world wars - including 5 Canadians, and 1 each from Austalia, New Zealand, & South Africa - who served in the Army, Royal Navy, Merchant Navy, and Airforce. Six photographs of the old part of the cemetery.
- Discover Glasgow: http://www.discoverglasgow.org/cemeteries-cathcart-cem/4577991387 - with several great photos including two of the William and Mary Hood mausoleum.