The Ramshorn is one of Glasgow’s older burial grounds and was used as a site of burial from 1719 to 1915. It contains the graves of some of the merchants whose names live on in streets like Glassford Street as well as the grave of the noted social reformer of the 18th century, David Dale. There is also a memorial to Sir John MacDonald who was the first Prime Minister of Canada.
In the 20th century park areas were created and at the moment there are benches and recycling bins as well as paths around the graveyard. It has been closed for most of the pandemic period and this has become a source of annoyance to residents who regularly used it as a place to exercise, read, contemplate nature or their own mortality. In a time when our wellbeing is being emphasised, the Ramshorn provides a space in the middle of the City for fresh air and relaxation.
The Ramshorn Church (the Church of St David) was sold to Strathclyde University and it is now the site of the Confucius Centre but the Ramshorn Graveyard is owned by the Council (and therefore the people of Glasgow) which is negotiating with Strathclyde which held the lease over the graveyard for over 25 years in an ongoing dilapidations process.
Why form a Friends group?
- The MCTCC area has very few community groups. We are even losing one out of our area soon as Greyfriars’ Gardens is going up a part of the High Street outside our patch. This is a chance to establish a community group for a very neglected part of our local history
- Friends’ groups can work in partnership with the Council and other organisations to improve and develop the Ramshorn;
- A group could give residents’ input as to how to improve the graveyard. For example, the merchants of Glasgow are a controversial group because they were, of course, slave owners. Scottish historians like Sir Tom Devine have called for a museum about Scotland’s contribution to the slave trade. This graveyard could begin conversations about this part of Scotland’s and Glasgow’s past to enlighten current generations.
- If the group became a charity, it could raise funds to support the graveyard
Want to get involved?
MCTCC are looking to establish a steering group to guide the formation of the group along with assistance from, for example, the Friends of the Necropolis and the designated officer from the Council as well as local councillors. This group would draw up a constitution and ultimately office bearers would be elected.
If you’d like to get involved with Friends of Ramshorn, please send a mail in the first instance to email@example.com, or message us on social media