The awe-inspiring Glasgow Cathedral is dedicated to St Kentigern, also known as St Mungo. Built in the 1100s, it drew countless pilgrims to his shrine. Today, it’s the most complete medieval cathedral on the Scottish mainland, having survived the Protestant Reformation almost intact.
In Scott's epic book, 'Rob Roy', when the English narrator, Francis Osbaldistone, enters the cathedral for the first time, he is awed by its unusual appearance and atmosphere. Hear his remarks, and the local knowledge of his Scottish guide, Andrew Fairservice.
Listen to 'Nae Whig-maleeries'
Listen to the description of Glasgow Cathedral in Walter Scott’s epic novel, 'Rob Roy'.
Read 'Nae Whig-maleeries'
We feel that [the cathedral’s] appearance is heavy, yet that the effect produced would be destroyed were it lighter or more ornamental. It is the only metropolitan church in Scotland, excepting, as I am informed, the Cathedral of Kirkwall, in the Orkneys, which remained uninjured at the Reformation; and Andrew Fairservice, who saw with great pride the effect
which it produced upon my mind, thus accounted for its preservation
‘Ah! it's a brave kirk--nane o' yere whig-maleeries and curliewurlies and opensteek hems about it--a' solid, weel-jointed mason-wark, that will stand as lang as the warld, keep hands and gunpowther aff it. It had amaist a douncome lang syne at the Reformation, when they pu'd doun the kirks of St. Andrews and Perth, … But the townsmen o' Glasgow, they were feared their auld edifice might slip the girths in gaun through siccan rough physic, sae they rang the common bell, and assembled the train-bands wi' took o' drum. …and the trades assembled, and offered downright battle to the commons, rather than their kirk should coup the crans as others had done elsewhere’.
Sir Walter Scott - Celebrating 250 Years
In 2021-22, Scotland celebrates the 250th anniversary of one of its most famous sons, Sir Walter Scott. This online exhibition and audio trail of his legacies is part of the celebrations.
'Nae Whig-Maleeries' has been performed by Edinburgh actor Gavin Paul, who is looking forward to visiting some of these important historical sights.