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Famous Scots - Franciscan Benefactors

The Franciscans arrived in Glasgow in the early 14th century and built their first chapel in the George Street area of the city. A Franciscan presence remained on the High Street near the University until around 1559 when the forces of the Reformation led to their suppression.

Despite attempts to carry on their good work in dangerous conditions the Franciscans did not re-establish themselves in the city until 1868 when they established a small mission in Calton.
In the same year the mission purchased a piece of land in Cumberland Street, Gorbals. The succeeding years saw the parish of Gorbals prosper and grow till soon a larger chapel was needed. The first turf was turned on the 2nd February 1880, closely followed by a ceremony on 25th May to lay the foundation stone. Although the original design by the famous architect Peter Paul Pugin had been altered the formal opening of the magnificent St Francis church took place on the 1st June 1881.

During an archaeological excavation at the site of the new City Science Centre on High Street, the remains of twenty followers, or benefactors, of St Francis were discovered on the site of the aforementioned monastery. After a deeply moving service by Archbishop Conti at St. Andrew’s Cathedral on 18th March 2005 the historic remains of St Francis’ faithful medieval followers were taken on the short journey to the Southern Necropolis where they were respectfully laid to rest at a graveside committal given by the Rev. Patrick Lonsdale, OFM, Guardian of the Glasgow Franciscan Friary in the Gorbals.


Headstone Photograph

Further Information


Cemetery: Sothern Necropolis

  Caledonia Road

Town: Glasgow

Region: Glasgow and Clyde Valley

Country: Scotland


Please Note, the marker on this map indicates the Cemetery location, not the location of a particular grave. is a privately owned website with no affiliation to any Local Councils.