Site Overview

Remarkable hogback stones, crosses and the Govan Sarcophagus

Viking raids destroyed a fortress, known as Alt Clut (Dumbarton), the centre of an ancient kingdom of Britons at the mouth of the Clyde, in 870.

Govan was further up the river, and gained in importance when a new dynasty was established in the Kingdom of Strathclyde. Govan Parish Church became an importantecclesistical centre for this new kingdom.

Govan Old Church contains a remarkable collection of 31 carved stones which date to the 9th-11th centuries. There were 45 stones in the 1980s, but some were destroyed when the neighbouring Harland and Wolff shipyard was demolished, the stones being mistaken for debris.

The surviving stones include five exceptionally large sandstone hogback stones; tombs which were intended to look like the roofs of Viking buildings. They demonstrate the presence of Vikings in the area.

The collection also includes beautifully-carved crosses and cross shafts, and the Govan Sarcophagus. This has intricate interlace, warriors and hunting scenes carved onto it and is the only one of its kind from northern Britain. It is believed to commemorate St Constantine, the son of Pictish king Kenneth MacAlpin.

Visitor Information
Season - Months Open
1 April - 31 October
Opening Hours - Days and Times
Daily: 13.00-16.00
Other Amenities
  • Guided tours available - contact
Key Attractions
  • Religion and Belief
  • Artefacts
Contact Details

Govan Old Church, 866 Govan Road, Glasgow, G51 3UU


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