Glasgow Churches and Cathedrals

(Glasgow, Scotland, UK)

Glasgow is a city with a strong and lengthy religious heritage, boasting no less than four cathedrals and many further churches. Often referred to as both the Church of Scotland and the High Kirk, Glasgow Cathedral is an immense building located directly to the west of the city's famous Necropolis and south of the Royal Infirmary.

The remaining cathedrals are those of St. Andrew, St. Luke and St. Mary, each of which dates back to the 19th century and comes with much historic character. Offering something rather different is the Queen's Cross Church, which was one of the earliest and most mysterious creations of famous Scottish designer, artist and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. As a result of its famous roots, Queen's Cross is also often known as the Mackintosh Church and whilst it may appear as nothing spectacular, its understated Gothic-influenced facade, corner plot setting, barrel-vaulted roof and intricately carved pulpit all combine to make this something very special indeed.

Glasgow Churches

Glasgow Cathedral

Address: Castle Street, Glasgow, G4 0RH, Scotland, UK
Tel: +44 (0)141 552 6891
The oldest part of the city is concentrated around Glasgow Cathedral, to the east of the modern city centre, which also goes by the name of St. Mungo's or St. Kentigern's. This stunning medieval landmark was built in 1136 on religious ground and has remained the city's most impressive and important church ever since. At the end of the 12th century, Glasgow Cathedral was actually destroyed by fire and was rebuilt shortly afterwards.

Over the years, the building has undergone much renovation and restoration, and is remarkably well preserved. Now managed by Historic Scotland, attractions include Gothic architecture, a wooden roof with timber dating back to the 14th century, four stained-glass panels depicting the apostles, and a lower chapel area, housing the shrine of Saint Mungo. Virtually next door is the Provand's Lordship House and the University of Strathclyde (John Anderson Campus).
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 09:30 to 18:00 and Sunday - 14:00 to 17:00
Admission: free

Cathedral Church of St. Mary the Virgin

Address: 300 Great Western Road, Glasgow, G4 9JB, Scotland, UK
Tel: +44 (0)141 339 6691
Dating back to the early 1870s and sited next to the Olympia Centre, St. Mary's Cathedral belongs to the Scottish Episcopal Church and is rather dominated by its tall spire, which was completed in 1893 and measures in at some 63 metres / 207 feet in height. This is now a listed building and is known for its regular events, which include frequent art exhibitions, choir recitals and concerts.
Admission: free

Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St. Luke

Address: 27 Dundonald Road, Dowanhill, Glasgow, G12 9LL, Scotland, UK
Tel: +44 (0)141 339 7368
The Cathedral of St. Luke is situated within the Dowanhill area of the city, next to the Victoria Circus, where it was built in the late 19th century for the Glasgow United Presbyterians. Previously known as Belhaven Church, St. Luke's is an impressive Gothic-style building with many interesting features, including a large pipe organ, beautiful stained-glass windows, carvings and imposing architecture.
Admission: free

St. Andrew's Cathedral

Address: 90 Dunlop Street, Glasgow, G1 4ER, Scotland, UK
Tel: +44 (0)141 221 3096
The centrally located riverside Metropolitan Cathedral Church of Saint Andrew was built in 1817 by James Gillespie Graham and is a landmark Roman Catholic structure in the city. This stunning Gothic-style building is full of interesting features, including an important statue of St. Andrew himself. The cathedral was originally classed as a church, but later gained the title of cathedral in 1884, after considerable renovation works. Of note, St. Andrew's is close to the Argyle Street train station, Carrick Quay and the ever-popular St. Enoch Shopping Centre.
Admission: free

Queen's Cross Church

Address: 870 Garscube Road, Glasgow, G20 7EL, Scotland, UK
Tel: +44 (0)141 946 6600
Queen's Cross Church is especially important, since it is actually the only church ever to have been built from one of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's designs and due to its pedigree, it now functions as the headquarters of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh (CRM) Society. Attractions include simple Mackintosh-style stained-glass windows, relief carvings, an information centre, a gift shop and a small display about its interesting history. Built between 1898 and 1899, the architecture itself is relatively subtle and often described as being 'Modern Gothic' in style, with the lack of a tall spire making the structure appear more like a small Norman fortress. The nearby Patrick Thistle Football Club is a useful point of reference.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 10:00 to 17:00, Sunday - 14:00 to 17:00
Admission: free

St. George's Tron Church

Address: 163 Buchanan Street, Glasgow, G1 2JX, Scotland, UK
Tel: +44 (0)141 772 3571
Situated in the heart of the city centre on Buchanan Street, next to George Square, St. George's Tron Church was built in the early 1800s. Originally designed by William Stark, visitors will notice a strong baroque-influence, as well as a tall tower, tremendous attention to detail and many wonderful carvings. The church is close to Buchanan Street train station and numerous shops.
Admission: free

Paisley Abbey

Address: Abbey Close, Paisley, PA1 1JG, Scotland, UK
Tel: +44 (0)141 889 7654
Paisley Abbey is situated roughly 9 miles / 14 km to the west of central Glasgow and stands nearby the University of West Scotland campus. This imposing abbey is the main attraction in the neighbouring town of Paisley and was founded in the mid-12th century. The Abbey has undergone much restoration work over the years and is known for being home to the famous Barochan Cross, which is more than 900 years old.
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 10:00 to 15:30
Admission: free

St. Vincent Street Free Church

Address: 265 St. Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5RL, Scotland, UK
Tel: +44 (0)141 649 1563
Built in the middle of the 19th century, St. Vincent Street Free Church can be found in the heart of Glasgow city centre, close to both Stirling House and Southerland House. This spectacular church was designed by the famous architect Alexander Thomson and holds regular services, where all are welcome. Attractions include temple-like features, a vast interior and detailed architecture. Of note, the Central Railway Station is relatively close by and within walking distance.
Admission: free

Govan Old Parish Church

Address: 866 Govan Road, Glasgow, G51 3DL, Scotland, UK
Tel: +44 (0)141 445 1941
Located on the southern bank of the River Clyde, the Govan Old Parish is also often known as St. Constantine's Church and stands just down the road from Elder Park. The structure was designed by Robert Rowan Anderson in 1833 and took almost 50 years to build. There are many interesting focal points, including large carved stones dating back to medieval times in the 9th century.
Open hours: June to September, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday - 10:30 to 12:30 and 13:0o to 16:00
Admission: free