Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NS 57521 69735
257521, 669735


Opened 1882. Large cemetery on site rising to hill to NE; laid out in mixture of grid and curving paths. Large number of memorials, including Celtic crosses, obelisks and sculpture, the best of which are on the higher ground.

BOUNDARY WALLS, GATEPIERS, GATES AND RAILINGS: to W boundary, low random rubble wall (see Notes). To S boundary, dwarf random rubble wall surmounted by ornate wrought and cast iron railings; at entrance, 6 sandstone gatepiers, square plan with chamfered corners and large caps with cusped panels, surmounted by orbs; ornate wrought iron gates and panels; flanking sections with railings, random squared rubble wall with stone and concrete saddleback coping.

CREMATORIUM: James Chalmers, 1893-5; later additions including tower (early 20th century) and extensions to S and NE (mid 20th century). Gothic, originally composed of short rectangular nave with very short transept to N and transept to S; to N, tower with stair turret, to S later addition. Predominantly coursed squared red sandstone rubble with ashlar quoins and margins. Eaves cornice. Predominantly pitched, red-brown tiled roofs; stone skews and some moulded skewputts. Predominantly cast-iron rainwater goods.

W (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: to outer left, tower (see below). To left, advanced 2-storey gable-end of nave; full height gabled angle buttresses; steps leading up to cusp-arched doorway with complex carving to archivault; string course dividing ground and 1st floors; above, stepped recessed tripartite window, divided by buttress style mullions, with cusp-arched heads. To left of nave, recessed single bay; cusp-arched window with chevron moulding. To right of nave, 3-bay, 2-storey transept; advanced gabled central bay with blocked rectangular window to ground floor, hoodmoulded recessed cusp-arched window to gable; to flanking bays, single cusp-arched windows with chevron moulding to 1st floor; to all 3 bays, 1st floor cill course and continuous hoodmould. To outer right, advanced piend-roofed section with small angle buttresses, steps leading to 2-leaf timber-boarded door in segmental opening with relief plaque (depicting an angel) and parapet breaking eaves above.

N (SIDE) ELEVATION: to outer right, tower (see below). To left single storey, 4-bay elevation; outer bays slightly advanced; bipartite windows.

E (REAR) ELEVATION: largely blank curtain wall; to outer left, pointed arched doorway; to right, trabeated doorway; to centre, original square incinerator stack with ashlar top, flanked by round-arched openings; to right, gabled section with steps leading to 2-leaf timber-boarded door with raised door surround incorporating phoenix relief to top and flanked by small buttresses. Behind wall, E gable end of nave; paired slim cusp-arched windows, vesica window above.

S (SIDE) ELEVATION: 6-bay elevation, 2-storey to 2nd and 3rd bays from left. To outer left bay, pair of windows; 2nd bay from left slightly advanced with 2 small windows to ground floor and tripartite segmentally arched window to 1st floor, all in recessed ashlar panel; to 3rd, 4th and 5th bays, pointed arched openings with modern glazed infill to ground floor, small arched window to 1st floor to 3rd bay; to outer right, buttressed advanced ashlar bay with pointed arched glazed opening.

TOWER: 6-stage square-plan tower with low angle buttresses and canted stair bay to E elevation. To W elevation, shallow window to ground stage; blind window to 2nd stage; above, tall lancet flanked by slender buttresses surmounted by small lancets. To N elevation, shallow windows to ground and 1st stage, above tall lancet flanked by slender buttresses. To E elevation, round-headed windows to upper 4 stages of canted bay. To S elevation, as at N but lowest stages obscured.

INTERIOR: 3-bay pointed arched arcaded nave, squat marble columns with high bases and dog-tooth moulded capitals between westmost bays; roll-moulded window surrounds; exposed timber collar-beam roof; to n, round arched opening with modern metal screen leading into tower (columbarium), square marble-faced galleries grouped around central void, top-lit by stained glass dome. Some good stained glass; Harrington Mann of Guthrie and Wells, 1950 and Gordon Webster, 1965.

JEWISH PRAYER HOUSE: circa 1900; situated in Jewish Cemetery to SE of crematorium. Small, rectangular plan 3-bay nave with flanking aisles. Deep base course of bullfaced coursed red sandstone; remainder red brick with smooth red sandstone margins, quoins, skews and skew putts; lesenes to W elevation. Large openings with modern doors to N and W elevations; large arrow-loop opening (blocked) to E elevation; round windows to clerestory.

WW1 WAR MEMORIAL: to immediate NE of entrance gates; polished granite cross with sword inlay, surrounded by stepped wall with panels to rear carved with regimental insignia.

SOUTH AFRICAN WAR MEMORIAL: to immediate NE of entrance gates, carved stone memorial to the fallen of the 1899-1902 Boer War.

Statement of Special Interest

The Western Necropolis Crematorium was first official crematorium to be built in Scotland, and remained the only one in the country until the 1930s. It was also only the third crematorium to be built in the United Kingdom. It was constructed for the Scottish Burial Reform and Cremation Society which formed in 1891 for the purpose of advocating 'simplicity in funerals and to provide for those who may declare their preference for it'. For several years the society concentrated on educating the public about cremation (which was at that time largely mistrusted) by means of the Press and giving talks to various societies. Eventually, they were able to gain enough support to build their crematorium, and the first cremation took place on 17th April 1895.

The Western Necropolis was established in 1882, one of a number of extramural cemeteries in Glasgow to be established in the later 19th century, following a report of 1869 which recommended that the crowded intramural cemeteries of Glasgow should cease to be used for burials, save for special exceptions. The Necropolis covers land which had previously formed the estate of Westfield House or Farm. This building itself previously stood on the low rise just to the NE of the cemetery gates, but was gradually altered, demolished and replaced during the 20th century. The modern buildings currently on that site largely cover the original structure's footprint; the derelict harled and tiled lodge was built between 1914 and 1935 (derelict, 2003). The W boundary wall appears to predate the establishment of the Necropolis, and was probably an estate boundary. The grand S entrance gatepiers and high quality iron gates and railings were formed specially for the Necropolis, just to the W of the established approach road to Westfield.

The Jewish Cemetery was established in 1898 and there have been more than 1000 Jewish burials at the Western Necropolis.



O.S. Maps, 1864, 1899, 1914, 1935. Williamson, Riches and Higgs, BUILDINGS OF SCOTLAND: GLASGOW, (1990), p57, p415.

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

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