The building history of this great cathedral is long and
complex with at least 4 or 5 campaigns of building from
the early 12th century to the early 14th century by which
time the main body of the cathedral was complete. The
spire and Blackadder aisle were not completed in their
present form before the 15th century. A new cathedral
to serve the diocese of Glasgow was begun circa 1118 and
=consecrated in 1136. A further series of building works took
place in 1180's prior to its second consecration in
1197. Fragments of this early building survive in the SE
part of the crypt.
The major campaigns of building for the present cathedral
began around 1200, but by 1240 a new and grander
layout was adopted and work on the crypt and choir
begun. Also at this time work started on the Blackadder
aisle, only to be abandoned until completion by
Archbishop Blackadder between 1483 and 1508. The last
decades of the 13th century saw building work restart on
the nave, the choir being complete by that date. In the
early years of the 15th century a serious fire damaged
the chapter house necessitating extensive repairs, and
destroyed the original timber spire. This was rebuilt in
stone by the mid 15th-century.
Though surviving the Reformation in a virtually intact
state, despite internal subdivision to form 3 parish
churches, the cathedral suffered its worst alteration in
the 19th century. The 2 symmetrical towers flanking the
W end were demolished 1846-8, and the great W window
(first opened by David Hamilton in 1812) recast by
Edward Blore. By the mid 19th century the interior was
returned to its unified state with many new fittings,
completing work begun in the choir by William Stark in
INTERIOR: Many very high quality monuments and tombs
STAINED GLASS: between 1936 and 1967 the whole nave and
choir were fitted out with stained glass windows by
Scottish and British artists replacing the
mid-19th century glass designed by the Royal Bavarian
Stained Glass Company; only a few small lights from this
scheme survive in the sacristy and SW porch.
A full description of the building history of the cathedral
is found in the Official HMSO Guidebook.
BOUNDARY WALLS AND GRAVEYARD: Many good tombs and
monuments dating from the 17th century, some set into
boundary walls. Cast-iron spearhead railings and coped
walls define boundaries to graveyard.
We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest and these are selected according to criteria published in the www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/shep-dec2011.pdf, Annex 2, pp74-76.
The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.
Enquiries relating to works to listed buildings should be made to the local authority in the first instance. Listed building consent is required for works which a local authority considers will affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest and local authorities also decide if listed building consent is required.
Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The local authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. For information about curtilage see www.historic-scotland.gov.uk.
Legislation introduced on 1 October 2015 allows us to state that: an object or structure fixed to the listed building; any object or structure within the curtilage of the listed building; and, any part or feature of the listed building that is not of architectural or historic interest may be excluded from a listing. If part of your building is not listed under the new legislation, the part will be excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. 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 current legislation.
Find out more about listing and our other designations at www.historic-scotland.gov.uk.