The Hogbacks at Govan Old

On a cold and dark afternoon in Govan I was thrilled to find myself looking at the ancient hogback stones in Govan Old Parish Church.  Having studied Archaeology briefly at the University of Glasgow ,I was excited to finally see these sculptures in all their glory.  They are far more spectacular, and in fact stranger, in reality than when viewed on a slide.

Hog Back. Taken by Rachael.

The mystery of the Hogbacks and their clearly talented creators adds a certain amount of dark allure to the stones, which do bear a resemblance to something you might see on the set of sci-fi blockbuster.  Someone should x-ray them just to make sure there is nothing waiting to hatch out of them…

A pair of Hogbacks. Taken by Rachael.

Anyway, back to the serious stuff.  The people who commissioned these ‘grave stones’ in the 10th century were clearly wealthy and high-status individuals, and may have been the kings and queens of the ancient kingdom of Strathclyde.

Hogback brain? Taken by Rachael.

For more information on the Church, visiting hours, and the stones themselves, see the links below:




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