1864 Bird’s Eye View of Glasgow: St. Mungo and St. Enoch

This is the second blog post in our series on our recently acquired 1864 bird’s eye view of Glasgow by Thomas Sulman. (The first blog post can be found here) Click on the images to enlarge the detail.

Glasgow Cathedral

This time we concentrate on Glasgow’s patron saints; St. Mungo and St. Enoch. Our first extract shows Glasgow Cathedral and the Necropolis, between which is a ravine of dark trees and a barely visible Molendinar Burn (a river or stream). It is in this ravine, Glasgow, or Clais-dhu meaning “dark ravine”, originates1

In the sixth century St. Mungo preached in the ravine at the Molendinar Burn as a town grew around him. The legend of St. Mungo is represented in the University of Glasgow’s crest, and you can read more about him here. He was buried around 603. The Cathedral, built for and dedicated to him, contains his tomb in the Lower Church.

Molindinar Burn

Left: 1865 map showing the Molendinar Burn (click here for full digitised sheet) (Ordnance Survey, 1863-65, Sheet 6).
Centre:  1914 map showing Wishart Street where the burn used to be (Ordnance Survey 1898-1932, Sheet 6SE).
Right: Current photo looking down from the bridge between the Cathedral and Necropolis over Wishart Street .

Moving west, our second extract of the birds eye view shows the Church of Glasgow’s second patron saint, St Enoch. The Church was built in St. Enoch Square in 1782 near St. Enoch’s burial place. To gain one’s bearings, the buildings to the right of the Church are now the St. Enoch Shopping Centre, and the fountain in front is the entrance to St. Enoch Underground station.

St Enoch Church

St. Enoch was St. Mungo’s mother. Her name varies in the historical accounts; Thaney, Thenaw, Tenus, Tannoch, Tennoch and so on. It’s possible that the ‘T’ of her name became confused with the ‘t’ of ‘St.’, creating St. Ennoch from S. Tennoch. She is considered Glasgow’s Mother, and her Saints day is today, the 18th of July.

She is represented in stained glass within the Cathedral, in the South Aisle of the Quire. Her story and that of her son was commissioned some 600 years later in the 12th Century by Bishop Jocelyn, and written by Jocelinus, a monk of Furness.

Cathedral Stained Glass

With many thanks to the Cathedral guides for helping me to locate the stained glass panels, and for taking the time to provide information to fill the gaps in my knowledge.

Image 2 shows Christian convert Princess Thaney being cast adrift by her father’s supporters on his orders. She had become pregnant whilst banished to a farm for refusing to marry a pagan suitor. The story of her son’s conception is rather peculiar; her suitor, dressed as a woman, approached her in the farm and forced himself upon her, afterwards convincing her that his act couldn’t get her pregnant. When her father, the pagan King of Lothian, learned of her pregnancy, he sentenced her to death by casting her over a cliff. When she survived, she was cast to sea to drown.

Image 3 shows her having just given birth to her son Kentigern on the beach of Culross, where she had washed ashore. The third figure is a shepherd who saves them, taking them to St. Servanus (image 4). St. Servanus trains Kentigern, whom he names Mungo (Latin for ‘dear friend’), in the religious ways.

Extract from Ordnance Survey 1st Edition Perthshire Sheet 142, 1866 showing the birthplace of St. Mungo marked at Culross

Extract from an 1866 map of Culross showing the birthplace of St. Mungo on the beach where his mother washed ashore. The note can be seen to the right of the map. (Ordnance Survey, 1859-1867, Sheet 142)

A map of Glasgow from around 1650 (left hand map below) shows Argyle Street as St. Tenus Gait. The Chapel within St. Tenus Croft was dedicated to St. Enoch, and her remains were preserved within. Scale and accuracy cannot be relied on for maps of this age, therefore we cannot be certain where exactly her remains lie. There is no information on when the Chapel was built, and it fell into ruin in the 1600s.

McArthur 1778 and Glasgow 1650

Left: A map of Glasgow about 1650 (Marwick, 1897). To gain ones bearings; Stockwellgait is now Stockwell Street, Chapel and Cemetery lie in St. Enoch Square, and St. Tenus Gait is Argyle Street.
Right: Extract of St. Enoch’s Wynd to the right of St. Enoch’s Square from McArthur’s (1778) “Plan of the City of Glasgow: Gorbells and Caltoun” (Click to view full digitised map)

The 1650 map also shows St. Tenus Well, a spring used by the people to cure their ailments. When compared with modern maps, it appears as if the current Boots Pharmacy in St. Enoch Shopping Centre now lies over this ground. Renwick (1908, p. 229) states that the well was believed to lie at the end of St. Enoch’s Wynd (seen in the 1778 McArthur right hand map extract above), which backs up this theory. It seems somewhat fitting that the location continues to serve those with health issues to this day.

Other posts in the series can be found here. You are welcome to come up and see the bird’s eye view for yourself, and even order your own copy from the Maps, Official Publications and Statistics Unit on level 7 of the University Library. Just get in touch by email, 0141 330 3176 or pop up to see us Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.

1The meaning and spelling of Glasgow varies throughout history; in the Cumbric language (which preceded Gaelic) Glasgu was said to mean ‘green hollow’, or ‘the dear family’. Groome (1885, p. 97) mentions ‘dark glen’, or ‘Glas’ being Welsh for ‘green’ and ‘coed’ meaning ‘a wood’, therefore ‘green wood’. Today Glasgow is generally accepted to mean ‘dear green place’.



McArthur, J. (1778) Plan of the city of Glasgow : Gorbells and Caltoun, Glasgow, [s.n.]. Available from the Maps, Official Publications and Statistics Unit, Level 7 at Case Maps C18:45 GLA1.

Marwick, J. D. (1897) A map of Glasgow and adjoining District about the year 1650, Glasgow, Office of Public Works.

Ordnance Survey (1863-1865) Ordnance Survey of Lanarkshire, 1st ed., Southampton, Ordnance Survey.

Ordnance Survey (1898-1932) Ordnance Survey of Lanarkshire, 2nd ed, Southampton, Ordnance Survey.

Ordnance Survey (1859-1867) Ordnance Survey of Perthshire [and Clackmannanshire], 1st ed., Southampton, Ordnance Survey.

Smith, D. (1822) To the Honourable John Thomas Alston, Lord Provost of Glasgow, this map of the ten parishes with the royalty and the parishes of Gorbals & Barony of Glasgow, 1:10,560, Glasgow, Kirkwood & Son.

Sulman, T. (1864) Bird’s eye view of Glasgow in 1864, London, Illustrated London News.


Forbes, A. P. (editor) (1874) Lives of S. Ninian and S, Kentigern. Compiled in the Twelfth Century, Edinburgh, Edmonston and Douglas.

The Glasgow Story (2004) Kentigern Baptising Converts, [Online]. Available at http://www.theglasgowstory.com/image/?inum=TGSA05047&t=2 (Accessed 20 May 2015)

Groome, F. H. (ed.) (1885) Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: a survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, Edinburgh, Grange Publishing Works.

Illustrated London News (1864) ‘The City of Glasgow’ Illustrated London News. [Online]. 26th March. Available at http://encore.lib.gla.ac.uk/iii/encore/record/C__Rb3071062 (University of Glasgow staff and students only). (Accessed 20 May 2015)

King, E. (1993) The Hidden History of Glasgow’s Women: The Thenew Factor, Edinburgh, Mainstream Publishing Company.

Maver, I. (2000) Glasgow, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press.

M’Ure, J. (1871) Glasghu facies : a view of the city of Glasgow, Glasgow, John Tweed.

Renwick, R. (1900) Abstracts of protocols of the town clerks of Glasgow, Glasgow, Carson & Nicol.

Renwick, R. (1908) Glasgow Memorials, Glasgow, James Maclehose and Sons, publishers to the University.

Senex, A., and Pagen, J. (ed.) (1884) Glasgow past and present, Glasgow, D. Robertson.

Taylor, S. (2004) ‘Beginnings: Early Times to 1560’ The Glasgow Story. [Online]. Available at http://www.theglasgowstory.com/story/?id=TGSAG (Accessed 20 May 2015

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  1. 1864 Bird’s Eye View of Glasgow: The University of Glasgow | University of Glasgow Library

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