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St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Great Western Road, Glasgow

Many churches and particularly cathedrals want you look heavenwards in awe. This one doesn't. It wants you to look heavenwards with joy. The neo-Gothic structural and decorative features are not intimidating, but the setting for colour and celebration.

It was designed by George Gilbert Scott, known for his Gothic revivalist churches. Construction was begun in 1871, but only ended in 1893 when the spire, designed by his son Oldred Scott, was completed. 

It was raised to cathedral status in 1907. Of the stained glass windows that by Messrs, Clayton & Bell, of London is the most impressive. There is a three-manual pipe organ and Glasgow's only full peal of bells. The chancel was refitted by Sir Robert Lorimer after the Great War. The high altar reredos by Lorimer has paintings by Phoebe Anna Traquair. Gwyneth Leech added enchanting murals in 1998. But it is the starlit vaulted ceiling that I enjoy the most. Each deep sky blue panel has a central star surrounding by its own constellation.

George Gilbert Scott had been working on the Glasgow University building at this time and the richness of colour and detail can be there seen too.






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