A fourteen year-old schoolboy from Lourdes Secondary School recently helped to dig up several medieval carvings dating to the 10th and 11th centuries.
Mark McGettigan was helping out in an archaeological survey of Govan Old Parish Church, Scotland when he uncovered gravestones from the ancient Kingdom of Strathclyde. The area had been a politically and religiously prominent centre on the banks of the Clyde River.
I was just prodding the ground to see if there was anything there and suddenly it made a noise and I realised I had hit something.Mark McGettigan
His discovery led to the uncovering of two more Govan stones.
I wasn’t too sure at the start what it was. But then we checked with the records and we realised it was one of the lost Govan stones. I am extremely happy, in fact I am ecstatic at what I helped to find.Mark McGettigan
The Govan Stones is a collection of carved medieval stones from 800-1000 AD. Most of the collection is housed in the Govan Old Parish Church. The artefacts commemorate those who ruled the Kingdom of Strathclyde during the Early Middle Ages.
Dating to a period in British history when the land was in uproar, the stones hold the memory of relentless clan rivalry and marauding Vikings from the North. Govan was an extremely important religious community during this time.
Among the artefacts is a sarcophagus believed to hold the remains of King Constantine, who was recognised as a saint.
Mark was one of the volunteers at the search and his discovery is the “most exciting of its kind in the last 20 years”. The stones were decorated with beautiful Celtic patterns and inscriptions.
There were records of stones in the area but they were lost in the 1970s when a shipyard was demolished.
The discovery has encouraged the organization of more searches, and historians and archaeologists hope that more Govan stones can be found soon.
The excavation was a stage of the public realm work that will make Govan Old and this part of Govan even more attractive for the people who live, work and visit here, and underlines the fantastic heritage of the area.Glasgow Councillor Kenny McLean