A couple of weeks ago, I visited Govan for the first time in seven months, having not been there since November 2012. It was good to be back, not only to catch up with friends but also to see the Govan Stones in their new settings inside the old parish church. The opportunity came via my involvement with a project called Some Thing Is Missing, of which more will be told at this blog in the near future. This is one of a number of projects for young people in the ‘Young Roots’ programme funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. One element in the project’s schedule was a workshop on the history of the Strathclyde Britons, followed by a visit to Govan Old and a tour of the early medieval sculpture. The unofficial tour guides were archaeologist Ingrid Shearer and myself.
Our visit took place about one week before the formal unveiling of the re-displayed stones and the launch of the 2013 visitor season at Govan Old. I was very impressed with the re-display, which presents these sculptural treasures in a way that allows them to be viewed and photographed more easily. New information boards put the stones in their historical context and highlight individual monuments.
Over at my Senchus blog I recently posted an article urging people to visit the Govan Stones this summer. I reiterate the same message here: go and see this stunning collection of ancient Celtic sculpture. If you’ve visited before, you’ll be amazed at how the stones look in their new positions under specially designed lighting, with attractive signboards giving up-to-date historical and archaeological information. If it’s your first-ever visit, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
For a taste of what’s on offer, check out my Senchus blogpost which includes stunning images by architectural photographer Tom Manley.
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