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K is for… Kentigern [ABC Sundae]

K is for... Kentigern [ABC Sundae]

K was a tough letter to find a post for. Last year I covered Lord Kelvin, which was the obvious choice. This year, it’s St Kentigern, or as you may know him better as, St Mungo. I have recounted the story of St Kentigern/Mungo on this site several times before, so instead of repeating myself too much

The feast of St Mungo is on January 13th, commemorating the day on which he died in 614. In addition to having a significant importance to the City of Glasgow as its patron saint, St Kentigern bears connections and an importance to the University of Glasgow too, although he died over eight centuries prior to the establishment of the University.

As I’ve mentioned before, the first years of the University of Glasgow were mainly held in a lower chapter house in the Glasgow Cathedral, quite close to the tomb of St Mungo which lies in the crypt of the Cathedral. In 1460 the University (more specifically the Faculty of Arts) was granted four acres of land on the Dowhill near the Molendinar Burn, an area St Kentigern is described as sitting upon. This is the location upon which the University of Glasgow sat for 400 years before moving to its current location on Gilmorehill.

St Kentigern and his miracles are recounted on both the coat of arms of the City of Glasgow and the University of Glasgow, but did you know that the University’s coat of arms predates the City’s? The University arms were set up in 1658, but the original seal of the University, which depicted St Kentigern in the middle, dates all the way back to 1453.

Thus far I have managed to find seven larger depictions of St Kentigern around the University campus, reminiscent of the seal mentioned above, such as the one above on the Hunter Memorial, one on the John McIntyre Building, one in the Memorial Chapel, and another one outside the Chapel. (That’s the ones I’ve posted so far, do you know of any more?)

ABC Sundae is a fortnightly theme day, occurring every other Sunday, one letter of the alphabet at a time.
Click here for more ABC Sundae.

[January-February 2011 Poll: Which of the University's student media do you follow?]
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