St Mungo and Glasgow*s Coat of Arms

St Mungo and Glasgow’s Coat of Arms
People have lived in Glasgow
since before the Iron Age
and the Damonii Celts
inhabited the west of
People came to live on the land
to build settlements where
Glasgow now stands because
this was the point at which
the great River Clyde could
be forded.
The fording point is where the
Molindinar Burn runs into the
The Molindinur Burn off Duke Street
After the Romans left
Britain, Glasgow
became part of the
Kingdom of
Strathclyde with its
capital 15 miles
downstream at
Glasgow was still a
village but over the
years it grew larger
and larger. The
people of Glasgow
worshipped the old
Celtic Gods until the
arrival of
In the 6th century AD
a Christian monk
called Mungo came to
the Strathclyde area
to try to convert the
people to Christianity.
Mungo built his church
next to the Molindinar
However; he had to
leave Glasgow because
King Morken of
Strathclyde did not
want his people
converted to
It is said Saint Mungo
then travelled to Rome
to visit the Pope.
A new King called
Rydderch Hael,
invited Mungo to
return and eventually
he came back to the
shores of the Clyde.
The name Glasgow
comes from this time:
Clas-gu meaning the
'dear family'.
A great community of
Christians grew up
around the place
where Mungo taught
the messages from
the Bible.
Saint Mungo was also
known as Saint
Kentigern but one of
his early teachers,
Saint Serf, gave him
the name of Mungo
which means ‘dear
Saint Mungo lived a long
life and he had a
church built at the
side of the Molindinar
The present Cathedral
in Glasgow is the
fourth to be built on
Tomb and Chapel of Saint Mungo in the crypt
the site of Mungo's
of Glasgow Cathedral.
seventh century
wooden church.
It is said that
during a sermon
Saint Mungo said
’Let Glasgow
flourish by the
preaching of the
This became
Glasgow’s City
motto. Over the
course of time
this motto was
shortened to ‘Let
Glasgow Flourish.’
There is a story told
about Saint Mungo
called the 'Life of
Saint Mungo‘.
In it he performed
four religious
miracles in Glasgow.
The following verse is
used to remember
Mungo's four
Here is the bird
that never flew
Here is the tree
that never grew
Here is the bell
that never rang
Here is the fish
that never swam
Here is the Bird That Never Flew ~ tells the story
of a wild robin that was tamed by Saint Serf,
Mungo’s teacher. It was accidentally killed by
some of his students who blamed it on Mungo. He
took the dead bird in his hands and prayed,
bringing it back to life, whereupon it flew back to
its master.
Here is the Tree That Never Grew ~ As a boy in the
monastery Mungo was left in charge of the holy fire in the
refectory. He fell asleep and some of the other boys,
being jealous of him, put out the fire. When he woke and
found what had happened, Mungo broke off some frozen
branches from a hazel tree and caused them to burst into
flames by praying over them.
Here is the Bell That Never Rang ~ This part of the
poem is about a special bell Saint Mungo is said to
have brought back with him from Rome from the
Pope. By the fifteenth century St Mungo’s
handbell had become a notable Glasgow symbol.
Handbells were common in the Celtic church and
were used to call the people to worship.
ere is the Fish That Never Swam ~ The King of Strathclyde
had given his wife a ring as a present. But the Queen gave it
to a knight who promptly lost it. Some versions of the story
say that the King took the ring while the knight was asleep
and threw it in the river. The King then demanded to see the
ring – threatening death to the Queen if she could not produ
it. The knight confessed to Saint Mungo who sent a monk to
catch a fish in the river Clyde. When this was brought back,
Saint Mungo cut open the fish and found the ring.
Saint Mungo is the Patron Saint of Glasgow. Next
time you are walking through town look for the
Glasgow City Coat of Arms. Tell your teacher
where you have seen it ~ 100 house points for
every sharp eyed Glaswegian child.

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