BY Ian Dunn | August 19 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

18 St Mahew’s

Doors open at medieval church

Visitors will be have a rare opportunity on Saturday September 5 to see the ancient and unique church in Cardross. St Mahew’s is one of only four medieval churches in Scotland, which has restored to its former use as a Catholic church. In a peaceful rural setting, on the hillside overlooking the Clyde, it is the oldest church in Glasgow Archdiocese and is still in regular use at the heart of its parish community.

On the Open Doors day, St Mahew’s (above) parishioners will welcome all visitors to this small and beautiful building. It dates from 1467 and it was restored in 1955.  It has been a site of worship since the 6th century and it is named after one of the early Celtic saints. St Mahew was a follower of St Patrick and he helped to establish new centres of Christianity in Scotland.

The church has important religious significance and many families have been fortunate to celebrate christenings and weddings in this special place.

Visitors can see a remnant of a pre-Christian standing stone, as well as stone kerb, carved with a Celtic design, from the 9th or 10th century.  Recessed in the east wall of the building is one of the best preserved medieval Sacrament Houses still in existence.  The original chancel arch divides the nave from the presbytery and the 15th century Baptismal font has been restored to use

The church is half a mile from the main road, with car parking on the left.  Entry to the building is by small steps and there are handrails, but no level access.

The church will be open between 12noon and 4pm for visitors to view between 4pm and 5pm there will be an opportunity for quiet contemplation.

—Other religious and civic sites in and around Glasgow, including the SCIAF Offices, will open to the public during Doors Open Day weekend, Glasgow’s Built Heritage Festival, from September 14-20. For more information visit



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