The Miracles of St Mungo and St Enoch

Posted on May 8, 2024

A street art mural of St Enoch cradling her beloved St Mungo

Do you know the story of Teneu, the witchy princess of the ancient Kingdom of Gododdin, mother of the miracle-weaving Mungo who founded the city of Glas Ghu?

No? Then read on…

It might sound like something you’d find in the fantasy section of your local Waterstones but actually, it’s the tale of how Scotland’s second city came to being - a gory story of rape, attempted murder and plenty of miracles.

That’s right, the Kingdom of Gododdin is present day Lothian and Glas Ghu is the sixth century name for, you guessed it, Glasgow.

Princess Teneu was renamed St Enoch – due to a simple medieval spelling mistake – and, along with her son Mungo, became the city’s patron saint.

Legend has it that Teneu was raped by a welsh prince and became pregnant. When her father learned of the pregnancy, he took Teneu to the top of Traprain Law, a hill and former Roman settlement, and pushed her off the top. Let’s just say parenting was … different … in the middle ages.

Believers say it was divine intervention. Heretics claim she was a witch. We’ll say she’s just one in a long line of strong Scottish women, and it was her bravery and sheer determination that made sure she survived her father’s violence.

Still alive and with the baby unharmed, she floated to safety across the Firth of Forth in a tiny round boat called a coracle. Here, she gave birth to a boy nicknamed Mungo, meaning “dear one”.

After going through all that, founding a city seems like the least her son could do. But that’s not what makes him a legend.

Mungo entered a monastery and during his religious training he carried out four miracles, each of which is now commemorated in the Glasgow city crest.

Resuscitating a robin and rekindling a fire by the power of prayer? Pow! Pow! Rescuing an accused princess’ jewelry from the belly of a hungry fish? Ka-boom! Coming into possession of a bell – yes, a bell – maybe or maybe not from the Pope? Errrr…. Me neither.

Nevermind! The C6th residents of proto-Glasgow were impressed. And so despite his austere and sickness-ridden life, Saint Mungo gained a following who would become the ancient forefathers of the vibrant city we know today.

If you want more where this came from, Treasure Hunt Glasgow has you covered. We’ll take you on a fab route around the city, highlighting hidden gems and interesting stories.

Telephone: 0141 673 7474
Text us: 07380 309380

The Merchant City Adventure starts from:
Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow, G1 3AH