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|The Royal Burgh of Lanark|
|Scottish Gaelic: Lannraig|
Lanark High Street, August 2006
The Royal Burgh of Lanark shown within South Lanarkshire
|OS grid reference|
|- Edinburgh||29.5 miles|
|- London||325 miles|
|Council area||South Lanarkshire|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||Lanark and Hamilton East|
Lanark (Scottish Gaelic: Lannraig, Scots: Lanrik) is a small town in the central belt of Scotland. Its population of 8,253 makes it the 100th largest settlement in Scotland. The name is believed to come from the Cumbric Lanerc meaning "clear space, glade".
Lanark was the county town of the former county of Lanarkshire, though for many years Hamilton was the county town, before the formation of Strathclyde. Lanark railway station and coach station have frequent services to Glasgow. There is little industry in Lanark and some residents commute to work in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Its shops serve the local agricultural community and surrounding villages. There is a large modern livestock auction market on the outskirts of the town.
Lanark has served as an important market town since medieval times, and King David I made it a Royal Burgh in 1140, giving it certain mercantile privileges relating to government and taxation. King David I realised that greater prosperity could result from encouraging trade. He decided to create a chain of new towns across Scotland. These would be centres of Norman civilisation in a largely Celtic country, and would be established in such a way as to encourage the development of trade within their area. These new towns were to be known as Burghs. Bastides were established in France for much the same reason.
When a site had been selected for a new town the King’s surveyors would lay out an area for the town’s market. Each merchant who came to the town was granted a plot of land (usually rent free for the first few years) bordering on the marketplace. These plots were known as feus or rigs. Each feu in a burgh was the same size, though the size varied between burghs. In Forres in the north of Scotland each feu was 24 feet 10 inches wide and 429 feet deep. The layout of the feus in Lanark can still be easily seen between the north side of Lanark High Street (the former market place) and North Vennel, a lane which runs behind the feus. A motte and bailey castle was also constructed at the bottom of Castlegate.
Lanark is part of the constituency of Scotland which elects six representatives to the European Parliament.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Lanark is part of the constituency of Clydesdale. Karen Gillon represented Clydesdale in the Scottish Parliament since 1999. Clydesdale is one of nine constituencies in the South of Scotland electoral region, which elects seven additional members by a system of proportional representation. The 2007 electoral results are given in the Clydesdale article and in the article for the Scottish Parliament election, 2007. In 2011, Aileen Campbell (SNP) defeated Karen Gillon (Labour) in the Scottish Parliamentary elections, to become the newly elected MSP for Clydesdale.
Lanark is within the South Lanarkshire council area.
The Lanark Museum is located in West Port, inside the YMCA building
A large boating lake, Lanark Loch, adjoins Lanark Golf Club which has a lovely and historic 18 hole course for more experienced golf players and a 9 hole course for those who want to play a quick round of golf. The former racecourse, now offers pony-trekking activities.
An ornate gas lamp, known as the 'Provost's Lamp' stands at the bottom of the high street. The lamp used to be placed outside the home of whoever was Provost of Lanark at the time.
One of the churches in the town bears the name of The Old Church of St Kentigern (perhaps better known as St Mungo), who set up many medieval churches in the Scottish Lowlands, including Glasgow, and died c.612 AD. The town's cemetery stands on the site of The Old Church of St Kentigern, and includes many Covenanter graves.
St. Nicolas' Parish Church stands at the bottom of the high street. The church bell is believed to date from 1110, and may be one of the oldest church bells in the world. It was moved from The Old Church of St Kentigern when St. Nicolas's Church was built in 1774. It has been recast four times, including 1659 and 1983. There is an 8-foot (2.45 m) statue of William Wallace in the steeple. This was sculpted by Robert Forrest, from an ancient drawing in the possession of the Society of Antiquaries.
Lanark Lanimer Day
This historic background forms the basis for the Lanark Lanimer celebrations, which take place each year for one week in June. Local primary schoolchildren elect a Lanimer Queen and court; and a Lord Cornet is chosen from local businessmen. On the Monday night the Perambulation of the Marches takes place, when townspeople turn out to walk around half the town boundary, following the Lord Cornets past and present as they inspect the border-stones. Traditionally, the townspeople carry "birks", which are small branches of birch trees cut from the woods at the Glenburnie estate. This tradition was started in 1948 by Joseph Doolan, whose family owned the land. The other half of the boundary is inspected on the Wednesday night, again led by the Lord Cornet accompanied by many local riders who participate in the Riding of the Marches, locally referred to as the Rideout. On the Thursday morning, schools and other organisations parade before the Lanimer Queen in themed dress, accompanied by pipe bands. The best floats win prizes, and after the parade the crowning of the Queen takes place on a temporary stand erected in front of St Nicholas' Church, under the statue of William Wallace. The Queen holds a reception party in the town's Memorial Hall on the Thursday and Friday nights, where children perform songs and dances.
Pipe Bands: Lanark & District Pipe Band previously had two units which competed in competitions run by the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association - one competing in grade 4b and one in grade 3a, having been upgraded from 4b to 4a to 3b to 3a in consecutive years from 2004. In the 1980s, the band competed as high as grade 2 and as of 2011, the band is thriving in numbers and competes in Grade 4b.
The 'Music in Lanark' programme began in 2000 with the aim of bringing a variety of the highest quality live music to the town. In the first five years there were three classical concerts, one jazz concert and one traditional (Scottish) music concert. The programme continues to grow.
As with the rest of the British Isles and Scotland, Lanark experiences a maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. In terms of the local climate profile, Lanarks inland, rural, river valley setting means frost is very common, having been recorded in all months. Typically almost 100 nights will report a frost per year, and even in a statistically average year the temperature should fall to as low as −14.3 °C (6.3 °F) on the coldest night.
|Climate data for Carnwath 208m asl, 1971-2000, extremes 1960- (Weather station 6 miles (10 km) to the East of Lanark)|
|Record high °C (°F)||12.0
|Average high °C (°F)||4.8
|Average low °C (°F)||−1.5
|Record low °C (°F)||−24.8
|Precipitation mm (inches)||83.77
|Source: Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute/KNMI|
Some would argue[who?] that William Wallace is one of the most notable people in Lanark's history. A key leader in the Scottish Wars of Independence, he is known to have first "drawn his sword to free his native land" in Lanark in 1297, killing the English sheriff Haselrig. His name is well known[by whom?] through the town, with first year pupils at Lanark Grammar School studying Wallace and the Wars of Independence in detail. An 8 foot statue of Wallace sits on St Nicholas Church at the town cross dating back to 1817 which was sculpted by Carluke man Robert Forrest.
Other important figures in Lanark history include:
- George Gray, born in Lanark in the 1620s, a POW from the Battle of Dunbar (1650), Durham Cathedral survivor, and New World refugee upon arrival to Berwick, Maine.
- William Smellie (1697–1763), obstetrician
- Lord Braxfield (1722–1799), High Court Judge
- John Glaister (1856–1932), forensic scientist
- The rallying family of Jimmy, Alister and the late Colin McRae
- Scotland goalkeeper and former Glasgow Celtic goalkeeper, Robert (Rab) Douglas
- Scotland and Middlesbrough defender Stephen McManus
- Scotland and Rangers manager Walter Smith
- Scotland and Hearts goalkeeper Henry Smith
- Billy Ritchie Rock music's first lead keyboard player, born in Lanark
- Lee Miller, Carlisle United striker
- Dougie Imrie, St. Mirren midfielder, started career with Lanark United
- Stephen Pearson, Derby County midfielder, formerly of Motherwell
- Johnny Reid, a Scottish/Canadian country music singer, who has two platinum albums and one gold album in Canada
- Darren Smith, former Motherwell winger
- Stewart Greacen (born 1988), footballer on Rangers F.C.
- Fynlaw de Twydyn (flourished 1296), Count of Lanark, an ancestor of Clan Tweedie
Footnote: Lanrick (sic) has been home to mainy a good scientist and engineer - perhaps the 'craig had some part in that. Yid hae to gae weil North or Sooth tae fin a maire friendly toon. Where else can ye get to see 6 members of the crae birds, peregrines, swifts (still around in late September, that's new???) and a lot of other speugs as weel? Hawthorn, Oak, Scots Pine on a wee stomp doon the Mouse or Clyde. [Jeist dinnae stomp on the saplings or the acorns unless there is a gray betwixt fit and flair] Balmoralimoral Estate perhaps, there again... Lanrick is a good place to live and be alive. Apologies for poor use of "broad Scots", please correct...
There are three main primary schools in Lanark:
- Lanark Primary School (LPS) 1
- Robert Owen Memorial Primary School (ROMPS) 1
- St. Mary's Primary School 2
1 Indicates non-denominational school
2 Primarily a Roman Catholic school, but will accept other religious groups
There is one secondary school in Lanark:
||This section contains a gallery of images.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lanark.|
- Lanark Silver Bell
- Lanark County in Ontario, Canada
- Lanark, Ontario a village in Lanark County
- Lanark Grammar School
- Bonnington pavilion, Falls of Clyde A nearby historic feature.
- Whuppity Scoorie Day
- "Comparative Population Profile: Lanark Locality, Scotland". 2001 Scottish Census. General Register Office for Scotland. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
- Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba ~ Gaelic Place-Names of Scotland
- Scots Language Centre: Scottish Place Names in Scots
- Scottish place names, W. F. H. Nicolaisen, p.164, 172, London, 1976
- "Average frost incidence". KNMI.
- "Average coldest night". KNMI.
- "Carnwath Climate". KNMI. Retrieved 04 Nov 2011.
- "William Wallace". Wars of Independence. BBC History. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
- Wallace, Andy. "Wallace in Lanark". The William Wallace Heritage Trust Lanark. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
- "Lanark Grammar School website". South Lanarkshire Council. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
- "Lanark from kings to convenanters [sic]". Local History and Heritage. South Lanarkshire Council. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
- The Gray Family of Hancock County, Maine, by Almon A. Gray, Walter A. Snow
- Historical Tours in the Clyde Valley. Published by the Clyde Valley Tourist Association and the Lanark & District Archaeological Association. Printed by Robert MacLehose and Company Limited, Renfrew, Scotland. 1982.
- Building the Royal Burghs by John Barrett and David Iredale. Published in The Scots Magazine. Volume 142, Number 1. January 1995. pp 10 – 22.
- Upper Clydesdale - A History and Guide by Daniel Martin. Published by the Tuckwell Press, Phantassie, East Linton. 1999.
- Clydesdale District Guide. Published by Clydesdale District Guide. 1995.
- Lanark Heritage Trail. Published by South Lanarkshire Council. 2001.