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Lanark Landmarks

St Nicholas Parish Church

Standing at the bottom of the High Street and built in 1774 on the site of an earlier 12th century chapel, St Nicholas incorporates a six stage rubble tower or town steeple.  Within the steeple lies the town bell, believed to date from 1130 when it was housed at old StKentigern’s, and re-casted in 1659 and in 1983.  The magnificent 8 foot (2.45m) statue of William Wallace on the steeple, was sculpted by Robert Forrest and gifted to the town in 1822.  The church has recently been restored, refurbished and restored to the Georgian period, with a lime render and lime wash applied to the stone work.

 

 

The Tolbooth

The Present Building on the High Street dates from 1778, but lies on the site of a much earlier Tolbooth. Designed as a three storey building, theTolbooth contained many functions; a guard house, weigh house and shops on the ground floor, the sheriff court and Council room on the first floor and large room for the use of the gentlemen on the top floor.  Only the top two floors can be seen today due to gradual change in level of the High Street of some 12 feet in 200 years.  A circular pattern marked out by setts adjacent to the Tolbooth, marks the position of the Tron or weighing scales and the Provost’s Lamp now occupies this spot.  Dating from the 1890’s it was formerly situated outside each Provost’s house.

Old St Kentigern's Church


Situated outside the town, St Kentigern’s Church was known as the ‘Out Kirk’ or ‘High Kirk’ to distinguish it from St Nicholas Parish Church within the town.  The Church is believed to have been established prior to the reign of David 1, 1124 – 1153.  Local tradition suggests that William Wallace married Marion Braidfute at St Kentigern’s Church in the 13th Century.  Only the ruins of the church remain, the south wall displaying narrow lancet windows with wide splayed reveals.  The graceful row of arches and pillars, alternately round and octagonal, date from the fifteenth century, but were rebuilt after collapsing during a storm in the 1950’s.

 

Site of Lanark Castle 

The bowling green of Castlegate lies on the site of Lanark Castle which dates back to the time of David 1, 1124-53, although it is believed to have been used by the Romans at a much earlier date.  The natural earth mound was surmounted by a timber structure which formed a defensive fortress.  The castle was regularly used as the King’s residence during the medieval period. Robert the Bruce held a court in the castle in 1321, but shortly after the castle appears to have fallen into disuse. The mound was used for military drills and grazing until the eighteenth century when it was reduced in height and by 1760 a bowling green was established.