Place:Lanark (town), Lanarkshire, Scotland

Watchers
NameLanark (town)
TypeTown
Coordinates55.6729°N 3.7824°W
Located inLanarkshire, Scotland     ( - 1975)
See alsoStrathclyde, Scotlandregional administration 1975-1996
South Lanarkshire, Scotlandunitary council area since 1996
Lanark, Lanarkshire, Scotlandparish in which Lanark (town) was located until 1975
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Lanark is a small town in the central belt of Scotland. The name is believed to come from the Cumbric meaning "clear space, glade".

Lanark is traditionally the county town of Lanarkshire, though there are several larger towns in the county. 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.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

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 wide and 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 had four town gates, West Port, East port, Wellgate and Castlegate. West Port gate was demolished in the 1770s.

The first aviation meeting to be held in Scotland was held at Lanark Racecourse between 6 and 13 August 1910. This location was chosen because the land was relatively flat, the racecourse already had facilities for a paying public, there were stables to act as hangars for the aeroplanes and the racecourse was accessible by both road and by rail, especially as The Caledonian Railway Company were prepared to construct a new station near the main entrance. The aeroplanes were transported to the meeting by rail, as aviation technology at the time was not advanced enough to safely fly there. The Lanark meeting took place shortly after a similar event in Bournemouth at which Charles Rolls lost his life. Influenced by this, it was decided that no aircraft would fly closer than away from the spectators. For the first time, aeroplanes were accurately timed over a straight measured distance, allowing the first world records to be set, covering flights over . The meeting was described by The Aero magazine as 'the most successful yet held in Britain'.

A permanent military presence was established in the town with the completion of Winston Barracks in 1930.

Other sections of the Wikipedia article may be of interest.

Research Tips

Dates of Old Parish Registers

These have been omitted, probably in error, from the usual source: (GENUKI)

Sources for Old Parish Registers Records, Vital Records and Censuses

  • FamilySearch (Indexes only)
  • Scotland's People This is a pay website providing vital statistics and census data for all of Scotland with original images. There is a description at Scotland under Genealogical Resources.

Further Sources of Reference

Please note and respect the copyright warnings on these websites.

  • GENUKI article on Lanark Parish
  • Scottish Places article on Lanark--more information may be found by following the tabs on the right. The parish maps in this series are very useful.
  • The maps website of the National Library of Scotland allows comparisons of modern-day and old maps of the same place. From the home page click on "Find by place" and then follow the instructions on the next page. Once you are viewing the place you want, use the slider <----> at the top of the map to compare the layout of roads and the place names of smaller areas, perhaps even farms, with the landscape today. The website takes some getting used to.
  • The Statistical Accounts for Scotland In the 1790s and again in the 1830s, the ministers of the all the parishes of the Church of Scotland were asked to provide a description of their parish to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. The original account request included 160 questions to be answered. These accounts are available in print in 20 volumes and are also online where it is freely available to browse. The browsing portal is below the viewing area of most computer screens. Scroll down to "For non-subscribers" and click on "Browse scanned pages". This brings you to another page on which one can enter the name of the parish in which you are interested.