The Royal Burgh of Lanark is a bustling market town located in the beautiful lower Clyde Valley. It is a popular visitor destination, and the town has a strong agricultural tradition and is home to one of the busiest agricultural markets in Scotland. St Kentigerns Church is one of the few remaining Scottish buildings of the 13th Century and is still accessible today. Download the Lanark Heritage Trail to enjoy a walking tour of the town.
Lanark is firmly on the national William Wallace trail as the place where the story began through his love for his wife. Wallace's wife is rumoured to have been killed in Lanark and St Kentigerns church may have been where Wallace was married.
The historic burgh of Lanark was the location of the first meeting of the Scots Parliament in 978. Lanark has served as an important market town since medieval times, and King David, I made it a Royal Burgh in 1140. A few hundred years after the first Scots Parliament took place in Lanark, William 'Braveheart' Wallace resided in the town. There are tributes to Wallace's fight for freedom in Lanark.
In 2005, the nation commemorated the 700th anniversary of the execution of William Wallace with a Wallace festival where the spirit of Wallace was brought back home to rest in Lanark at St Kentigerns.
During medieval and early modern times, the church played an important role in the lives of the people in Lanark. In 1688, as St. Kentigern's church (which dates back to the 13th century) was becoming a ruin, the Parish Church of St. Nicholas became the main church in Lanark. The Church was originally a medieval chapel during the time of William Wallace, and the current building was completed in 1774.
Disagreements in the Church of Scotland resulted in "the Disruption" of 1843. Evidence of these splits exists in Lanark, where there are now a number of church buildings, including St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, which opened in 1859. St. Mary's was later rebuilt (1907) following a fire.
The nineteenth century saw the improvement of transport links with Glasgow and Edinburgh, allowing Lanark to build upon its position as a market town and, later, as a commuter town. Lanark escaped the worst of the Industrial Revolution as the area has little in the way of minerals.
The primary trades in Lanark, as it headed towards the twentieth century, were craft trades such as weaving, shoe making, and farming. The latter is still a significant feature of the Lanark area - agricultural markets are still held in the town every Monday.