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Castlegate, Broomgate and Hyndford Place

The Castlegate is one of Lanark’s oldest streets as it was the main thoroughfare to Lanark Castle which was located at the foot.  In medieval times it was Lanark’s most imposing street, leading down to the Royal Castle. It was originally very wide as the area was the site of early medieval markets but it was divided when the Broomgatewas formed in the late eighteenth century. The medieval wattle and daub buildings were replaced by new stone buildings. There are a number of Victorian houses lining the Broomgate and many are attractively painted in a variety of colours with an overall appearance which rivals Tobermory. Tucked away at the far side of the Broomgate is a crow stepped gabled house which dates from around 1640 and housed Lanark Grammar School between 1650 and 1841. Hyndford Place is named after Hyndford House which was the town house of the Earl of Hyndford. This building, tucked in behind Jacks the Ironmongers, is Lanark’s oldest surviving building dating from the early 17th century.

Broomgate Cottages

Lanark Grammar School 1650 - 1841

 

Hyndford House


The home of William Wallace and his wife, Marion Braidfute, is reputed to have been located the the top end of the Castlegate in the late 11 th century. This was likely to have been the townhouse of Marion’s father, the Laird of Lamington. Wallace is reported to have slain Hesselerigg, the English governor of Lanark Castle, in the Castlegate in 1297 after Hesselerigg had raped and murdered his wife. Wallace then went into hiding and started the wars of independence.  The original houses in Castlegate at the time of Wallace would likely have been thatched wooden cottages. A stone monument is all that remains to show the approximate site of Wallace’s home and a magnificent statue of Wallace situated on the town steeple of St Nicholas Church. This is the work of the sculptor Robert Forrest and was gifted to the town in 1822.

The older cottages in the Castlegate nowadays date from the 18th century with some new additions such as Lidle’s Supermarket.  An exception to this is the Broomgate Institute which was built in 1838 as a school for the poor but is now in use as flats.

In the building before Lidle’s Supermarket at eaves height is a statue of the ‘girnin dug’. The story goes that the dog was poisoned by a neighbour and the statue was erected facing his

house as retribution.

 

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