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Bonnington Tour

see slideshow at end of this post

Eighteen members of the Lanark and District Archaeological Society were 
taken on a tour of Tullieford and Bonnington by Professor Mark 
Stephens on Sunday January 20th. The first stop was the Parliamentary 
Wall of 1717 set up by Sir William Carmichael to enclose his estates. 
Professor Stephens explained that this wall was possibly a unique 
survival of a Parliamentary Wall. Members were very impressed by the 
quality of the workmanship of the wall.

The next stop was at Tullieford formerly Tillyford where the Clyde was 
forded by people bringing goods such as coal from Douglas Water . The 
road down to the ford was pointed out as well as the road running down 
to the ford from the Douglas Water side of the river. The group looked 
at the ruins of Tullieford Farm and were interested to see that the 
farm was eighteenth century in date but was modified in the early 
nineteenth century by Lady Mary Ross.
Near the farm an early award winning harrow dating to the early 
twentieth century was seen.

The next point of interest was a well supplied by a water spout above 
it which was constructed by Lady Mary Ross but was mistakenly 
identified by some experts as a Medieval Holy Well dedicated to the 
Virgin Mary !

The most exciting vistas were the Clyde gorge which was been carved out 
by the last ice age but equally interesting were the views across the 
old Bonnington estate which could be threatened by quarrying. It was 
this information that concerned the members greatly.

Professor Stevens then showed the group the island in the Clyde which 
was connected to the Bonnington side of the bank by an iron bridge . 
This was made by Patersons of Carmichael Mill. The original foundry 
where it was made was excavated a number of years ago by the Clydesdale 
Mill Society. The bridge gave access to a small house where the seats 
were festooned with moss.

The next stop was the view house above the Bonnington falls which was 
the very first camera obscura built in Scotland being constructed by 
Sir William Carmichael in 1709. The idea was that through the use of 
mirrors those in the upper part of the building could get the 
impression that they were under the falls.

The final part of the tour took the form of a walk along the road 
through  the parklands of Bonnington pointing out the main features 
such as one of the small hillocks which provides a fantastic view over 
the parkland.

The members showed their appreciation for Professor Mark Stevens tour 
of the park and unanimously expressed the view that they would like to 
see the preservation of the parkland as they thought that it was an 
important part of the World Heritage Site.

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