Lanarkshire’s Royal Past
It is not long now until Meghan Markle weds Prince Harry at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on May 19. In celebration of the wedding of the year, we’ve taken a look at some of Lanarkshire’s own royal connections.
If you want to follow in royal footsteps then Lanark is the best place to start.
Not only is it one of the earliest royal burghs in Scotland, it was here that the King of Scots himself Robert the Bruce was made Sheriff of Lanark in 1303. He assumed the role shortly after local resident William Wallace sparked off war with England by killing the English sheriff.
The site where the castle stood was levelled in the middle of the 18th century, but its foundations are still there, under the town’s bowling green.
Built in the late 1200s by William of Moray to guard a crossing point of the River Clyde, Bothwell Castle frequently passed between English and Scottish hands.
Due to Edward I’s Wars of Independence, the historic site was never fully completed, but is one of Scotland’s most impressive medieval monuments.
Today, you can visit the 13th century tower, complete with ancient prisons and a chapel.
There may be few signs of it today, but Crawford Moor was the original site of Scotland’s gold mining industry that flourished during the Middle Ages.
Gold from here was used for the Honours of Scotland, the oldest surviving set of Crown Jewels in Britain. It was present in the crown of King James V when he married his French bride, Madeleine of Valois and together they travelled to Crawford Moor to inspect the mines.
Today, you can chart the history of Scotland’s gold rush and pan for gold at the Lead Mining Museum in nearby Wanlockhead which, at 1531ft above sea level, is Scotland’s highest village.
The Dukedom of Hamilton was created in 1643 by Charles I and it is the premier peerage in Scotland after the Duke of Rothesay. It was the built as a hunting lodge and summer residence in 1732 and today visitors can view the Duke’s private banqueting room, apartments and formal gardens.
From here there are panoramic views of Glasgow and from the grounds lead on to 10 miles of walks along the River Avon through ancient woodland, home to roe deer, badgers, otters and kingfishers. Head from here to Low Parks Museum and Hamilton Mausoleum, built as a private tomb for Alexander Hamilton, the 10th Duke.
Hamilton welcomed the Queen, the nation’s longest reigning monarch, in 1953, where she enjoyed a tour of the area.
Hamilton locals gave the Queen and Prince Philip a very warm welcome, cheering as their car drove through the town.
Take the same route as her Majesty, and visit Hamilton Central Station, and the County Buildings before heading out to Larkhall.
For details of other attractions, historic sites and areas of interest visit www.visitlanarkshire.com
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