Lanark

From Academic Kids

Lanark is also the title of a novel by Alasdair Gray and a county in Ontario (Lanark County, Ontario) Template:GBdot Lanark is a small town in the central belt of Scotland, and functioned as the county town of the former county of Lanarkshire. It has a long history, old traditions, and many fine parks and buildings.

Historically, 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.

This historic background forms the basis for the Lanimer celebrations, which take place each year for one week in June. Local schoolchildren elect a Lanimer Queen and court; and a Lord Cornet is chosen from local businessmen. On the Monday night, the Walking of the Marches takes place, where the whole town turns out to walk around half the town boundary, inspecting the border-stones. The other half of the boundary is inspected on the Wednesday night by many local riders who participate in the Riding of the Marches. On the Thursday morning, schools and other organisations parade before the Lanimer Queen in fancy dress, accompanied by pipe bands. The best floats gain prizes, and after the parade the crowning of the Queen takes place. The Queen holds a reception party on the Thursday and Friday nights, where the children perform songs and dances, and earn themselves a disco at the end of the night.

Lanark's local hero William Wallace (he of the Braveheart film) "first drew sword to free his native land" in Lanark in 1297, when he killed the English sheriff Haselrig. A statue of Wallace stands on the town's St Nicholas Church at the foot of the High Street, and a plaque commemorates his exploits. A pub also bears the name of the "Wallace Cave".

Lanark has also produced the rallying family of Jimmy and Colin McRae.

One of the other churches in the town bears the name of Saint Kentigern (perhaps better known as Saint Mungo) who set up many medieval churches in lowland Scotland, including Glasgow, and died in c 612 AD. The town's cemetery stands on the site of the old St Kentigern's kirk, and includes many Covenanter graves.

Visitors to the town can visit the nearby model village of New Lanark, close to the spectacular Falls of Clyde, and Corehouse Nature Reserve. A large boating lake, Lanark Loch, adjoins a golf course and a racecourse, the latter offering pony-trekking activities. The town's Castlebank Park lies near the former site of Lanark Castle, and allows access to the River Clyde.

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