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Lanark

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  Scotland  /  South Lanarkshire  /  Lanark
(4/5 based on 1,100+ reviews for 7 attractions)
Things to do: historic sites, nature, parks
Lanark is a small town in the central belt of Scotland. The name is believed to come from the Cumbric Lanerc meaning "clear space, glade".Lanark is traditionally the county town of Lanarkshire, though there are several larger towns in the county. Lanark railway station and coach station have frequent services to Glasgow. There is little industry in Lanark and some residents commute to work in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Its shops serve the local agricultural community and surrounding villages. There is a large modern livestock auction market on the outskirts of the town.HistoryLanark 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. King David I realised that greater prosperity could result from encouraging trade. He decided to create a chain of new towns across Scotland. These would be centres of Norman civilisation in a largely Celtic country, and would be established in such a way as to encourage the development of trade within their area. These new towns were to be known as Burghs. Bastides were established in France for much the same reason.When a site had been selected for a new town the King’s surveyors would lay out an area for the town’s market. Each merchant who came to the town was granted a plot of land (usually rent free for the first few years) bordering on the marketplace. These plots were known as feus or rigs. Each feu in a burgh was the same size, though the size varied between burghs. In Forres in the north of Scotland each feu was 24ft wide and deep. The layout of the feus in Lanark can still be easily seen between the north side of Lanark High Street (the former market place) and North Vennel, a lane which runs behind the feus. A motte and bailey castle was also constructed at the bottom of Castlegate.
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