OVER the past week hundreds of Lanarkians have packed into one of the town’s most historic buildings for some “light refreshment” over the Lanimer festivities.
However, very few may be aware of the great historical figures that have enjoyed an ale or a dram in the Clydesdale Inn, which has been a fixture in the Royal Burgh since 1790.
These include not only iconic local figures but also English poets Samuel Taylor Coolidge and William Wordsworth, the great novelist Charles Dickens and heroic World War Two Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery.
Local historian and South Lanarkshire Councillor Ed Archer and Lanark librarian Paul Archibald have spent many hours looking at the history of the Inn, described by both as the most historic building in Lanark.
Ed said: “In 1790 Lanark Burgh Council established a company by selling 15 shares of £50 to Gentlemen of the County for the purpose of erecting a modern Inn.
“One of the gentlemen was David Dale. Later Robert Owen was, for a brief while, a shareholder.
“William and Dorothy Wordsworth with their friend Samuel Taylor Coleridge stayed at the Inn in August 1803.
“Dorothy was not initially impressed with the Clydesdale but gradually changed her mind.
“Charles Dickens visited the Inn in August 1841, arriving under the assumed name of Nicholas Nickelby.
“While in Lanark, Dickens had his hair cut by a local barber who kept the cuttings and displayed them in the window of his shop!
“Field Marshall Montgomery also dined in the Inn, when he was inspecting the Polish and Scottish troops in Lanark.”