Ride-Out will include Lanark’s new March Stones

Brand new...replacement March stone at field beside the Beeches.
Brand new...replacement March stone at field beside the Beeches.

The Ride-Out this Saturday to celebrate the 875th anniversary of the Royal Burgh Of Lanark will also see the dedication of two replacement March stones.

The March stones are traditionally checked in the Perambulation of the Marches every year since 1140.

Now two missing stones have been replaced in a field beside the Beeches.

Their absence was noted by Lord Cornet Gordon Gray, while producing the Lanimer brochure.

“The first cover I designed used old mapping of the Royal Burgh in the background - which included the locations of the March Stones from 1858,” he explained.

“On being selected as Lord Cornet Elect in January, I revisited this map and identified two March Stones which were no longer inspected - to my surprise, in the field in front of my house.

“I had a good look for the stones - but could find no evidence of them.”

Gordon checked other historic maps of Lanark, and found the stones shown as late as 1864, but gone by the 1896 Ordnance Survey map.

“It is unclear what happened to the stones - but the town boundary was still marked by a dry-stane wall which exists to this day,” he said,

“I thought it would be a good idea to have these stones re-instated as part of the 875th, and I spoke to both the Lord Cornets Club and the Lanimer Committee to seek their approval.”

Iain Lambie, Lanimer procession convener, works with Historic Scotland and he arranged to get the stones prepared, cut by apprentice stonemasons in Lesmahagow, and installed this month, with the permission of land owner Lawrie and Symington.

After Saturday’s dedication, these reinstated stones will form part of the 17- stone boundary inspected by the Lord Cornet each year.

“The reinstated stones are a fitting way to mark our 875th anniversary,” said Gordon. “They show our commitment to ensure our Burgh boundaries are inspected and protected, as charged by our original Royal Charter, back in 1140.”

The Lord Cornets Club have organised Saturday’s ride out, which leaves Lanark Cross at 10am. The ride out will be piped up the High Street by Lanark and District Pipe Band, led by the Lord Cornets and visiting principals with their standards. Its route then takes in Lanark Racecourse, Robiesland, Corehouse, Nemphlar and Lee Castle, arriving at Delves Park at around 4.30pm.

Maps of the route are available on the Lord Cornets Club Facebook Page, but the route and times are:

The Ride_Out leaves at 10am, with a Safe Oot, Safe In to send it off, and times to catch the riders are:

10.40am Albany Drive then down Braxfield Road and up, parallel to the Beeches, to Hyndford Road, around 11.10am; Lanark Racecourse; then Longshot 11.30am, and Robiesland at 11.55am for an hour, then a break.

At 1.25pm they set out towards the weir bridge, passing Corehouse West Lodge and the North Lodge around 1.55pm, arriving at Lee Castle around 3pm for a drink stop.

The return is via fields on the Nemphlar/Crossford road, to the bottom of Kirkfieldbank Brae, and up via St Patrick’s to Delves Park for 4.30pm.