Streetscape to commemorate Carluke's most famous historic figures

Street art work to be added to town centre

THE final details of the Carluke Streetscape project will commemorate the most famous figures from Carluke's past.

Two of Carluke's most famous sons, Major-General William Roy and Dr Daniel Reid Rankin, will be the inspiration behind new street art work to be added to the town centre next month.

Appropriate street decoration will celebrate the town's links with Major General William Roy, who created the Ordnance Survey, and Dr Rankin, who not only served the town as a doctor for more than 50 years but also wrote and published a history of Carluke and was a noted geologist and palaeontologist.

A design of a compass will be etched on the paving outside the High Street Somerfield store to commemorate General Roy and arrows will point to places relevant to Carluke such as Tinto Hill and Carluke, New Zealand.

A plaque will be placed in Rankin Square for Dr Rankin and will be surrounded by etchings of fossils carved into the granite.

Carluke Historical Society and Streetscape Design Group helped in developing the memorials.

These details will finish off South Lanarkshire Council's 3million Carluke Streetscape project before the official unveiling day on April 8.

Scottish surveyor, antiquarian and military draftsman William Roy was born on May 4, 1726 at Miltonhead, Carluke.

In 1746, in the wake of the Jacobite Rebellion, Roy was given the difficult task by the government of producing a map of Scotland.

The fruit of his labour, which took around eight years, is now kept in London's British Library.

Later, he was commissioned to carry out a similar project in England and in 1765, he was appointed surveyor-general of the coasts and engineer for making military surveys of Britain.

Roy was also an antiquarian and after studying Roman remains, his book 'Military Antiquities of the Romans in Scotland' was published posthumously in 1793.

His dream of an organisation which would govern surveying and mapping in the UK was not realised until a year after his death when, in 1791 Ordnance Survey came into being.

A monument, in the form of an Ordnance Survey triangulation pillar with a plaque was erected in his memory in 1956 in Miltonhead but was subjected to heavy vandalism and had to be rededicated in the 1980s.

Born in 1805, Daniel Rankin was a Carluke doctor for over 50 years.

He was also a noted geologist and palaeontologist as well as a counsellor and friend to his many patients.

He was a keen collector of fossils and some of his collections are now in the hands of the Royal Scottish Museum in Edinburgh.

Three years after his death from paralysis in 1882, the Rankin Memorial Library and Town Hall was erected by public subscription.

But as part of the town regeneration in the 1980s, the buildings were replaced by shops and a supermarket and was named Rankin Gait by then then Carluke councillors.

A clock on a plinth with a plaque was later erected in his memory but many Carluke folk believed that this was not a fitting tribute. It was recently taken down as part of the Streetscape works.

It is hoped that the new street designs will now commemorate Carluke most famous sons and set off the Streetscape project.

Pictured right are the Land Engineering workers putting the finishing touches to the Carluke Streetscape project before its official opening on Saturday April 8 (I.McCulloch@clgazette.co.uk)