After a wonderful walk around the old city centre in Glasgow, we checked out of the Indigo Hotel at 11AM, loaded the luggage into the car and set out. We’re trying to get used to a mid-size Ford Mondeo after zipping around the narrow Irish roads in the much smaller Audi Q3. Fortunately, the roads in Scotland are wider, but for some reason Brian seems to be crowding the left hand side of the lane, which, unfortunately, is my side!
We set our destination on the GPS as Shotts, but we were sidetracked when we saw the first brown historical sign. And that’s when the fun started. We were delighted to visit New Lanark, a Mill town on the River Clyde which had been run by Robert Owen. In 1785, Robert wanted to change the living conditions of the millworker and create a utopian society. The mill (and community) were successful, and the mill didn’t close until 1969. New Lanark lay vacant for a few years but has been restored and is a world heritage site, well worth visiting. They still produce yarn using industrial revolution era milling machines.
Then, into the Clydesdale Hills, we found the ruins of Craignethan, the last medieval castle built in Scotland.
The castle was built in 1530 by Sir James Hamilton of Finnart, who was a student of architecture and Master of Works for James V. Unfortunately, that relationship soon ended and in 1540 Sir James was executed by King James. The Hamiltons struggled with the English Crown for control of the castle for many years afterwards, and in 1575 most of the fortifications of the castle were demolished as a means of punishing the Hamiltons for assisting and harbouring Mary, Queen of Scots. We had a wonderful chat with Olivia who is not only running the gift shop and admissions, but is truly is its keeper. She lives alone in a house built in the 17th century by Andrew Hay, who had purchased the property in 1659 from the Hamilton descendants. The ticket and gift shop is in an attached building which once was the kitchen to Hay’s house.
We then tried to find a castle possibly related to the woman who raised my dad’s father, but after an hour of driving all over Motherwell, we gave up. We did speak to people who mentioned the Dalziel Estate, which they pronounced the way my maiden name, Deyelle, is pronounced. More research to be done before the next trip!
We finally made it to Shotts and had a delightful meal in The Station Hotel, in the old railway station. The owner was very friendly and suggested that we might be able to go to the library the next day and do some research on Brian’s great grandfather on his father’s mother’s side, who may have run a barber shop there. We had a wonderful time during our dinner chatting with the owner and the waiter. Again, more research to be done for the next trip.
We made it to our hotel in Edinburgh, the Apex Hotel on Waterloo, around 10 PM, and were in awe of the buildings, monuments, etc. in Edniburgh, completely different from Glasgow, and we’re situated right off the Royal Mile, which ends in Edinburgh Castle. Looking forward to the next two days in Edinburgh for departing very early on Friday!
Your pics and commentary are really interesting. I look forward to reading it every day. Great trip and fantastic history! Love, Verna