Scotland is an ongoing adventure but leaving Staffordshire was quite a tug. After living 24 years in the area you can imagine that the hardest part was saying goodbye to friends and all those people that make up the fabric of the day – the chap collecting the trolleys at Tesco, the kind Pharmacist at Morrisons, the family who ran our local corner shop and so on…
Drawing helps me to connect with a place and people so I began my first Scottish street with the town nearest to our home. The street which was fast becoming familiar through attending classes at Nirvana Yoga is called Bloomgate. Let me introduce you to Lanark!
Bloomgate falls inside Lanark’s conservation area and here at the corner with North Vennel, it marks one of the old entrances into the medieval town, known as West Port.
With these old streets, sometimes the numbering gets the better of me and this is one example where I’ve dropped a wee bloomer! At the time of drawing, I couldn’t identify the number of the corner building shown above. Seeing the front door blocked up and wondering if the buildings had been altered to form just the one property, I titled this drawing as far as number 50 Bloomgate which was clearly written above the pend (alleyway), rather than guess. It turns out that the corner building follows the normal numbering sequence and is number 54. Back in 1825 it used to belong to Mr Paul when it was the premises of the Commercial Bank.
I discovered this just now as I was looking up the street on British Listed Buildings online. Not to worry – the numbering is confusing on the rest of the street as is often the case with ancient streets. I have just uploaded some of my photos of these buildings to the BLB website for public reference.
To continue the confusing number theme, No 46 is home to Angel Nails and Beauty. British Listed Buildings online however numbers it as 48 with the description: “ Mid 19th century. 2 storeys, 2 windows. Black painted stucco lined to imitate ashlar jointing. Off-centre door with 2 flanking shop windows to ground. Eaves course. Straight skews, corniced stacks, slate roof”. I will also add a photo to their website for the record.
Recorded as 44 to 46 Bloomgate on British Listed Buildings online, the current address for Jholpai Indian Restaurant is No. 1 Hope Street. Built around 1830, it is listed category B.
Built c 1830, listed category C.
When my sister came over from York to visit us in our new house, I was really happy to bring her along to Ainsley King’s Saturday morning class for a stretch into the weekend. Here are a group of my class mates and my sister all keenly gathered outside the door of Nirvana Yoga Lanark.
On our way back from a New Year’s Day walk, I stopped to take a few record photos whilst the streets were so quiet. The light was spectacular against a heavy grey sky. I love how the yoga studio was illuminated by the last of the day’s rays through the gap in the buildings opposite. Moments later and the light had gone.
This building is named ‘Bloomgate House’, listed category B and described: “Circa 1830. 2 storey, 5 windows…. Late 19th century shop front to left with pend in left bay.” You can read the full description here: British Listed Buildings
Friendly Le Petit Cafe, 26 Bloomgate, delicious baking only a few steps along from Nirvana.
Elliott Hair Design, no 20 Bloomgate, early 19th century listed category C with its neighbour below.
ALJ Supply uniforms and work wear.
These last two buildings are numbered 12, 14 and 16 Bloomgate, mid 19th C and listed grade C.
Thanks for reading if you have made it down here! I would love to hear from you if you have any interesting facts about the history of this street and/or these buildings. Please get in touch by email to email@example.com or comment below. Don’t forget that you can see this drawing in full and two other Lanark drawings over on my main website Drawing the Street.