Drawing a Scottish Street: Bloomgate, Lanark

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!

traditional town house drawing lanark
Yogi Ainsley King with wee Luna doogie,  54 Bloomgate, 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.

50 to 52 Bloomgate Lanark
50 – 52 Bloomgate Lanark

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.

pen and ink drawing of 46 Bloomgate Lanark, by artist Ronnie Cruwys
46 Bloomgate Lanark

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.

pen ink and wash drawing of Hope Street Lanark by ronnie cruwys
Jholpai Indian Restaurant, 1 Hope Street, Lanark

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.

pen and ink drawing of bloomgate lanark by ronnie cruwys artist
 Energise your Future, 42 Bloomgate Lanark

Built c 1830, listed category C.

also 36 Bloomgate Lanark
Nirvana Yoga, 38 Bloomgate, Lanark

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.

photo of Nirvana Yoga Studio Lanark on New Year's Day by artist Ronnie Cruwys
Last of the New Year’s Day (2019) rays lighting up Nirvana Yoga on Bloomgate, Lanark.
drawing of 30 and 32 Bloomgate Lanark by Ronnie Cruwys
30 and 32 Bloomgate, Lanark

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

le petit cafe bloomgate lanark, pen and ink drawing by ronnie cruwys
Coffee and cake at Le Petit Cafe after a yoga stretch. Great way to start a Saturday!

Friendly Le Petit Cafe, 26 Bloomgate, delicious baking only a few steps along from Nirvana.

artwork of Elliot hair lanark by ronnie cruwys
Elliot Hair Design 20 Bloomgate, Lanark

Elliott Hair Design, no 20 Bloomgate, early 19th century listed category C with its neighbour below.

Drawing of ALJ Lanark by ronnie cruwys
ALJ, 18 Bloomgate, Lanark

ALJ Supply uniforms and work wear.

pen and ink drawing Bloomgate Lanark by ronnie cruwys
GM Gas Services and Londis

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 ronniecruwys@drawingthestreet.co.uk 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.


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