clydesdale inn, pen and ink drawing of a pub in lanark

Bloomgate: St Nicholas to Greyfriars

pen and ink drawing of st nicholas church lanark
St Nicholas Church, Lanark

We are in the week running up to Christmas 2019. It seems timely to begin this post with this drawing of St Nicholas’s Church Lanark. The links and legends associated with St Nicholas and Santa Claus are too many to touch on here but he’s not just associated with gifts at Christmas – St Nicholas is a patron of a long list of characters and it’s worth a quick distraction here!

This Category B listed building can trace its roots back to the 13th Century and has a tower that catches your eye from miles around. I love how there are endless glimpses of it alongside Lanark chimney pots and roofscapes. I know this blog isn’t the place for me to introduce other sketches but I’d like to give you an idea:

pen and ink drawing of lanark skyline
‘Alchemy of Crows’; Jet black crows below the golden cockerel on top of St Nicholas’ Church Lanark.

Once again, I would like to invite readers to let me know if they have any historic insights into any of these buildings that I can add to this archive.  My street drawings are all drawn as records and come to life when people who know the buildings better than me can add a few insights to them for those who come after us.  The building below is built hard up against the church and corners on to Broomgate. At the time of drawing summer 2019, it was in use to display paintings.

pen and ink drawing of lanark
Building on the corner of High Street with Broomgate

On the other side of the entrance to Broomgate is this building with the Scottish Dutch gable style front.

pen and ink drawing of lanark
The start of Bloomgate

Next is the Wallace Cave, 11 Bloomgate.

pen and ink drawing of wallace cave pub, lanark by ronnie cruwys
Wallace Cave on Bloomgate, Lanark
Strolling past the Wallace Cave in winter
clydesdale inn, pen and ink drawing of a pub in lanark
Clydesdale Inn, Lanark

The Clydesdale Inn sits shoulder to shoulder with the Wallace Cave but I’ve heard a few anecdotes about this pub. Apparently, William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy stayed here with their friend Samuel Taylor Coleridge, on their way to see the Falls of Clyde. I remember studying Coleridge’s opium/dream induced poem Kubla Khan at school and feeling short-changed when we learnt that a visitor from Porlock distracted Coleridge from the conclusion. I wonder whether that was before or after he came to Lanark. Someone will know.


The Clydesdale also was host to Mr Charles Dickens, going under cover as Mr Nicholas Nickleby. I gather he went for a hair cut while he was here. If it is anything like today, he would have had a rich choice of barbers!

Moving along to the Bank of Scotland and I have no stories to share. Perhaps the Police in the building further down on my drawing of West Port might be able to add some colour…

pen and ink drawing of bank of scotland
Bank of Scotland


Below is the YMCA and Lanark Museum, 29 Bloomgate, built in 1902 from the date in the stonework. This is solidly Scottish Baronial with its lovely soft red sandstone, crow-step gables and round turret. It is firmly planted on the street.



Finally we conclude this drawing with Greyfriar’s Church, designed by William Leiper for the Bloomgate United Presbyterian Congregation, in 1875.9-greyfriars-church-ronnie-cruwys-drawing-the-street.jpg

You can read more about Greyfriars church and its friendly community here9-greyfriars-church-tower-ronnie-cruwys-drawing-the-street

Once again, thank you for reading and wishing you all the best of the Christmas season.



3 responses to “Bloomgate: St Nicholas to Greyfriars”

    1. ronniecruwys Avatar

      Merry Christmas dear Christine! Happy, creative New Year! x

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: