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South Lanarkshire

Population 13,454. Figures taken from 2001 Census.

Carluke, the Clyde Valley's largest town, sits on a high plateau overlooking the River Clyde. It lies on Jock's Burn northwest of Lanark, right in the heart of Lanarkshire's fruit growing area.

It has a thriving shopping centre and has seen a recent boom in house building thanks to its direct train link with Glasgow. The core shopping area was redesigned to create an attractive shopping environment and work finished in 2006.

Thanks to its proximity to the Clyde Valley's major fruit growers, one of Carluke's biggest employers is the jam company Renshaw Scott which recently added a chocolate refinery to its plant. Another major employer in the area is engineering company Thomson Pettie.

Memorials to two of Carluke's most famous sons were completed in 2006 as part of the town's Streetscape Project, regenerating the centre of the town. On the paving outside the new Somerfield store at the bottom of the High Street, a design of a compass etched with arrows pointing to places relevant to Carluke such as Tinto Hill and Carluke, New Zealand, has been created in honour of the noted surveyor and cartographer Major General William Roy. Doctor Daniel Reid Rankin is remembered by a plaque in Rankin Square with etchings of fossils carved into the granite (see history section below).

The town's gala day is in June.

Housing in Carluke ranges from public sector and private flats to family villas, new builds and country cottages.

The town has several primary schools and its secondary school, Carluke High School, reopened in 2007 following a rebuild as part of the Council's multi-million pound schools modernisation programme. The town's leisure centre and pool are attached to the school.

The local newspapers include the Carluke Gazette and the Lanark and Carluke Advertiser.


Carluke has an excellent range of high street names and local shops as well as Aldi and Somerfield for food shopping.

It has a wide selection of cafes, restaurants and takeaways as well as specialist shops such as Ramsay, the only Scottish butchers to use the traditional Ayrshire cure for their bacon.

The town's location is also perfect for access to the garden centres of the Clyde Valley.

How to get there

Carluke can be reached from the M8 via the A73 from either Glasgow or Edinburgh, the A70 or A71 from Edinburgh and the A73 from Lanark. It has good bus services to outlying towns as well as Glasgow and Edinburgh. There's a regular train service to Glasgow Central.


Records show that the earliest inhabitants in Carluke, also known as Kirkstyle, were monks. A Roman road passed this way and a number of tower houses were built in the area.

It was chartered as a Royal Burgh in 1662 and by 1695 parish records report six families living in the area. In 1746 Bonnie Prince Charlie's army stopped in Carluke during their retreat from Derby to feed and rest their horses.

By the 1800s the population had risen to 380 and the main industries were weaving and farming. The town exploded onto the map several years later with the building of the Glasgow to Carlisle trunk road and a train station.

Over the next two centuries Carluke became a prosperous town thanks to corn milling, cotton weaving, coal mining and the manufacture of bricks, glass, confectionery and jam.

During the Great War, two men from Carluke, Lance-Corporal William Angus and Sergeant Thomas Caldwell were awarded the Victoria Cross, as was Lieutenant Donald Cameron in World War II.

Many famous and a few infamous people have come from Carluke. Major Thomas Weir was born near Carluke in 1599. Weir was an officer in the Covenanting Army of James Graham, the Marquis of Montrose. On retiring he was appointed to the honorary post of Captain of the Town Guard in Edinburgh. Weir lived in Edinburgh's Lawnmarket with his sister Jean. Dressed in a long cloak and always leaning on a staff, he was respected for his powerful preaching. It was sensational news, therefore when he confessed to sorcery, incest and other black crimes. He was convicted and sentenced to be strangled and burned at the stake. It was thought that his staff had a life of its own and when thrown onto Weir's pyre it burned with great difficulty. Jean was later convicted of witchcraft and hanged in the Grassmarket.

Surveyor and cartographer, Major General William Roy was born at Miltonhead in 1726. Following the Jacobite Rebellion led by Bonnie Prince Charlie, Roy was directed to produce a map of Scotland. It took him eight years and the hand-drawn result is exhibited in the British Library, London. Roy was later commissioned to set up the network on which all subsequent surveying is based. He wanted to set up a UK organisation for surveying and mapping but the Ordnance Survey wasn't created until a year after his death. Roy also studied Roman remains and his book Military Antiquities of the Romans in Scotland was published three years after his death.

Peter Kid, originally from Fife, became one of Carluke's Covenanting ministers in 1672. He twice refused to observe Charles II as head of the Church and was imprisoned on the Bass Rock in 1685. He was released the next year due to failing health and old age and moved back to Carluke. He is buried in Carluke Parish churchyard.

The sculptor Robert Forrest was born in Carluke in 1790. He began as a stone mason and his work includes a statue of William Wallace in Lanark and the statue of Henry Dundas, Viscount Melville, which tops the Melville Monument in St Andrew's Square, Edinburgh.

Milton Lockhart, two miles west of Carluke, was the home of John Lockhart, born in 1794. He was the biographer of Sir Walter Scott and in 1897 the remains of Milton Lockhart House were transported to Japan and re-erected near Tokyo.

Doctor Daniel Reid Rankin, who was born in 1805, dedicated much of his life to helping the people of Carluke and was a doctor in the town for more than 50 years. He wrote and published a history of Carluke in 1875 and was a noted geologist and palaeontologist (some of the fossils he collected are now housed in the Royal Scottish Museum in Edinburgh). Rankin died in 1882 and was buried in the old churchyard.

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