The panels are part of a wider project delivered by Discover Lanark to make the closes safer, more welcoming and visually attractive. In 2019 and 2020, they were redecorated and new and brighter energy efficient lighting was installed.
The information panels are the next step in this ongoing project and focus on the stories associated with each close. Highlights include a drunken elephant, community bulls, a pioneer in electric lighting and accounts of several breweries and inns.
Ian Leitch, a Director with Discover Lanark, highlighted the historic role of the closes: “The closes are a series of largely covered thoroughfares of some significance. They traditionally linked the High Street to the many premises which lay behind, primarily light industry and traditional trades. In the past, they would have been bustling passageways from dusk till dawn, also providing access to the homes above and a number of inns and public houses.”
He added, “This set of interpretation panels is part of Discover Lanark’s ongoing commitment to making the closes not only safer but also more interesting to walk through. Each panel contains a brief history together with an illustration by local artist Kirsten Harris telling its own unique story in a fun but informative way. The keen-eyed viewer will also spot several recurring motifs through all twelve panels including the two dogs from the Royal Burgh of Lanark crest.”
Future plans for the closes include the possibility of additional public art to expand on the William Wallace mural already featured in Veitch’s Close.
Discover Lanark is very grateful for the support it has received from Rotary Club of Lanark who sponsored the initial redecoration and lighting of Wide Close and Bernard’s Wynd.
Designed & built by Mucky Puddle