Carnwath Cross: a History

 From: Another Look At Carnwath
(By George Paul: Privately Published, 1989.)

In the centre of the village is a cross built by Hugh, 5th Lord in July, 1516, in terms of the Charter granted by King James 2nd in 1514, which ordered a Market Cross to be erected. Some fields of thought think it may have been erected in front of the old Dower House and no doubt there are some grounds for this, however, I am inclined to think that it was erected where it stands today, in the Market Square.

Lord Hugh had married in December, 1510, Anne Hamilton, daughter of James, 1st Earl of Arran, at Hamilton Castle, and when the Cross was built the name of Hugh and Anne were carved on it. Alas his joy was short lived for before the end of the year Hugh had lost his wife Anne, and two small sons, all from the dreaded smallpox. The Coat of Arms and the names of the representatives of this ancient family, then in the Zenith of it's history, have disappeared from the stonework and the Urn which originally surmounted the Cross was blown down in a gale on the night of 16th February, 1962. It was redressed and re-erected with a small metal cross on top, but it never had the same appearance.

However, in 1970 a Mr Aitken, a Carnwathian, who had died in America, left $100 to enable a new Urn to be placed on top, and this was duly done by the 3rd District Council. The Cross stands on four ascending steps, with a base and cornice, a shaft square and large in comparison with others. On the shaft is the following:-

DISTANCE EDINr TO AIR

viz

LITTLE VANTAGE

12

CARNWATH

25

DOUGLAS MILL

38

DOUGLAS

40

CUMNOCK

61

AIR

76

FROM PEEBLES TO GLASGOW

viz

CARNWATH

22

WISHATOn

35

GLASGOW

49

 

These letters are as printed on the Cross.

Little Vantage was a hamlet on the Lang Wang road. All that remains are both gables of the old Toll-House beside the Public Footpath to West Linton via Cauldstaneslap.

 

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