New Lanark World Heritage Site Blog

January 17, 2018 at 4:49 am

Lanark Library to host Mapping the Past Exhibition and Guide Launch

Lanark Library to host Mapping the Past Exhibition and Guide Launch

Members of the public are invited to attend the FREE Mapping the Past pop-up exhibition and guide launch will take place on Monday 12 September, at Lanark Library.

The exhibition and guide explores the unique cartographic heritage of the Clyde and Avon Valley and a 2000 year history of mapping in Scotland, including connections to the Father of Modern Mapping, Carluke born Major-General William Roy and local sites of interest, such as the area’s trig pillars.

The exhibition, first displayed in Carluke earlier in the year, also showcases artwork created by local community groups, schools and Guide and Scout groups as part of the Mapping the Past Project. The project was undertaken by CAVLP Heritage, managed by Northlight Heritage and supported by Heritage Lottery Fund supported Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership (CAVLP) and Historic Environment Scotland.

“The creative maps are a wonderful addition to the more traditional elements of the exhibition,” explains Karen McCusker, CAVLP Heritage Project Officer. “We started the workshops by exploring the legacy of mapping survey techniques and the first Ordnance Survey maps that Major-General William Roy produced, before creating personalised and expressive maps based in the Clyde and Avon Valley.”

Visitors to the exhibition are encouraged to take home copies of the Mapping the Past Guide, which offers details about the mapping heritage of the Clyde and Avon Valley. The guide will be available as a digital trail from from September 12 onward.

“The guide includes three trails and is a great way for all to get out and explore the mapping heritage of the Clyde and Avon Valley,” says Gavin McGregor, Project Manager at Northlight Heritage. “It takes you on journeys between trig pillars, historic sites and even includes Alasdair Gray’s fantastic 1969 ‘Falls of Clyde’ mural at the Kirkfieldbank Tavern.”

The Mapping the Past exhibition and guide launch corresponds with the 80th birthday celebrations of the Trig Pillar this year. The first trig pillar was built by the Ordnance Survey in 1936. These pillars aided in the triangulation of Britain, which was vitally important to the creation of accurate maps of the country.  Around 6500 of these Trig Pillars were constructed, and from 1936 to 1962, OS surveyors gathered measurements to create a highly accurate map of Britain. Approximately 6000 of these still remain – two of which are in the Clyde and Avon Valley area at Black Hill and Milton Head.

The exhibition runs from Monday 12 – Friday 30 September at Lanark Library. It will be open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 9:15am – 5pm, Tuesday 9:15 – 8pm, Friday 10am – 5pm and Saturday 9:15 – 5pm. The exhibition will be closed on Sundays.

The exhibition precedes the launch of the Local Landscape Heroes CAVLP Heritage project later in September. This volunteer led project will celebrate the artists, writers, designers, architects and ordinary people of the Clyde and Avon valley who shaped the landscape and cultural heritage that defines the area as we know it today.

To find out more about CAVLP Heritage projects and how you can get involved, visit You can contact the team at [email protected] or on 01555 663 430. Follow them on Facebook at or on Twitter to keep up to date with events and workshops.

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