Lanark's long association with the Clydesdale horse is set to be celebrated

The Clydesdale horse was first bred at a farm just across the Clyde from Lanark.

An artist’s impression of the proposed Clydesdale horse sculpture.

Now the town’s long association with the animal is set to be celebrated, with a little help from our readers!

Lanark Community Development Trust is planning to erect a magnificent sculpture on Hyndford Road, across from Lanark Auction Market which has hosted Clydesdale Horse sales for over 140 years.

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A final fundraising push went live on GoFundMe on Monday (August 2), to raise the final £2000 needed.

Clydesdale’s have long been a part of the area’s history as this harvesting scene, by Charles Reid of Wishaw, clearly shows. The Trust hopes to erect a permanent reminder of that history in Lanark.

Trust chairwoman Sylvia Russell said it was “great news” that the funding target had almost been reached, thanks to grants of £15,000 from Levenseat Trust and £20,000 from the Renewable Energy Fund.

She said: “Lanark Community Development Trust is celebrating Lanark’s long history of being the home of the Clydesdale horse, which was first bred 300 years ago at a farm just across the Clyde from Lanark.

“The project will advance education by sparking local interest in the Clydesdale horse and Lanark’s agricultural heritage by giving the local community, local schools and visitors the chance to learn more about their heritage and the history of Lanark.

“This will be done through an engaging schools programme, the creation of an information booklet, an art exhibition and, of course, the sculpture.”

The 3 metre tall sculpture, which is expected to weigh between one and two tonnes, will sit atop a 1.5 metre area of raised ground so that visitors coming into Lanark along Hyndford Road will be able to see it.

It will be made from steel in a mixture of tube, plate, wire and rod to give it a “woven muscular feel”.

Delays to the project caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and increases in material costs as a result have meant the overall cost of the project has risen from £45,000 to £55,000.

In total – including private donations – £48,000 has already been raised and the Trust is awaiting a decision on a further £5000.

The sculpture is expected to cost £50,000, while a further £5000 is being budgeted for the cost of groundworks and the raised plinth it will stand on.

Designed and built by CodSteaks, the sculpture is expected to take around six months to craft once funds have been raised and LCDT is planning to have it installed in April 2022.

Sylvia added: “The project is very close to being fully funded, only requiring around £2000 more.

“We would like to invite the community and other patrons to support the project by making a donation. Every donation will help bring the sculpture one step closer.”

Donations may be made by cheque to Lanark Community Development Trust, Castlebank Horticulture Centre, St Patrick’s Road, Lanark ML11 9EG or by Bank Transfer: Sort Code 80 17 02, Account Number: 0600209.

Alternatively you can get involved by searching the Clydesdale Horse Sculpture on www.GoFundMe.com.

Clydesdales are a breed of draught horses which originated in this area in the 1700s, when native Lanarkshire horses were bred with imported Flemish stallions.

Known as the horse that built Australia after being used by the British during colonial times, the Clydesdale fell out of favour during the 20th century and is now listed as vulnerable by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.

Lanark Auction Market has also played a key part in the history of the breed having hosted Clydesdale horse sales for over 140 years.