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A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

This edition is copyright © The Editors of the Gazetteer for Scotland, 2002-2020.

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Cartland, a village and a stupendous chasm in Lanark parish, Lanarkshire. The village stands near the chasm, 2 miles NW of Lanark town, and has a public school. The chasm, Cartland Crags, curving fully ¾ mile from ENE to WSW; is traversed along the bottom by Mouse Water, under deep gloom, among fallen blocks; and would seem to be a rent, caused by a vertical earthquake, through a tabular hill. It is flanked by lofty cliffs of greywacke and Old Red sandstone, intersected by a vein of trap, which, with trees starting out of them, high and low, overhanging the muddy stream, or shooting up towards the sky, rise on one side to a height of more than 200 feet, on the other side of about 400, and exhibit an exact correspondence of their confronting crags, face to face, and part to part. A meeting-place of the persecuted Covenanters for public worship, i-t is graphically described, in connection therewith, by Professor Wilson. A curious ancient bridge, supposed to be Roman, with one semicircular arch and a narrow roadway, bestrides Mouse Water at the lower end of the crags; and a handsome bridge, with three semicircular arches, 129 feet high, was built in 1823 after designs by Telford, a short way higher up. In the N cliff, a few yards above this bridge, is 'Wallace's Cave,' said to have hidden the hero just after his vengeance on Hazelrig, the English sheriff; whilst a spot further up, on the brink of the precipice, called Castle Qua, shows traces of ancient fortification, had subterranean chambers formed in the Caledonian times, and possibly was held by Wallace at the time of his attack on Lanark. A depression on the S flank, at the upper end of the chasm, is believed to have been part of the Mouse's channel, conveying the stream by way of the site of Baronald House, before the occurrence of the earthquake shock. See pp. 41,42, of Dorothy Wordsworth's Tour in Scotland (ed. by Princ. Shairp, 1874).

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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