Langside Farm, Lanark, Lanarkshire

Cairn (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – NS 866 411

Archaeology & History

This was an impressive site by the sound of things.  Sadly destroyed, its exact whereabouts isn’t clear but should—if the description of the site is anything to go by—be on one of the highest points of land around Langside Farm.  In Irving & Murray’s description (1864), they tell the cairn to have been one amidst a cluster of tombs that could once be seen “a mile to the south of his residence”, but this seems to be contested by the definitive pen of the Lesmahagow historian, John Greenshields. (1864)  He told us:

“The late Lord Corehouse had an excavation scientifically made of a karn or cairn on his farm at Longside.  It is to be regretted that information cannot now be obtained of so accurate a nature as the subject merits; but there were stones so arranged in the centre as to have been evidently intended for sepulchral purposes.  Two rude urns of baked clay, one very large, the other smaller, were found inside a stone coffin.  The small urn contained bones partially calcined and broken or pounded, some of them perfectly fresh.  It has been erroneously stated in Swan’s “Views of the Clyde,” that there were eighteen small urns around the large chest, in the form of a circle, which gave rise to the idea that the remains of the chief had been surrounded by those of his family or warriors. One of the urns has been lost sight of: the smaller one, about 6 inches in diameter at the top, and 4 in height, is now in the possession of Miss Edmondstoun Cranstoun, as well as a still smaller funerary urn, recently restored by kiln-burning it with some fresh clay.”


  1. Greenshields, John B., Annals of the Parish of Lesmahagow, Caledonian: Edinburgh 1864.
  2. Irving, George V. & Murray, Alexander, The Upper Ward of Lanarkshire, Described and Delineated – volume 1, Thomas Murray: Glasgow 1864.
  3. Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, Lanarkshire: An Inventory of the Prehistoric and Roman Monuments, HMSO: Edinburgh 1978.
  4. Swan, Joseph, Views on the Clyde – Historical and Descriptive, Joseph Swan: Glasgow 1830.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

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