Hyndford House Photo2

Lanark is fortunate in that it has many interesting old houses but these are not easy to see. Hyndford House which is traditionally associated with the Carmichaels has a history going back to the early part of the 17th century. Where is Hyndford house? It is the large house lying parallel to the parish church behind Jacks the Ironmongers. It overlooks Jacks by being several floors higher.
How do we know that this house is old? The clues are the crow stepped gables at the east and west end of the building. Also the small windows are a clue. In the 17th century glass was an expensive commodity so the windows had shutters at the bottom and glass at the top. Finally the slates look fairly old and were probably pegged to the roof with oak pegs.
Where is the internal evidence? This was found by the Lanark & District archaeological Society in the late eighties. An examination of the roof space revealed that the roof beams had been numbered originally and laid out on the ground to check they fitted. This was to avoid embarrassing mistakes during the construction of the roof. A section of the roof beam was taken and analysed. It was found to be a piece of Baltic Pine. Cutting through the beam gives us an interesting history of the climate in the Baltic in the late sixteenth century. The pine probably came from Poland. There were several thousand Scottish merchants there in the early seventeenth century. One of these was William Lithgow, adventurer and traveller, who lived for the early part of his life in Lanark.
Other evidence included small Dutch drug pots which have an orange glaze on them. How they ended up in the roof and what they contained is a mystery.