Biggar

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Biggar is a town and former burgh in South Lanarkshire, Scotland. It is situated in the Southern Uplands, near the River Clyde, around 30 miles from Edinburgh along the A702. The closest towns are Lanark and Peebles, and as such Biggar serves a wide rural area. The 2011 census gives Biggar's population as 2,294.<ref>http://www.citypopulation.de/php/uk-scotland.php?cityid=361001 (accessed 30th June 2014)</ref>

Biggar

Biggar.jpg

Civil parish: Biggar

Council Area: South Lanarkshire

Lieutenancy area: Lanarkshire

Country: Scotland

Sovereign State: United Kingdom

Postcode District: ML12

EU Parliament: Scotland

UK Parliament: Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale

Scottish Parliament: Clydesdale

History

Biggar occupies a key location close to two of Scotland's great rivers, the Clyde flowing to the west, and the Tweed flowing to the east. Stone and Bronze-age artifacts have been found in the area but the strongest evidence of settlement occurs on the hills surrounding the town. One of these is Bizzyberry Hill where Iron Age remains dating back almost 2000 years have been found.

In the 12th century, in return for the promise of support, King David I gave the lands of Biggar to Baldwin, a Fleming leader. He built a motte and bailey castle, which can still be seen north-west of the High Street.

The first permanent crossing of the Biggar Burn was also built. It is thought that there has been a church at Biggar since the 6th or 7th century, although the first stone kirk was built in 1164. The current Kirk was built in 1546.<ref>http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/biggar/biggar (accessed 30th June 2014)</ref>In the 14th century, the Fleming family were given lands in the area by Robert the Bruce, whose cause they had supported. The Flemings built Boghall Castle, visible as a ruin until the early 20th century, but now only represented by a few mounds. The town continued to grow as an important market town, and in 1451 the town became a burgh.

The market place remains the central focus of the town. The kirk was rebuilt as a Collegiate church in 1546 for Malcolm, 3rd Lord Fleming, the last to be established before the Reformation of 1560. The Flemings found themselves on the wrong side in the 16th century, when they supported Mary, Queen of Scots, and their lands were given over to the Elphinstone family.


References

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