What, then, is the history of a place
which has inspired such lively and
What, then, is the history of a place which has inspired such lively and conflicting comment? Roman legions marched across our moors and built a road over it which passed near the Kirk o’ Shotts. This was the start of the Great Road between Glasgow and Edinburgh- a road which gave our district its early repute. In later days Shotts was known as a dreary moorland place, with Kirk o’ Shotts as its centre.
The Kirk was founded in the reign of James III, in 1476, and was called St. Catherine’s Chapel. The present church- the wee kirk without a steeple, and wi’ the wee doo-cote belfry- was erected between 1819 and 1821. The Kirk pad from Carluke was a path well worn by our forefathers as they wended their way to Kirk o’ Shotts from all over North Lanarkshire. There was no Shotts then, as we know it- only some scattered farms whose dour heroic owners wrested from the moors a hard living.
The fair was the great day for them. It was 1685 that the Duke of Hamilton obtained warrant to hold two markets annually at Kirk o’ Shotts; and great must have been the goings-on as farmers and dealers, farm servants and merchants, packmen and pedlars came from a’ airts and pairts over the Great Road and the drove roads to Kirk o’ Shotts.
The summer fair was held on the third Tuesday in June and it survived into the ‘90s. In fact, another – and still surviving institution, the Cattle Show, was always held on the day after the fair, on a Wednesday.