Is Cartland BridgeHotel set to close?

Mystery surrounds the future of a long-time Lanark instituition, the Cartland Bridge Hotel, this week.

The handsome, 140-year-old Cartland Bridge Hotel has become a Lanark institution

The Gazette understands that staff were told by management at a meeting late last week that the venue for many of the Lanark area’s major civic functions - and countless wedding receptions - is to close in May.

The news comes just months after the closure of another one-time major country house hotel in Clydesdale, the Shieldhill Castle at Quothquan.

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Ironically, the news also comes just a fortnight before the very first Lanarkshire Tourism Conference takes place on March 19 in Hamilton.

It leaves the Lanark area with just the New Lanark Mill as a major hotel.

It represents a total turnaround since the Royal Burgh’s early 20th century status as a resort with seven hotels in Bannatyne Street alone.

The Gazette has made repeated but fruitless attempts to clarify future plans the current owners may have for the handsome Listed building, constructed as the grand private home Baronald Castle in the 1880s.

Over the years the building has served as a wartime convalescent hospital for wounded officers, a clinic for alcoholics and has been a hotel for around 60 years.

It is understood staff have been told that the building is to become private flats but there are local rumours of ‘The Cartland’ becoming a spa.

The hotel and extensive grounds and outbuildings were put on the market last August with a total asking price of just over a million pounds.

The number of jobs which would be lost through closure is unknown although most of the staff are understood to be part-time.