Livingstone Memorial Grounds

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, ScotlandGlasgow Road North

Livingstone Memorial Grounds

 Livingstone Playing Field
A popular location for School, Church and Club outings, The playground is a memorable place for children. Set in parkland and gardens overlooking the River Clyde, there are plenty of picturesque woodland walks around the area, including along the Clyde Walkway to Bothwell Castle, making it the perfect place for a family day out.
On 16 February 1844, Livingstone was working in the ditches of the watercourse when some natives were screaming to him to help them kill a lion that had just dragged off some sheep.

As Livingstone put it later: ‘I very imprudently ventured across the valley in order to encourage them to destroy him.’

It was not Livingstone’s only mistake; he went with only one gun and with no armed native at his side. He fired both barrels at the lion but only wounded him.


 Livingstone Lion

As he vainly tried to reload, the lion leapt on him and catching him by the arm, shook him ‘as a terrier dog does a rat’. Livingstone’s upper arm was splintered at once; the lion’s teeth made a series of gashes like gun-shot wounds.

Livingstone was only saved by the sudden appearance of Mebalwe, an elderly convert whom Livingstone had brought from Kuruman as a teacher.

Mebalwe, seeing that his master would be dead within minutes, unless he acted, snatched a gun from another native, loaded and fired both barrels.

The gun misfired, but the lion was diverted at this crucial moment and bounded off to attack his new assailant.

The luckless Mebalwe was badly bitten in the thigh and another who tried to help him was in turn bitten on the shoulder.

At this stage, however, the lion suddenly dropped dead, killed at last by the wounds initially inflicted by Livingstone.

Livingstone was extremely ill for weeks… It is hard to imagine the agony he must have suffered without anaesthetic and without the help of another doctor. He had to supervise the setting of the badly splintered arm himself.

Nevertheless, he made an astoundingly fast recovery and within months was working cautiously on the lighter tasks involved in building his house.’

The incredible sculpture featured above is by Gareth Knowles.

 Ray Harryhausen Lion Livingstone’s Lion Designed by Famous Film Animator

Ray Harryhausen may not be familiar to everyone but to those who do know it, his name stands as a landmark in the history of a genre and cinematic art, the art of dimensional stop-motion animation.

His crowning achievement in this field occurred in 2004. Because Diana Harryhausen is the great-granddaughter of the missionary and explorer, David Livingstone, Ray designed and oversaw the casting in bronze of a one and half times’ life statue of the great man being attacked by a lion. The statue can be seen in the grounds of The David Livingston Centre in Blantyre, Lanarkshire in Scotland.

Ray proudly stands in front of the huge bronze statue to David Livingstone in Blantyre, Lanarkshire with the sculptor Gareth Knowles. It was erected here in April 2004.

Photo: The Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation.

This is an illuminated water fall representing Livingstone’s Travels, a fountain in the form of a half globe over which jets of water are projected. Livingstone Globe
 Livingstones Hut Here we have a Model of Straw Hut where Livingstone died.

Livingstone sailed for Algoa Bay, South Africa, in December 1840. His first stop was a mission station in Kruman in what is now Botswana, and it was there that he met Mary Moffat that he married in 1845. After Mary died in 1862, Livingstone was commissioned by the British Government and the Royal Geographical Society to locate the source of the Nile.

The journalist Henry M. Stanley came across the explorer in Ujiji at Lake Tanganyika in 1871. Despite being too weak to continue his expedition safely, Livingstone refused to return home and died two years later in a hut in Chambito’s Village, similar to this replica (photographed in the 1950’s).

His body was disguised as a package (corpse were considered unlucky) and carried on a nine-month journey to the coast before being returned to Britain.

1874 wood engraving Joseph Nash by Jacob Wainright of Livingstone's Coffin on ship.

1874 wood engraving Joseph Nash by Jacob Wainright of Livingstone’s Coffin on ship

1874 wood engravings Joseph Nash by Jacob Wainright of Livingstone’s Coffin on ship.


If you have any Photos… Send them to Bill

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

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