Population 15,549. Figures
taken from 2001 Census.
Larkhall sits in the rolling countryside of
Avondale and is situated to the south east of Hamilton with excellent
access to the M74 motorway. The town has two stations, Larkhall Central
and Merryton, with a half-hourly service via Hamilton, Glasgow and
Partick to Dalmuir.
The town is also to benefit from a new cycle route, connecting it to
Hamilton, having been one of the successful projects in a Sustrans
lottery bid in 2007.
The Clyde Valley is just minutes away with
its selection of garden centres, tea rooms, country walks, parks and
pony trekking. If it's history you're after, Chatelherault Country Park
is two miles away and the kids can be entertained in its huge adventure
playground, while Craignethan Castle is six miles away.
Following the decline of the coal industry
around Larkhall in the 1940s a programme of diversification in both
manufacturing and services attracted new business to the area. Among
today's large employers are plastic manufacturers Rosti. And four new
industrial units were constructed in 2007 at a cost of £800,000.
Housing in Larkhall ranges from public
sector homes (with houses currently available for let) and private flats
to country cottages and family villas. There are many established
housing estates dating from the 1960s as well as new builds of private
and housing association accommodation in Larkhall and its environs.
Larkhall has a selection of primary schools
and once the multi-million pound schools modernisation programme is
complete the town will have a brand new purpose-built secondary school
on a site adjacent to the existing Larkhall Academy and Leisure Centre.
For walkers, there are stunning pathways
that join the Clyde Walkway through the Avon Gorge at Morgan Glen and
pleasant strolls down to the park and the Applebank Inn at Millheugh.
From there, there are good paths all the way along the river to
For golfers, Larkhall Golf Course is
situated on the edge of town and for the more adventurous there's the
Larkhall outdoor kart circuit, Summerlee, where many of today's motor
sports greats started their careers, including David Coulthard, Dario
Franchitti and Le Mans winner Alan McNish.
The local newspapers are the Hamilton
Advertiser, Larkhall Echoes and the Lanarkshire Extra.
Larkhall has a selection of traditional and
specialist shops along its main street as well as coffee shops and
cafes. There are also Co-op and Somerfield supermarkets for food
shopping and a number of furniture outlets.
By rail, the town's two stations, Larkhall
Central and Merryton, have a half-hourly service to Dalmuir via
Hamilton, Glasgow and Partick. By car Larkhall is easily reached from
the M74 and lies on the B7078 from either Hamilton or Kirkmuirhill.
Larkhall has bus services to various towns in the surrounding area as
well as to Glasgow.
Larkhall's name is thought to originate from
the Gaelic "Laverockha" meaning "lark on the hill" and maps from the
15th and 16th centuries show place names with similar spellings in the
area. In the early 14th century the area was known as Machanshire and
later Dalserf. Larkhall wasn't in common use until the 18th century.
The main industry in Larkhall during the
17th and 18th centuries was weaving and much of the old part of the town
consists of weavers' cottages. The Larkhall and Pleasance Building
Society opened in 1814, followed by the Larkhall Building Society in
1824, enabling so many weavers to own their homes that Larkhall became
known as "the town of bonnet lairds".
Coal mining came to Larkhall around the end
of the 18th century as the town lay in the heart of the Lanarkshire
coalfields and by the 1920s most of its people were miners. As the coal
industry declined, others came in its wake including a brick works,
fireclay works, chemical works and several quarries and foundries.
Larkhall's railway was completed as far as
Netherburn around 1856 with Larkhall East Station upgraded to serve
passengers in 1868. By 1905 the railway was so popular that the new
Central Larkhall Station was opened. Unfortunately, both stations were
closed under the Beeching cuts of the 1960s. However, in 2005 a new
railway line was completed and now links the town's Larkhall Central and
Merryton stations to Dalmuir via Hamilton, Glasgow and Partick.
The area surrounding Larkhall includes
several small villages such as Netherburn, Ashgill and Dalserf. Dalserf
was once a main stopover on the road north and had five inns and a ferry
across the Clyde. By the 1820s Garrion Bridge had been built to take the
traffic past the village. The Old Parish Church in Dalserf was erected
in 1655 and was renovated in the 1970s.
Netherburn is a close knit community outside
Larkhall with a lively community hall. Ashgill was originally an area of
miners' houses known as Ashgillhead. It was rebuilt in the 1920s and
Millheugh, down the steep Avon Gorge from
Larkhall was a popular area for fruit growing with crops such as apples,
pears and plums. At one time, the area adjacent to Millheugh, a popular
local beauty spot, was known as the bleachfields as it was once the site
of a local dye works. The area also boasts its own ghost, the Black Lady
who is said to haunt the Applebank Inn.