Population 5056. Figures
taken from 2001 Census.
Stonehouse lies in prime countryside halfway
between Strathaven and Larkhall and is bordered by the River Avon.
Although the town has a rural feel, its proximity to the M74 and the A71
makes it perfect for commuting to Hamilton, Motherwell, Glasgow and
The town has always been close-knit and
there is a strong sense of community. And following the construction of
the bypass the centre has been enjoying a revival with the conservation
area preserving its heritage.
The village has undergone major improvements
which created a high quality centre with granite paving, landscaping and
improved lighting to ensure that the Cross remains at the heart of the
community. Stonehouse has a good mix of traditional shops, cafes and
pubs. It also has good sports facilities and parks.
On the whole the land surrounding Stonehouse
is arable, although most farms are milk producers. The Stonehouse
Agricultural Show is held in May. There are many small companies in and
around the town including electical contracters, IT businesses, animal
feed manufacturers and engineers.
Housing in Stonehouse is a mix of council
properties, old weavers' cottages, family villas and country cottages.
Since the building of the bypass a lot of new developments have sprung
up, catering for expanding families and commuters wanting to live in a
Stonehouse has two primary schools and most
of its secondary pupils travel to Larkhall while some travel to
Strathaven. Larkhall Academy was completely rebuilt in 2009 as part of
the Council's multi-million pound schools modernisation programme. And
Strathaven Academy was completely refurbished in 2009 under the same
Stonehouse is served by the Hamilton
Advertiser, Lanarkshire Extra, Strathaven Echoes and local radio station
Shopping in Stonehouse is limited although
it does have a selection of local shops, takeaways and cafes, including
Ginestri's, the famous ice cream makers.
Stonehouse is easily accessible from the
M74. It also lies on the A71 making it easy to get to from Kilmarnock
and Strathaven to the west and Mid Lothian and Edinburgh to the north
east. The reopening of the Larkhall to Milngavie rail line in 2005 has
made it easier for rail travel to Glasgow as the station has a park and
ride scheme. Stonehouse has a good bus service to outlying towns and
The name Stonehouse is said to originate
from an early stone circle, probably constructed by Druids. It has
evolved through variations such as Stanes, Stannas, Stanhus, finally
settling at Stonehouse. Further evidence of the Druids are three
standing stones at Avonholm near the River Avon, between Stonehouse and
Glassford. Stonehouse saw much activity during Roman times and evidence
of a Roman road can still be seen in the area.
The parish of Stonehouse is one of the
oldest in Scotland and records show that the parish was dedicated to St.
Ninian in the 9th century. The old church of St. Ninian was erected
around 1560 but all that now remains is the gable-end wall.
As with many other towns in the area,
weaving was a big part of life in Stonehouse. The town specialised in
silk weaving and even after the introduction of power looms which
brought about the decline of handloom weaving in other parts of
Lanarkshire, Stonehouse survived longer because of the quality of its
After the demise of the weaving industry,
most of the male population of Stonehouse was employed in the coalmining
industry, working at the Canderrig Colliery. By 1950 the mine was almost
exhausted and most of the population had to look for work outside the
Transport in Stonehouse during the late 19th
century was largely dominated by the railway, which not only carried the
population of the town, but also the coal from the mines in the
surrounding area. The Beeching cuts of the 1960s meant many of the rail
lines in Lanarkshire, including Stonehouse were closed down.