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South Lanarkshire
Lesmahagow


Population 3685. Figures taken from 2001 Census.

Lesmahagow sits on high ground overlooking the Clyde Valley and although it is now a quiet rural location, it was once a bustling mining community. Lesmahagow still retains a strong sense of community with many clubs and societies. The Lesmahagow Highland Games and the crowning of the Tartan Queen take place in June.

The town's proximity to the M74 makes it an ideal base for commuters to Hamilton, Motherwell and Glasgow whilst retaining its country feel.

Lesmahagow has the usual mix of village shops and pubs and its most unusual claim to fame is probably that it is the Scottish headquarters for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

There is some light industry in the area including chemical manufacturers, hydraulics engineers, engineering testing and estate management.

Housing in the Lesmahagow area ranges from council properties to houses on established estates, country cottages and new builds. And 40 of the 78 new houses and four flats to be built at Balgray Road will be set aside for the Clyde Valley Housing Association as part of the council's New Housing Partnership programme to create affordable new homes for rent.

There are two primary schools in Lesmahagow and Lesmahagow High will be completely refurbished as part of South Lanarkshire Council's multi-million pound schools modernisation programme.

Lesmahagow is served by the Carluke and Lanark Gazette and the Lanark and Carluke Advertiser.

Following a major consultation exercise in November 2004 where residents in and around the village had their say on what they would like to see changed to reinvigorate the area, a series of projects were agreed including upgrading the footpath between the village centre and Woodpark, improving the car parks at Abbeygreen and Langdykeside and the junction at Abbeygreen and New Trows Road the creation of a public space in the centre.

History

There is great dispute over the definite meaning of Lesmahagow's name but it is certainly derived from its patron saint St Machutus, a sixth century Welsh monk.

The area grew with the founding of a priory in 1144 and its monks were responsible for planting fruit trees in the Clyde Valley. Although the priory was destroyed in the Reformation there are remains near the present parish church which was built in 1803.

As was common in the area in the 17th century, the inhabitants of Lesmahagow and its environs were fervant Covenanters. Many were imprisoned for their beliefs. The Covenanter David Steele fought at Bothwell Bridge but was later hunted down and shot in front of his wife and child. He was buried in Lesmahagow churchyard where his gravestone can still be read and a small memorial was erected in Skellyhill where he fell.

Lesmahagow was always a busy coaching stop on the main road south but it really came into its own with the arrival of the railway and the discovery of coal seams. However the rail line was closed in the 1960s and the coal has been exhausted.


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