Chatelherault Country Park

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The Duke of Hamilton's 18th century hunting lodge
The Dukes Bridge crossing the Avon Water

Chatelherault Country Park is a country park in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, Scotland.

Its name is derived from the French town of Châtellerault, the title Duc de Châtellerault being held by the Duke of Hamilton.

The country park is centred on the former hunting lodge of the now demolished Hamilton Palace. The lodge was designed by William Adam and completed in 1734. It comprises two pavilions linked by a gateway. The north facade was visible from the palace and forms the front of the building. To the rear are formal parterre gardens. The buildings provided kennels, stables and accommodation for hunting parties returning from the woodlands to the south. Adam jokingly referred to his creation as 'The Dogg Kennel'. An avenue of lime trees linked the lodge and the palace, formerly located in Hamilton.

In the early 20th century, the palace was demolished and the ground in front of the lodge was excavated for sand quarrying. The resulting subsidence has created a noticeably lopsided feel in the lodge: coins will roll across the floor, and many visitors report feeling unbalanced and ill. The quarrying was halted in the 1970s, following the death of the 14th Duke. The High and Low parks of Hamilton were given to the nation in lieu of death duties. Historic Scotland began renovating the lodge in the late 1970s, including the fine Georgian plasterwork, and a visitor centre was built to the rear. The lodge and park are now managed by South Lanarkshire Council.

The ruins of Cadzow Castle lie above the gorge of the Avon Water, which runs to the west of the lodge. The bulk of the park lies along the Avon gorge, with woodland walks and cycle routes. A herd of Cadzow cattle live in the fields overlooked by the hunting lodge. This apparently unique breed have white coats and long horns.

In December 2005, access to Chatelherault Country Park was improved with the opening of Chatelherault railway station near to the entrance of the park. This provides two trains from Glasgow (via Hamilton) per hour.

Views of Cadzow's ancient oak woodlands[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°45′43″N 4°00′58″W / 55.762°N 4.016°W / 55.762; -4.016