Strathaven

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Strathaven
Scottish Gaelic: Strath Aibhne
Scots: Straiven
Restored shield 2 copy.jpg
Strathaven is located in South Lanarkshire
Strathaven
Strathaven
 Strathaven shown within South Lanarkshire
Population 7,484 [1] (2011 Census) est. 7,500 (2013)
Civil parish Avondale
Council area South Lanarkshire
Lieutenancy area Lanarkshire
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town STRATHAVEN
Postcode district ML10
Dialling code 01357
Police Scottish
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow
Scottish Parliament Clydesdale
List of places
UK
Scotland

Coordinates: 55°40′37″N 4°03′54″W / 55.677°N 4.065°W / 55.677; -4.065

Strathaven Listeni/ˈstrvən/ (Scots: Straiven,[2] from Gaelic: Strath Aibhne [strah ˈajnə], meaning "valley of the Avon")[citation needed] is a historic market town in South Lanarkshire, Scotland and is the largest settlement in Avondale. The town was granted a Royal Charter in 1450, making the Town of Strathaven a burgh of barony. The town's main industry was weaving in the 19th and early 20th centuries, however this declined when faced by competition from Glasgow. The industrial revolution bypassed the town as it had little to offer in the way of natural resources, and thus has grown into more a commuter settlement, however it is still the main service centre for the surrounding area of Avondale. The current estimated population is 7,500.

Location[edit]

The town is located on the edge of the valley of the Avon Water, around 6 miles from Hamilton, and 18.2 miles from Glasgow. The A71, which connects Edinburgh and Kilmarnock passes through the town. In the 2001 census the town had a population of 7,700. Strathaven has one secondary school and three primary schools - Kirklandpark Primary, Wester Overton Primary, and St Patrick's Primary. It also has a grass airfield about two miles to the north west, on Lethame Road.

History[edit]

Detail of the advertisement on the town mill
The Town Mill and Miller's house

Strathaven has a long history as a market town.[citation needed] A Roman road passes close by, on the south side of the Avon Water, which led to the Roman fort at Loudoun Hill near Darvel. The origins of Strathaven Castle are obscure, but it is believed to have been built around 1350 by the Bairds, on a bend of the Powmillon Burn.[citation needed] Today it is a ruin, with a single tower and sections of wall remaining beside the A71.

The Barony of Strathaven was acquired in 1362 by Archibald the Grim, Lord of Galloway, by his marriage to Joanna, daughter to Maurice de Moravia, 1st Earl of Strathearn, great Moray heiress.[citation needed] The settlement within the lands of Strathaven became a Burgh of barony in 1450.[citation needed] It still retains its traditional character despite the growth of more modern housing.[citation needed] The centre of the town is occupied by the market square, formerly a grassed common, and still known as Common Green, or just 'The Green'. Linking the town and the castle is the old 'Boo Backit Brig' ('bow-backed bridge'), a small arched bridge. The Old Parish Church, with its landmark spire, was built in 1772, and was the place of worship of the Duke of Hamilton who maintained a shooting lodge at nearby Dungavel House.[citation needed]

The town prospered in the 18th and 19th centuries as a weaving town, although there were many merchants living here too.[citation needed] The town played a significant part in the Radical War of 1820, when James Wilson led a band of radicals on a march to Glasgow, to join a rumoured general uprising, which never actually happened. Wilson was hanged for treason, and in 1846 a memorial was built in his honour in the town cemetery.[citation needed] The history of Strathaven is now documented in the town's John Hastie Museum.

Its most famous 'modern' resident was Sir Harry Lauder (1870–1950) whose mansion, Lauder Ha', or Hall, was just above the town on the road to Kilmarnock. Sir Harry spent the Second World War years there, and died in February 1950. The family retained the property until Death Duties of 65% forced a sale in the late 1960s.[citation needed] It remains a private residence.

Dungavel House on the outskirts of Strathaven was the location where German Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess originally intended to land on the evening of 10 May 1941 in a misguided attempt to seek peace talks with the Duke of Hamilton. However bad weather and poor navigation resulted in Hess having to land at Floors Farm in Eaglesham.

Town centre[edit]

Despite competition from the nearby large towns of East Kilbride and Hamilton, Strathaven still has a number of craft and gift shops, alongside well known town centre names. There are two banks, Halifax Bank of Scotland and Royal Bank of Scotland office in the Common Green. There are a number of businesses providing extra attraction to the town. Brian Young's Garden Centre and Lawn Mower centre on Newton Road, The new Auction mart half a mile from Strathaven on the Hamilton Road. This includes a number of smaller businesses reflecting Strathaven's equestrian following (horses) and a small cafe. The town has long been Sunday Run territory with several town centre eating establishments as well as four public houses. The fifth pub until recently, The Castle Tavern, is no longer open due to a collapse during renovations in early 2011.

Strathaven Academy[edit]

Strathaven Academy is the town's only secondary school and in 2012 was voted the 33rd best school in Scotland and top in South Lanarkshire. Following a major refurbishment the new building was completed in 2009 on the original site.

See Strathaven Academy

Strathaven railway stations[edit]

Strathaven North station in 1906

Strathaven had, at various times, three railway stations.

Strathaven Airfield[edit]

Strathaven Airfield is home to a microlight flying school, which operates both the traditional-style weightshift microlights and the light aircraft-style ones, and the new airfield manager's house was featured on Channel 4's Grand Designs in October 2013.[3] There are approximately 35 aircraft - both light aircraft and microlights - hangared at Strathaven in two modern purpose-built hangars. The airfield is also home to an annual local music festival, HangarFest. The airfield was set up on the old Couplaw Farm, which The Scottish Flying Club Ltd bought in May 1964. The club had begun flying in 1927 at the old Renfrew Airport [4] but was left homeless after Renfrew was nationalised in 1946. Strathaven Airfield was given to the RAF Benevolent Fund in 1974 and then sold privately in 2005. It has three grass runways, the main runway is oriented 09/27 and is 530m long (with a 100m starter extension on 27 available on request). The airfield co-ordinates in the UK Air Pilot ENR 5.5-17 are: 554049N 0040654W [5]

Religion[edit]

Strathaven contains six churches[6] including three Church of Scotland parishes: Avendale Old (built in 1772) linked with Drumclog Parish Church,[7] Strathaven Rankin linked with Chapelton Parish Church,[8] and East Parish Church (built in 1777) linked with Glassford Parish Church.[9]

The only Catholic Church in the town is St. Patricks Catholic Church (built in 1863).[10]

There is an active ecumenical body, consisting of six churches in the area (5 within the town, one nearby), named "Hope Strathaven", which work together bringing a mix of community projects that reflect faith and service.[11]

Sport[edit]

Strathaven is home to several sports clubs, which include:

  • Strathaven Army Cadet Force
  • Strathaven Dynamo AFC
  • Strathaven Rugby Club
  • Strathaven Striders
  • Strathaven Golf Club
  • Strathaven Bowling Club
  • Avondale Bowling Club
  • Strathaven Tennis Club
  • Strathaven Badminton Club
  • Avon Angling Club
  • Upper Avon Angling Association

Strathaven's Sport Centre underwent refurbishment in 2009 as a result of the demolition and reconstruction of Strathaven Academy.

Sports facilities in Strathaven include an indoor swimming pool and gym, three grass football pitches, two ash football pitches, four tennis courts, two rugby pitches and several badminton courts in church and primary school halls.

Famous residents (past and present)[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]