Blackwood, South Lanarkshire

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For other uses, see Blackwood, Caerphilly.
Blackwood is located in South Lanarkshire
 Blackwood shown within South Lanarkshire
Council area South Lanarkshire
Lieutenancy area Lanarkshire
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LANARK
Postcode district ML11
Dialling code 01555
Police Scottish
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament Lanark and Hamilton East
Scottish Parliament Clydesdale (Scottish Parliament constituency)
List of places

Coordinates: 55°40′02″N 3°54′59″W / 55.667146°N 3.916454°W / 55.667146; -3.916454

Blackwood is a village which borders Kirkmuirhill, near Lanark in the central belt of Scotland. It has a few small shops, a Roman Catholic and Protestant church, a couple of primary schools and pub.[1]

Blackwood Location[edit]

Blackwood sits adjacent to the M74 motorway - Scotland's main arterial route South to England - but remains a quiet village and a much sought-after place to stay. Blackwood is linked to (and physically runs into) the neighbouring village of Kirkmuirhill, so-much-so that there is no physical sign of where one starts and the other ends.[2]

Local life[edit]

Blackwood churches[edit]

Kirkmuirhill Church of Scotland, [3] St. John's R.C. Church [4] and Kirkmuirhill Gospel Hall [5] look after the spiritual needs of villagers,[6]


There are two primary schools, St. John's R.C. Primary School and Blackwood Primary School.[7][8]

History of Blackwood Estate[edit]

Blackwood sits at the top of the gentle hills on the Western/Southern side of the picturesque Clyde Valley, at the point where the River Nethan sweeps down into the steep valley to join the River Clyde. Close by is Craignethan Castle, where Mary Queen of Scots stayed on her journey South to be tried and executed by Elizabeth I of England.[9]

Sited on the main route South from Glasgow to Carlisle, both Kirkmuirhill and Blackwood benefited from the traffic passing through although by far the largest employer in this largely rural area in the 18th and early 19th centuries would have been the Blackwood Estate.[10] Blackwood was (arguably) originally the farming cousin to other local villages, where coal mining was the dominant industry. Blackwood estate provided farming work for local families. The Blackwood Estate, seat of the Weir de Veres since the thirteenth century,[11] afterwards the Hope-Veres,[12] was the most extensive estate in the parish of Lesmahagow [13] and by some accounts the largest estate in the County of Lanark.[14]

Railways station[edit]

The arrival of the railways into the area in 1856 with the opening of the station at Blackwood, resulted in an expansion of mining but the deep pits in the immediate vicinity seem to have had a short lifespan and were worked out fairly rapidly. Surface mining lasted a little longer but by the mid-20th century, mining was no longer a major employment option in the region.[15]

Blackwood today[edit]

Despite this the two villages of Blackwood and Kirkmuirhill seem to have proved pleasant places to live and both enjoyed a major building boom during the 20th century. In 1901 Blackwood had 167 houses and Kirmuirhill 121. By the year 2000 they had a combined total of 1480 and the villages had merged such that it is hard to tell where one ends and the other begins.[16]

Economic development of Blackwood[edit]

Wind turbine[edit]

Junction 9 of the M74 motorway brings visitors to the South end of the village, but the more popular B7078 [17] links the village with Junction 8 (Canderside Toll) and the larger town of Larkhall.[18] In 2009 three large wind turbines went operational along the B7078, providing power for around 3,000 homes and part of Scotland's growing commitment to renewable energy production.[19]

Blackwood and Kirkmuirhill Community[edit]

Blackwood and Kirkmuirhill Community Hall is located on the main road (B7078) through the village and was opened in October 2012.[20] The hall is incorporated within the Blackwood and Kirkmuirhill Community Wing which adjoins Blackwood Primary School.[21] Blackwood and Kirkmuirhill Community Wing is run by South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture.[22] This facility has a gym, community hall, sports hall and library.[23]


  • James Hamilton, Old Blackwood and Kirkmuirhill, Stenlake Publishing, (2000) [24]
  • George Vere Irving, The Upper Ward of Lanarkshire, T. Murray and Son, (1864) [25]