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Motorway Bridge over the River Clyde - geograph.org.uk - 946040.jpg
View of A74(M) crossing the River Clyde near Elvanfoot
Elvanfoot is located in South Lanarkshire
Elvanfoot shown within South Lanarkshire
OS grid reference NS953171
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BIGGAR
Postcode district ML12
Dialling code 01864
Police Scottish
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
Coordinates: 55°26′13″N 3°39′20″W / 55.437°N 3.6555°W / 55.437; -3.6555
View of Elvanfoot church.

Elvanfoot is a small village in South Lanarkshire, Scotland.

Elvanfoot is located at the confluence of the River Clyde and Elvan Water.[1] The Clyde is crossed by a pedestrian suspension bridge that has been closed since 2007 for want of repair.[2] The apparently-abandoned church is on the Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland,[3] as are the stables of Newton House, once home to the Scottish judge Alexander Irving, Lord Newton.[4][5]


The name 'Elvan' apparently includes the element *al-, which occurs in river names in Roman Britain and continental Europe. A number of meanings have been suggested, including 'bright, shining, white', 'sparkling, speckled' and 'holy' amongst others. Almost all attestations of the root occur with the Proto-Indo-European suffix -*awe- and "root-determinative -*n- or participial -*ant-", giving the proto-form *al-au-n-.[6]

Andrew Breeze has suggested that the name is derived from Cumbric *halẹ:n 'salt', cognate with Welsh halen, which is found in a number of Welsh river names. As Elvan Water passes through a mining area, Breeze suggests that there may be high levels of salt in the river. The loss of initial /h/ is explained as a result of the name's supposed transmission via Gaelic.[7][8]


Elvanfoot is at the junction of the A702 and B7040 roads and 1 12 miles (2.4 km) south from junction 14 of the M74 motorway. Until 1965 it was served by Elvanfoot railway station on the West Coast Main Line.


  1. ^ Gazetteer for Scotland
  2. ^ Elvanfoot Development Group
  3. ^ Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland Archived September 14, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "Buildings At Risk register for Scotland - Newton House stables". Retrieved 9 February 2017. 
  5. ^ "Groom's Vision of Britain - Newton House, Elvanfoot". Retrieved 9 February 2017. 
  6. ^ James, Alan G. (2014). The Brittonic Language in the Old North: A Guide to the Place-Name Evidence (PDF). Volume 2: Guide to the Elements. pp. 9–10. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-09-11. 
  7. ^ Breeze, Andrew (2002). "Brittonic Place-Names from South-West Scotland, Part 3: Vindogara, Elvan Water, 'Mondedamdereg', Troquhain and Tarelgin" (PDF). Transactions and Journal of Proceedings of the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society: 108–109. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-04-02. 
  8. ^ James, Alan G. (2014). The Brittonic Language in the Old North: A Guide to the Place-Name Evidence (PDF). Volume 2: Guide to the Elements. p. 195. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-09-11.