Millheugh Bridge and the Larkhall Viaduct
|Larkhall shown within South Lanarkshire|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Larkhall (Scots: Larkhauch, Scottish Gaelic: Taigh na h-Uiseig) is a working class town in South Lanarkshire, Scotland and is around 14 miles (23 km) southeast of Glasgow. It is twinned with Seclin in northern France.
Larkhall sits on high ground between the River Clyde to the East and the Avon Water to the West. Larkhall sits on the edge of the scenic Clyde valley and is a commuter town for Glasgow. Larkhall had a population of 14,951 in the 2011 census, and is a typical west of Scotland industrial town. Traditionally a mining, weaving and textile area, most of Larkhall's traditional industries have now shut, including the Lanarkshire iron and steel works.
The name Larkhall or Laverock 'Ha first appears in journals around 1620. The origins of the name are unknown, although Laverock is the Scots word for skylark. However, there is no evidence that the town is named after the bird. It is more likely that Laverock was a surname. The name for Larkhall was originally a Scots word Laverockhaugh (Laverockha), which meant laverock - skylark and haugh - boggy/wet area.
The primary schools in Larkhall are Machanhill Primary School, Dalserf Primary School, Glengowan Primary School, Hareleeshill Primary School, Craigbank Primary School, Netherburn Primary School and Robert Smillie Memorial Primary School. There is also a Catholic primary school, St Mary's. The town's sole secondary school is Larkhall Academy.
The Church of Scotland has most adherents at 7416 persons (49.6% of the population). The 2011 census notes there are 1247 Roman Catholics living in the town (8.3% of the population).
Larkhall contains eight churches: Chalmers Parish Church, The Church At The Cross, Larkhall Baptist Church, Larkhall Congregational Church, St. Machan's Parish Church, St. Mary's R.C. Church, Strutherhill Gospel Hall and Trinity Parish Church. There is also a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Trains returned to the town in December 2005, with the opening of the new Larkhall railway station, which is a terminus on the Argyle Line. The station provides regular services to Glasgow and beyond. Merryton railway station serves the northern end of town and is also on the Argyle Line.
Scotland's main motorway, the M74 skirts the eastern edges of the town. Larkhall has 2 motorway intersections: Junction 7 with the A72, which is for southbound traffic only, and Junction 8 with the A71, which is for both northbound and southbound traffic. Junction 8 is known locally as Canderside Toll or The Toll. The centre of Glasgow can be reached in 20 minutes; Edinburgh is around 50 minutes away.
Because of the Protestant majority, residents mainly support Rangers F.C., to the point where it was noted in 2008 that the colour green — which is associated with that team's Catholic rivals Celtic F.C. — is avoided by retailers. However, community leaders attributed any trouble to a small number of vandals. A local authority study in 2017 found that sectarianism was not a major issue in the town.
The town has two Junior Football teams: Larkhall Thistle F.C. and Royal Albert F.C. although Royal Albert now play in Stonehouse, a neighbouring village while Larkhall Thistle play at Gasworks Park on Raploch Street. Royal Albert were once a full member of the Scottish Football League but now ply their trade in the lower reaches of the Central Junior divisions. Also present in the town are Larkhall United Junior Football Club.
Larkhall is also home to the West Of Scotland Karting club just outside town.
The town also has its own 9 hole municipal Golf Course which was founded in 1909.
It also has a running club, Larkhall YMCA Harriers, whose vests are red with two white hoops. The Harriers consist of Master ladies and men, Senior Ladies and men, Under 17s, Under 15s, Under 13s, Under 11s and Under 9s.
The black lady of Larkhall was the servant of Captain McNeil, then owner of Broomhill House. She was brought to Larkhall by Captain McNeil after one of his many seafaring voyages. She was happy with her new life but her ignorance of Scottish customs made her a social outcast. The Captain forbade her to leave Broomhill House during the day.
Soon she was not seen at night either and the Captain claimed she had disappeared, but locals were suspicious. She soon returned, as her ghostly form appeared in the windows of Broomhill House and then later in Morgan Glen. It is not known if she ever got her revenge on the Captain but he did die prematurely.
When Broomhill House fell into disrepair the five hundredweight door lintel was moved to The Applebank Public House by five men. The next day it was found lying across the road from the public house.
In the 1960s a team from the Tonight programme visited Larkhall as they tried to perform the first televised exorcism. The cameras were frozen over in fine weather and after filming finished the director was killed in a road crash on his way to another location. He was found with a fence post impaled in his heart.
One of the town's most notable landmarks is the Morgan Glen viaduct standing over the Avon Water. It spans some 285 yards, and at a height of 175 feet, it is the tallest viaduct in Scotland. This has now fallen into disrepair since the closure of the railway line in 1965 and has thus been closed to public access for safety reasons.
Larkhall is home to snooker player and 2006 World Snooker Championship winner, Graeme Dott. Previous residents include footballing brothers Jim McLean, Willie McLean & Tommy McLean and also Paul McStay. Other high-profile former residents include actress Una McLean and BBC Radio Scotland Editor Colin Paterson. Larkhall is also responsible for Mhairi Love who is a double silver medallist in the 2004 Paralympics for the U.K.
- "Scottish names for Scottish places", NewsNet Scotland
- "Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba - Gaelic Place-Names of Scotland - Database".
- A. D. MILLS. "Larkhall." A Dictionary of British Place-Names. Oxford University Press. 2003.
- "Welcome to Scotland's Census - Scotland Census 2011".
- "The Churches of Britain and Ireland - Larkall".
- "Scottish town where green is beyond the pale". Independent. 1 November 2008. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
- "Nothing about Larkhall is black and white". The Scotsman. 29 August 2007. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
- Martin Williams (9 February 2017). "Sectarianism no longer an issue for Larkhall residents, says new research". Evening Times. Glasgow. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
- "Larkhall YMCA Harriers".
- Black Lady. Larkhall Academy.
- "Larkhall Viaduct".