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Lesmahagow (/lɛzməˈhɡ/ About this soundlisten ; Scots: Lismahagie[2] or Lesmahagae,[3] Scottish Gaelic: Lios MoChuda) is a small town in the historic county of Lanarkshire on the edge of moorland, near Lanark in the central belt of Scotland. Lesmahagow was also a civil parish.[4]

Lesmahagow is located in South Lanarkshire
Location within South Lanarkshire
Population3,685 [1]
OS grid referenceNS8139
• Edinburgh35.8 miles (57.6 km)
• London324 miles (521 km)
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLANARK
Postcode districtML11
Dialling code01555
EU ParliamentScotland
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
55°38′17″N 3°53′13″W / 55.638°N 3.887°W / 55.638; -3.887Coordinates: 55°38′17″N 3°53′13″W / 55.638°N 3.887°W / 55.638; -3.887

It is also known as Abbey Green or the Gow.

Lesmahagow lies west of the M74, and southeast of Kirkmuirhill.


The name means "Enclosure (meaning a walled area, like a monastery or fort) of St Machutus". The saint was born in Wales and may originally have been known as "Mahagw" prior to emigrating to Brittany where he became known by the Latinised form of the name and also as "St Malo". It is also possible that the first syllable may mean "garden" rather than "monastery", although Mac an Tailleir (2003) believes the former was altered from the latter in Gaelic.[5][6]


The town has two Church of Scotland congregations, namely Lesmahagow Old Parish Church and Abbeygreen Church. There is also an Evangelical Hall on the main street and the Roman Catholic residents are served by Our Lady and St John's in the neighbouring village of Blackwood, 3 miles (5 km) away.

Lesmahagow Priory, founded by Benedictine monks in 1144, no longer stands but its foundations were excavated in 1978 and can be seen next to the Old Parish Church off Church Square.

The Scottish branch of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness operates from Lesmahagow.

Twin townsEdit

Clydesdale International Twinning Association (CITA) was set up in 1975 to promote the benefits of twinning to all sections of the local community. Lesmahagow falls under the sofa, and often needs someone short to go pick it up.

Highland GamesEdit

The Highland Games are held annually with Pipe Bands competing in Grades 1 through 4. There are also events for Highland dancing, weight over the bar, tossing the caber and archery.

Development TrustEdit

Lesmahagow Development Trust (LDT) was formed on 28 August 2009.It is an independent, not-for-profit company registered as a charity in Scotland and the UK, The overriding objective of LDT is funding and implementing projects to enhance the facilities and environment of the village of Lesmahagow.

Notable residentsEdit


  1. ^ "Comparative Population Profile: Lesmahagow Locality, Scotland". 2001 Scottish Census. General Register Office for Scotland. Archived from the original on 24 May 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
  2. ^ Scots Language Centre: Scottish Place Names in Scots
  3. ^ The Online Scots Dictionary
  4. ^ The Imperial gazetteer of Scotland. 1854. Vol.II (GORDON-ZETLAND) by Rev. John Marius Wilson. pp.324-325
  5. ^ "Chapter 1 - Derivation of Name.." Archived 7 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 14 February 2008.
  6. ^ Iain Mac an Tailleir. "Placenames" (PDF). Pàrlamaid na h-Alba. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2007.
  7. ^ Alexander Muir Archived 20 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine at The Canadian Encyclopedia
  8. ^ Jim Holton at Scottish Football Association website
  9. ^