Strathaven (/ˈstrvən/ (listen); from Scottish Gaelic: Strath Aibhne [s̪t̪ɾah ˈajnə]) is a historic market town in South Lanarkshire, Scotland and is the largest settlement in Avondale. It is 7.5 kilometres (4.7 mi) south of Hamilton.[a] The Powmillon Burn runs through the town centre, which joins the Avon Water to the east of the town.

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Strathaven is located in South Lanarkshire
Location within South Lanarkshire
Population8,090 (mid-2020 est.)[1]
• Edinburgh39 mi (63 km)
• London330 miles (531 km)
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtML10
Dialling code01357
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
55°40′37″N 4°03′54″W / 55.677°N 4.065°W / 55.677; -4.065Coordinates: 55°40′37″N 4°03′54″W / 55.677°N 4.065°W / 55.677; -4.065

The current estimated population is 8,000. The town was granted a royal charter in 1450, making the Town of Strathaven a burgh of barony. The A71, which connects Edinburgh and Kilmarnock passes through the town.


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

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]

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.

In 2002, Strathaven was granted the title of Scotland's First Fairtrade Town[2] (jointly with Aberfeldy) under the leadership of Paulo Quadros - chair of the first Fairtrade group in Scotland.[2]


The town is part of the Avondale and Stonehouse ward of the South Lanarkshire council area. Before 1996, it was part of the Stratchclyde region, with a district council in East Kilbride. Previous to that, it had been part of the Fourth landward district of the County of Lanark.

As part of Scottish devolution, national governmental power is split between the UK Parliament and Government and the Scottish Parliament and Government. As of 2021, it is in the East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow constituency of the UK Parliament (MP [2019]: Lisa Cameron [SNP]) and the Clydesdale constituency of the Scottish Parliament (MSP [2021]: Màiri McAllan [SNP]).


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 is now only one bank, Halifax Bank of Scotland, with the Royal Bank of Scotland closing previously in 2018. The town's longest established business is Gebbie & Wilson, Solicitors in the Common Green, which was founded in 1816, closely followed by Alexander Taylor, Bakers in Waterside Street, established in 1820 and now run by the 5th generation of the Taylor family.

There are a number of large businesses providing extra attraction to the town on its periphery such as Sainsbury's, Aldi and Greggs. It also has a number of small local business such as The Strathaven Hotel and The Rural Centre, both on Hamilton Road, it also has a number of local craft and charity shops too. The town has long been a Sunday Run territory with several town centre eating establishments as well as four public houses.


The major landmark in the town is Strathaven Castle.


The A71, which connects Edinburgh and Kilmarnock passes through the town. The A723 links Strathaven to Hamilton and the A726 links it to East Kilbride, and further onto Glasgow. As part of South Lanarkshire, the town is in the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport area.

Former railway stationsEdit

Strathaven North station in 1906

Strathaven had, at various times, three railway stations.

Strathaven AirfieldEdit

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]


Strathaven has one secondary school and three primary schools - Kirklandpark Primary, Wester Overton Primary, and St Patrick's Primary.

Strathaven Academy is the town's only secondary school and in 2019 was voted the 18th best school in Scotland and top in South Lanarkshire. Following a major refurbishment the new building was completed in 2009 on the original site.


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 Patrick's Catholic Church (built in 1863).[10]

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


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 a sports centre with indoor swimming pool and gym, three grass football pitches, one 3G joint football and rugby pitch, two grass rugby pitches, an 18 hole golf course, bowling club, four tennis courts, and several badminton courts in church and primary school halls.

Notable peopleEdit


  1. ^ Measured as the bird flies from the edges of the built-up areas


  1. ^ "Mid-2020 Population Estimates for Settlements and Localities in Scotland". National Records of Scotland. 31 March 2022. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  2. ^ a b Report, Official (24 January 2014). "Official Report".
  3. ^ "Grand Designs: Grand Designs - Episode Guide". Channel 4. Archived from the original on 28 April 2020. Retrieved 11 October 2020.
  4. ^ Renfrew Airport
  5. ^ "EUROCONTROL - the European AIS Database: Introduction to EAD Basic - Home" (PDF). Archived from the original on 11 October 2020. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  6. ^ "The Churches of Britain and Ireland - Strathaven". Archived from the original on 28 April 2014. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  7. ^ "Avendale & Drumclog Parish Church". Archived from the original on 26 January 2019. Retrieved 11 October 2020.
  8. ^ "Welcome - Strathaven Rankin & Chapelton". Archived from the original on 28 July 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  9. ^ "East Parish Church, Strathaven". 24 September 2017. Archived from the original on 9 March 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2020.
  10. ^ "Diocese of Motherwell". Archived from the original on 7 November 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  11. ^ "The Strathaven Churches". Archived from the original on 25 August 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  12. ^ "Sir Harry Lauder (1870 - 1950) with Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965) at Lauder's estate, Lauder Ha', in Strathaven, South Lanarkshire". National Galleries of Scotland.
  13. ^ "Thomas Leiper and family business records, 1771-1947". Archived from the original on 18 November 2018. Retrieved 11 October 2020.
  14. ^ "BBC - Una McLean retires her River City role as matriarch Molly O'Hara - Media Centre". Archived from the original on 11 October 2020. Retrieved 11 October 2020.
  15. ^ "Corrie Scott". Archived from the original on 11 October 2020. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  16. ^ "Black Star Riders owe inspiration to Scottish roots". Glasgow Times.

External linksEdit