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Bothwellhaugh
North Lanarkshire

A location and former mining village of North Lanarkshire. From mediaeval times, Bothwellhaugh was the name given to a tract of low-lying pasture-land wrapped around the right bank of a bend in the River Clyde lying to the east of the town of Bothwell. Originally the site of a Roman fort, the area much later became part of the Duke of Hamilton's estates. The Duke ensured rapid development when he allowed the Hamilton Palace Colliery to be sunk here in 1884 to exploit the rich coal measures lying beneath the surface. Other pits lay to the west, north and east. The village of Bothwellhaugh, known locally as 'The Pailis' after the mine, was built around the original farm-stead by the mine operators, the Bent Colliery Company Ltd., from the late 1880s and became one of the largest mining villages in the Clyde Valley. It included two churches, two schools, a Miner's Welfare Association, co-operative store, 450 dwellings and allotment gardens, all in the shadow of a large bing, but not a solitary public house as the policy of the Duke of Hamilton and the mining company prohibited the sale of alcohol in the village. At its peak the colliery employed 1400 workers and produced 2000 tonnes of coal per day. It was this colliery that undermined Hamilton Palace, necessitating its demolition in the 1920s. The pit closed in 1959 and the village quickly declined, with many houses lying empty. With the community lost, the last of the people were dispersed in the early 1960s and the remainder of the village demolished in 1966. The area lay derelict until much of it was flooded when Strathclyde Loch was created within Strathclyde Country Park in the early 1970s. The M74 motorway was routed immediately to the west of the site. The only traces of the village today are a memorial cairn, and memorabilia and displays in the Countryside Ranger Service Visitor Centre in the Country Park.

James Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh assassinated the Regent Moray in Linlithgow in 1570.


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