South Lanarkshire

South Lanarkshire Council Headquarters, Hamilton
©2023 Gazetteer for Scotland

South Lanarkshire Council Headquarters, Hamilton

A unitary authority in central Scotland bordering Dumfries and Galloway, East Ayrshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, the Scottish Borders and West Lothian, South Lanarkshire stretches from the Lowther Hills in the Southern Uplands northwards towards Carluke, Larkhall, East Kilbride, Rutherglen, Cambuslang, Blantyre, Bothwell and Hamilton (the administrative centre) on the southern outskirts of Glasgow. It is bisected from south to north by the M74 motorway which links the north of England to Glasgow. Beyond the urban settlements of Greater Glasgow it is a largely rural area with a handful of market towns including Strathaven, Lanark and Biggar. The 11th largest of Scotland's council areas, it has a total area of 1777 sq. km (686 sq. miles), over 70 per cent being upland pasture and moorland. It is the fifth largest in terms of population, but 80% of the population live in just 20% of the area. There is significant deprivation in parts of Rutherglen. Tourism is concentrated on the picturesque valley of the upper Clyde and places of interest include the former home of the missionary-explorer David Livingstone (1813-73) in Blantyre, Calder Glen Country Park, Chatelherault Country Park and New Lanark, the world heritage site which has associations with the industrial philanthropist Robert Owen (1771 - 1858).

The 17-storey Council Headquarters in Hamilton was opened by Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, in 1964. Built in the international style for Lanark County Council, it was the work of David G. Bannerman, the County Architect. Now Category-A listed, it sits at the centre of a plaza with fountains and is said to have been influenced by the United Nations building in New York.

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