Leadhills

Towns & Villages

    Leadhills is a small village in a high valley in the Lowther Hills and has a strong mining legacy.

    Leadhills is the second highest village in Scotland at 1,460 feet above sea-level. Although it is believed that the Romans were the first to mine the mineral deposits in the area, Leadhills likely did not exist until the 16th century when it soon became an important area for mining. The town is the site of the first discovery of many minerals, including lanarkite and leadhillite. Gold from Leadhills was of national importance and was used to form Scotland's crown jewels, which are on public display at Edinburgh Castle. The Scots Mining Company House is an early 18th-century mansion house which was built for the manager of the Leadhill mines. Designed by William Adam, it is now a category A-listed building which has a coffee and gift shop.

    Leadhills and Wanlockhead Steam Railway is the home of Britain's highest adhesion railway. It climbs to 1,498 ft above sea level and visitors can ride on the 2 ft gauge tourist railway. There is also a museum and a shop. Leadhills golf course, meanwhile, is Britain’s highest golf course at 1,394 ft above sea level. The Leadhills Miners' Library is the oldest subscription library in Britain. It houses an extensive collection of antiquarian books, local relics and mining records, and is open from May to September. An unusual landmark in the town is the grave of John Taylor. Found in the cemetery, it states that Taylor was 137 years old when he died.

    Leadhills has a number of notable local businesses including the Leadhills Mining Bear Company, which sells bears dressed as miners, and the Leadhills Jame factory. Many other local shops sell items such as stained glassed windows, jewellery and hand-made cards. Visitors can find something to eat in the Hopetoun Arms Hotel. The town can be reached by road from the nearby town of Abington while bus services run daily to Lanark and Wanlockhead, and once a week to Dumfries.
     

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