Towns & Villages

    Stonehouse is a village in South Lanarkshire and sits by the Avon Water near the Clyde Valley.

    The population of Stonehouse is around 7000 and the old village centre has several rows of 18th and 19th century weavers’ houses which are now a designated conservation area. On the edge of the village stand the ruins of the 17th century St Ninian's Church. The ruins are surrounded by a graveyard which contains a memorial to covenanter James Thomson who was kileed at the Battle of Drumclog. The memorial stone is known locally as the Bloodstone, due to the myth that if you insert your finger into the skull's mouth that sits atop it, it will bleed when you remove it. This superstition can be explained by the red ochre seam that runs through the stone.

    Stonehouse used to contain four holy wells, and evidence of each of these can be found around the village. The village was also home to two castles. Cot Castle was home to the Clan Hamilton in the 1500s. An abandoned farm and railway station now stand on its former site. Ringsdale Castle was built on a motte, which can still be seen. The ruins of Glenavon Cottage and Cloxy Mill can also be found nearby on the banks of the Avon. Notable buildings in the village include the local Hall and Public Institute, and the village square contains the Stonehouse Cross. Standing stones can be found nearby at Avonholm.

    Nearby is the Alexander Hamilton Memorial Park, which was gifted to the village by local Alexander Hamilton who made his fortune in carpet manufacture. The park contains pathways down to the Avon Water and a bandstand which was brought to Stonehouse from the 1911 Scottish National Exhibition. Sodom Hill stands close to Stonehouse and was the site of a battle in the seventeenth century, while DOuble Dykes is a fortified position that can be found where the Avon River and Cander River meet. Cander Moss, a nature reserve maintained by the Scottish Wildlife Trust, is nearby although it is difficult to access. Near Stonehouse is an old Roman Road, which is one of the many walks in the area. Easy road access to Stonehouse can be found via the M74 and A71, and regular bus services run to Larkhall, Hamilton, East Kilbride and Strathaven. The nearest train station is at Larkhall. The tour has a number of shops, inns and picnic areas to suit every need.

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