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Bothwellhaugh Plaque, 2008
Bothwellhaugh Plaque
© Elliott Simpson

Bothwellhaugh was a location and a village, a mining village to be more accurate, in North Lanarkshire, and had earlier been the site of a Roman fort.

Bothwellhaugh referred to an area of low-lying land near a bend in the River Clyde, which lay to the east of the town of Bothwell, and would come to be part of the Duke of Hamilton's estate.

The Duke allowed the Hamilton Palace Colliery to be sunk there in 1884, to exploit a rich deposit of coal which lay below the surface, while yet more pits were opened to the north, west, and east.

The village of Bothwellhaugh was built around an original farmstead by the mine operators, the Bent Colliery Company Ltd, and was known locally as 'The Pailis'. It became one of the largest mining villages in the Clyde Valley with two churches, two schools, a Miner's Welfare Association, a co-operative store, 450 dwellings, and allotments.

Most notable was the absence of any public houses, as both the Duke of Hamilton and the mining company prohibited the sale of alcohol in the village.

At its peak the colliery employed 1,400 workers producing some 2,000 tonnes of coal per day.

This colliery was responsible for the undermining of Hamilton Palace, which led to its demolition in the 1920s.

The pit closed in 1959, followed by the rapid decline of the village, loss of the community, and many houses falling empty. The last of the villagers were dispersed in the early 1960s, when the entire population was evacuated in 1965, followed by demolition of the village in 1966.

The area lay derelict until it was flooded in the early 1970s, when Strathclyde Country Park and Strathclyde Loch were created, and 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.

More recently, Bothwellhaugh Cemetery was opened on 12 December 2014, located at the north of Strathclyde Country Park.




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