Strathaven (Gaelic: "Srath Aibhne" /stra 'əjnə/) (pronounced: Stra'ven IPA| [ˈstɹeɪvn̩] , meaning: valley of the Avon)Fact|date=October 2007 is a small town in
South Lanarkshire, Scotland. The town has was granted a Royal Charter in 1450, making the Town of Strathaven a Burgh of Barony.
The town is located on the edge of the valley of the
Avon Water, around 6 miles from Hamilton, and 23 miles from Glasgow. The A71, which connects Edinburghand Kilmarnockpasses through the town. In the 2001 census the town had a population of 7,875Fact|date=October 2007. Strathaven has one secondary schooland three primary schools - Kirklandpark Primary, Wester Overton Primary, and St Patrick's Primary. It also has a [http://www.strathavenairfield.co.uk/ grass airfield] about two miles to the north west, on Lethame Road.
Strathaven has a long history as a market town.Fact|date=October 2007 A Roman road passes close by, on the south side of the Avon Water, which led to the Roman fort at
Loudoun Hillnear Darvel. The origins of Strathaven Castleare obscure, but it is believed to have been built around 1350by the Bairds, on a bend of the Powmillon Burn.Fact|date=October 2007 Today it is a ruin, with a single tower and sections of wall remaining beside the A71.
The Barony of Strathaven was acquired in 1362 by
Archibald the Grim, Lord of Galloway, by his marriage to Joanna, daughter to Maurice de Moravia, 1st Earl of Strathearn, great Moray heiress.Fact|date=October 2007 The settlement within the lands of Strathaven became a Burgh of baronyin 1450.Fact|date=October 2007 It still retains its traditional character despite the growth of more modern housing satisfying the needs of commuters to Glasgow.Fact|date=October 2007 The centre of the town is occupied by the market square, formerly a grassed common, and still known as Common Green, or just 'The Green'. Linking the town and the castle is the old 'Boo Backit Brig' ('bow-backed bridge'), a small arched bridge. The Old Parish Church, with its landmark spire, was built in 1772, and was the place of worship of the Dukes of Hamilton who maintained a shooting lodge at nearby Dungavel House.Fact|date=October 2007
The town prospered in the 18th and 19th centuries as a weaving town, although there were many merchants living here too.Fact|date=October 2007 The town played a significant part in the
Radical Warof 1820, when James Wilson led a band of radicals on a march to Glasgow, to join a rumoured general uprising, which never actually happened. Wilson was hanged for treason, and in 1846a memorial was built in his honour in the town cemetery.Fact|date=October 2007 The history of Strathaven is now documented in the town's John Hastie Museum.
Its most famous 'modern' resident was Sir
Harry Lauder(1870-1950) whose mansion, Lauder Ha', or Hall, was just above the town on the road to Kilmarnock. Sir Harry spent the Second World War years there, and died in February 1950. The family retained the property until Death Duties of 65% forced a sale in the late 1960s.Fact|date=October 2007 It remains a private residence.
In 1902, Avondale School Board decided to merge two local primary schools; Crosshill and Ballgreen and create a new "Academy". The merge went ahead and the new Academy building was opened in January 1905 by Thomas Mckay, Chairman of the school board. [http://www.strathaven.s-lanark.sch.uk Strathaven Academy Home Page]
The building was a handsome red sandstone building with ornamental features such as vases on the roof, cupolas, school logo carved in the wall and the splendid Central Hall. The hall had a solid oak roof, similar to a hammerbeam, a balcony running right the way around the perimeter, allowing access to the classrooms on the upper floor, staircases on either side of the hall and beautiful ornamental features to compete with any other school.
The original building was demolished in July 2007 to make way for a new school on the same land, with construction starting immediately. This has resulted in Strathaven Academy's roll of around 1,000 being decanted to
Ballerup Highin East Kilbridewhile the new school is built. [http://iclanarkshire.icnetwork.co.uk/hamiltonadvertiser/news/tm_method=full%26objectid=19857158%26siteid=50144-name_page.html Hamilton Advertiser September 2007] The new building is expected to be finished by the start of the academic year in 2009. The project was very hard hit by a public outcry, the fact that the Academy building was of historic importance, but was not listed, together with the bad condition of Ballerup High.
There is a certain amount of
hearsayabout the development of new shopping centresin or around Strathaven. Leaflets posted throughout Strathaven during 2007claimed there were plans to build a new Sainsbury'sstore and petrol station. Sainsbury's have now submitted their planning appliction to South Lanarkshire Council, and if granted, building work could begin in winter 2008, which would include demolition of the current Smilie's complex, which is possibly relocating to Whiteshawgate, which is in the north of the town. The Smilie's Group submitted their planning application in January 2008 and now have planning permission (April 2008) to build their new facilities.
Reactions to this have been split: some welcome the idea of a large retailer, claiming it will lead to more competitive pricing in the current market, and that it may convince residents that they do not have to travel to nearby towns for shopping, thereby supporting the local shops indirectly. Others claim that opposition from the local Community Council has largely been overlooked and a current inquiry has been placed to the
South LanarkshireLocal Plan.
Strathaven railway stations
Strathaven had, at various times, three railway stations.
Strathaven station, the first station, was the terminus of the Hamilton and Strathaven Railway. The railway was taken over by the Caledonian Railway; and the station was replaced by Strathaven North railway station.
Strathaven North railway station, a terminal station on the Hamilton and Strathaven Branch of the Caledonian Railway, opened in October 1904, closed temporarily during World War I; and closed on 30 September 1945.
Strathaven Central railway station, on the line from Stonehouse to Drumclog, closed in June 1964.
Strathaven is home to several sports clubs, which include:
* Strathaven Dynamo AFC
* Strathaven Rugby Club
* Strathaven Golf Club
* Strathaven Bowling Club
* Avondale Bowling Club
* Strathaven Tennis Club
* Strathaven Badminton Club (Currently Meets in Larkhall due to the rebuilding of the sports centre).
Strathaven's Sport Centre is currently being rebuilt along with the academy. It is expected to reopen in the summer of 2009.
Sport facilites in Strathaven include an 25m Indoor Swimming pool and Gym, 3 Grass football pitches, 2 Ash Football Pitches, 4 Tennis Courts, 2 Rugby pitches and several Badminton courts in Church and Primary school halls
* [http://www.sorbie.net/strathaven.htm Town of Strathaven]
* [http://www.ouracademy.co.uk/ Strathaven Academy Blog]
* [http://www.geocities.com/currie642002/index.htm Strathaven in Old Postcards]
* [http://www.strathavencastle.t83.net/ Strathaven castle Website]
* [http://www.strathavenballoonfestival.co.uk/index.htm Annual Strathaven Hot Air Balloon Festival (non-profit organisation)]
* [http://www.strathavenairfield.co.uk/index.html Strathaven Airfield web site]
* [http://www.microlightscotland.com/index.shtml Microlight flying school at Strathaven Airfield]
* [http://www.sportflightscotland.com/index.shtml Flying school at Strathaven Airfield]
* [http://www.hovercraftscotland.com/index.shtml Hovercraft experiences at Strathaven Airfield]
* [http://www.geo.ed.ac.uk/scotgaz/towns/townhistory421.html Scottish Gazetteer : Strathaven]
* [http://www.strathavenrfc.co.uk Strathaven Rugby Club]
* [http://www.strathavendynamo.com/ Strathaven Dynamos]
* [http://www.strathaventennis.com/ Strathaven Tennis Club]
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