Chatelherault Country Park

Chatelherault Country Park is a country park in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, Scotland.[1]

Its name is derived from the French town of Châtellerault, the title Duc de Châtellerault having been granted to James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran in 1548 for his part in arranging the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots, to Francis, Dauphin of France.[2][3]

The country park is centred on the former hunting lodge, a folly designed to be seen from the now demolished Hamilton Palace at the end of a broad grass slope forming an avenue with lines of lime trees. The lodge was designed by William Adam and completed in 1734. It comprises two buildings, linked by a gateway, in the form of four pavilions above a garden wall. The north facade was visible from the palace and forms the front of the building. To the rear are formal parterre gardens. The buildings provided kennels, stables and accommodation for hunting parties returning from the woodlands to the south.[2] Adam jokingly referred to his creation as 'The Dogg Kennel'.[4]

From 1591, Hamilton Palace became the main residence of the Dukes of Hamilton. Rebuilding as the largest country house in Scotland with an imposing Palladian south front began in 1684, then from 1822 Alexander, 10th Duke of Hamilton had the palace considerably enlarged as a setting for a major art collection, with the north front designed by David Hamilton. Due to debts the art collection was sold in 1882, and the family moved out. In 1889 the 12th Duke leased out coal mining under the Low Parks, and further leasing in 1915 extended the mines under the house itself, causing subsidence to the palace which was sold for demolition in 1921.[5] The ground in front of the lodge was excavated for sand quarrying. The resulting subsidence has created a noticeably lopsided feel in the lodge: coins will roll across the floor, and many visitors report feeling unbalanced and ill. The quarrying was halted in the 1970s, following the death of the 14th Duke. The High and Low parks of Hamilton were given to the nation in lieu of death duties. Historic Scotland began renovating the lodge in the late 1970s, including the fine Georgian plasterwork, and a visitor centre was built to the rear. The lodge and park are now managed by South Lanarkshire Council.[2]

The ruins of Cadzow Castle lie above the gorge of the Avon Water, which runs to the west of the lodge. The bulk of the park lies along the Avon gorge, with woodland walks and cycle routes. A herd of Cadzow cattle live in the fields overlooked by the hunting lodge. This apparently unique breed have white coats and long horns.[6][7]

In December 2005, access to Chatelherault Country Park was improved with the opening of Chatelherault railway station near to the entrance of the park. This provides two trains from Glasgow (via Hamilton) per hour.

From July 2017 a programme commenced to remove a large area of non-native conifers from the around the hunting lodge opening views onto the Duke’s Bridge, Cadzow Castle and the Avon Gorge.[8]

AM Hunting Lodge
The Duke of Hamilton's 18th century hunting lodge
Duke's Bridge, Chatelherault Country Park
The Dukes Bridge crossing the Avon Water

Views of Cadzow's ancient oak woodlands

Cadzow oaks with replanting

The oak woodland showing new plantings

Cadzow oaks chase

The woodland trees are widely spaced.

Cadzow oak 1

An ancient specimen oak

Cadzow oak epiphyte 2

Detail of the main trunk and branches of an ancient oak

External links

  • "Chatelherault Country Park". South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture. Retrieved 29 November 2015. – events and facilities
  • "Chatelherault estate". South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  • - South Lanarkshire Council web page [archived]
  • Chatelherault Trails to the Past (PDF) leaflet with routes round the park


  1. ^ Chatelherault Country Park.
  2. ^ a b c "Chatelherault Hunting Lodge". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  3. ^ Velde, François (22 April 2010). "Scots Members of the French Nobility". Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  4. ^ James Stevens Curl; Susan Wilson (26 February 2015). The Oxford Dictionary of Architecture. Oxford University Press. p. 392. ISBN 978-0-19-967498-5.
  5. ^ "Hamilton Palace History". South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  6. ^ Chatelherault estate.
  7. ^ Adam and Charles Black (Firm) (1842). Black's Picturesque Tourist of Scotland: With an Accurate Travelling Map; Engraved Charts and Views of the Scenery; Plans of Edinburgh and Glasgow; and a Copious Itinerary. A. and C. Black. pp. 264–271.
  8. ^ McNeill, Alastair (2017-07-31). "Chatelherault conifers that block Avon Gorge views to be felled". dailyrecord. Retrieved 2018-02-15.

Coordinates: 55°45′43″N 4°00′58″W / 55.762°N 4.016°W

Avon Water

Avon Water, also known locally as the River Avon, is a 24-mile-long (39 km) river in Scotland, and a tributary of the River Clyde.

The Avon Water rises in the hills on the boundary between East Ayrshire and South Lanarkshire, close to the head of the Irvine Water. The river flows in a north easterly direction, following the A71 road past Drumclog, and running to the south of Strathaven, where the river enters a more pronounced valley. The Avon flows between the village of Glassford, and Stonehouse to the south, before merging with the smaller Cander Water just south of Larkhall. The river then skirts the west side of Larkhall in a deepening gorge, crossed by the disused Larkhall railway viaduct, built in 1904 for the Caledonian Railway.Beyond this the gorge is part of Chatelherault Country Park, to the south of Hamilton. There are several public footpaths along this section of the gorge, although the area was once the preserve of the Duke of Hamilton, forming the hunting and pleasure grounds of the Dukes' former home, Hamilton Palace. Many features of this period remain in the park, including the Duke's Bridge which crosses the gorge. Older structures along the gorge include the ruins of Cadzow Castle, started in the 13th century, and the Cadzow Oaks, a group of Oak trees, some of which are over 600 years old.

The river bends to the east at the end of the gorge, flowing beneath three bridges: one carrying the Argyle railway line, one carrying the A72 road, and the Old Avon Bridge, now a footbridge. The Avon Water flows north beneath the M74 motorway, merging into the Clyde between Hamilton and Motherwell, beside Junction 6 of the M74.

The Avon River that flows through the centre of the city Christchurch, New Zealand was named Avon at the request of the pioneering Deans brothers to commemorate this Scottish Avon, which rises in the Ayrshire hills near what was their grandfathers' farm, Over Auchentiber.


Barncluith is an area of Hamilton in South Lanarkshire, Scotland. Barncluith forms the south-eastern part of the town, between the urban centre and the Avon Water. It lies either side of Carlisle Road (A72), which leads out of Hamilton to Chatelherault Country Park, Larkhall and the Clyde Valley. The name derives from "Baron's Cleugh", a cleugh being a ravine.Barncluith Primary School closed in the 1990s. The school building stands at the corner of Miller Street and Townhead Street, and is now the Barncluith Business Centre. The parish church is St. John's Centre on Duke Street.

Cadzow Castle

Cadzow Castle, now in ruins, was constructed between 1500 and 1550 on the site of an earlier royal castle, one mile south-east of the centre of Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, Scotland. The town of Hamilton was formerly known as Cadzow or Cadyou (Middle Scots: Cadȝow), until it was renamed in 1455 in honour of James Hamilton, 1st Lord Hamilton. The castle sits above a gorge overlooking the Avon Water in what is now Chatelherault Country Park, but was previously the hunting and pleasure grounds of the Duke of Hamilton's estate of Hamilton Palace. The ruin is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Caledonian Railway branches in North Lanarkshire

The Caledonian Railway branches in North Lanarkshire built on the Caledonian Railway main line, which opened in 1848. In the following years the considerable increase of iron production and coal extraction in North Lanarkshire led to a progressive expansion of branch lines in the area between the eastern margin of Glasgow and Bellside in the east, and between Coatbridge, Airdrie and Motherwell. Mineral traffic was dominant and for some years passenger operation followed the construction of some of the mineral connections. In 1861 the Rutherglen and Coatbridge line was opened, extended later to Airdrie, rivalling the established Monkland Railways route. In 1869 the connection from Cleland to Midcalder was opened, connecting mineral sites but also forming a new passenger route to Edinburgh.

At the end of the nineteenth century some further passenger connections were opened, but in the twentieth century widespread decline took place as collieries and iron works reduced their output and eventually closed, followed by widespread loss of passenger traffic.

From 1992 some passenger services were reinstated on remaining freight routes.

Chatelherault railway station

Chatelherault railway station serves the villages of Ferniegair and Allanton on the outskirts of Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, Scotland. It is named Chatelherault after the nearby Chatelherault Country Park.


Châtellerault (pronounced [ʃa.tɛl.ʁo]) is a commune in the Vienne department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in France. It is located in the northeast of the former province Poitou, and the residents are called Châtelleraudais.

Clyde Walkway

The Clyde Walkway is a foot and mountain bike path which runs from Glasgow, Scotland, to just above the UNESCO World Heritage site of New Lanark. The path runs close to the River Clyde for most of its length. It was completed in 2005, and is now designated as one of Scotland's Great Trails by Scottish Natural Heritage. The route is 65 kilometres (40 mi) long, and combines rural sections on the upper Clyde in South Lanarkshire, including the Clyde Valley Woodlands National Nature Reserve and the Falls of Clyde, with urban walking through the centre of Glasgow. About 155,000 people use the path every year, of whom about 7,750 undertake multi-day journeys (including those covering the entire route).

Deer hay wind

A Deer hay wind, Deer fold or Elrick is an artificial, natural or modified natural feature used in the culling, capture or management of deer in relation to deer parks or natural woodland and open countryside. These structures have existed for many centuries and after falling out of use and their function having been forgotten the more substantial earth or stone examples have attracted names such as Roman Trenches, Old Fortifications, etc. The hinds were the main target of the hunt.


Ferniegair is a village across the Avon Water from Hamilton, on the road to Larkhall in South Lanarkshire, Scotland.

The village contains the entrance to Chatelherault Country Park and Hamilton Golf Club. The railway station was re-opened in late 2005 and named Chatelherault (the original Ferniegair station had closed in 1917).

Hamilton, South Lanarkshire

Hamilton is a town in South Lanarkshire, in the central Lowlands of Scotland. It serves as the main administrative centre of the South Lanarkshire council area. It sits 12 miles (19 km) south-east of Glasgow, 35 miles (56 km) south-west of Edinburgh and 74 miles (120 km) north of Carlisle. It is situated on the south bank of the River Clyde at its confluence with the Avon Water. Hamilton is the county town of the historic county of Lanarkshire.

Hamilton Palace

Hamilton Palace was a large country house located north-east of Hamilton in Lanarkshire, Scotland. The former seat of the Dukes of Hamilton, it was built in 1695 and subsequently much enlarged. Widely acknowledged as having been one of the grandest houses in Britain, the palace was demolished in 1927, due to the prohibitive cost of upkeep and the subsidence caused by the nearby mine at Bothwellhaugh.

History of Cambuslang

Cambuslang is an ancient part of Scotland where Iron Age remains loom over 21st century housing developments. The History of Cambuslang mirrors and gives life to the general History of Scotland. The geography of Cambuslang explains a great deal of its history. It has been very prosperous over time, depending first upon its agricultural land, (supplying food, then wool, then linen) then the mineral resources under its soil (limestone and coal, and, to some extent, iron).

List of Category A listed buildings in South Lanarkshire

This is a list of Category A listed buildings in South Lanarkshire, central Scotland.

In Scotland, the term listed building refers to a building or other structure officially designated as being of "special architectural or historic interest". Category A structures are those considered to be "buildings of national or international importance, either architectural or historic, or fine little-altered examples of some particular period, style or building type." Listing was begun by a provision in the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1947, and the current legislative basis for listing is the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997. The authority for listing rests with Historic Scotland, an executive agency of the Scottish Government, which inherited this role from the Scottish Development Department in 1991. Once listed, severe restrictions are imposed on the modifications allowed to a building's structure or its fittings. Listed building consent must be obtained from local authorities prior to any alteration to such a structure. There are approximately 47,400 listed buildings in Scotland, of which around 8% (some 3,800) are Category A.The council area of South Lanarkshire covers 1,772 square kilometres (684 sq mi), and has a population of around 310,100. There are 90 Category A listed buildings in the area.

List of castles in South Lanarkshire

This is a list of castles in South Lanarkshire.

List of listed buildings in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire

This is a list of listed buildings in the parish of Hamilton in South Lanarkshire, Scotland.

List of places in South Lanarkshire

Map of places in South Lanarkshire compiled from this listThe List of places in South Lanarkshire is a list of links for any town, village, hamlet, castle, golf course, historic house, hillfort, lighthouse, nature reserve, river, and other place of interest in the South Lanarkshire council area of Scotland.

South Lanarkshire

South Lanarkshire (Scots: Sooth Lanrikshire; Scottish Gaelic: Siorrachd Lannraig a Deas) is one of 32 unitary authorities of Scotland. It borders the south-east of the City of Glasgow and contains some of Greater Glasgow's suburbs. It also contains many towns and villages. It also shares borders with Dumfries and Galloway, East Ayrshire, East Renfrewshire, North Lanarkshire, the Scottish Borders and West Lothian. It includes part of the historic county of Lanarkshire.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.