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Glasgow and Clyde Valley

Leadhills – Brimming With History

Leadhills is ranked second to Wanlockhead village as one of the highest villages in Scotland. Leadhills village is approximately 1295 feet or 395 metres high and is located in the Lowther Hills. The town of Leadhills was first founded and developed because of the large quantity of lead situated in this particular area, which was later extensively mined.

The village of Leadhills can be reached by two roads, the B797 that goes from Abington and the B7040 from Elvanfoot. There is a Museum of Lead Mining in Wanlockhead that you can go visit if you are interested in finding out more about Leadhills’ history.

In 1741 a number of lead miners formed the Leadhills Reading Society. Today it is considered the oldest subscription library in the whole of the United Kingdom. These twenty-three lead miners collected and put together enough money to build the Reading Society to service the Leadhills, Wanlockhead and surrounding areas.

This gave people the opportunity to take out books to read if they so desired, but it did come at a price. First a joining fee would have to be paid and then each year an annual subscription of £0.10 would have to be paid in order for one to stay a member. Today the Leadhills Library is still around and continues to have a wonderful collection of books that date back to the 1800s.

Another attraction you can visit is the Leadhills Station, dating back to 1901. The station is considered the highest railway station in the country where you can view a variety of industrial engines that were used back-in-the-day. From 1901 to 1939 the Leadhills Station was run between the Elvanfoot and Wanlockhead villages, but has since been discontinued.

Leadhills is also known as having the highest golf course in the country, lying at 1 500 feet above sea level. The nine hole course is quite challenging with golfers having to contend with strong winds and a hilly layout. There is also the Leadhills graveyard where you can view grave stones of miners who lived during Leadhills starting years, some as far back as 1770.