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Location within South Lanarkshire
Population4,350 (mid-2016 est.)[1]
OS grid referenceNS8139
• Edinburgh35.8 miles (57.6 km)
• London324 miles (521 km)
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLANARK
Postcode districtML11
Dialling code01555
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
55°38′17″N 3°53′13″W / 55.638°N 3.887°W / 55.638; -3.887Coordinates: 55°38′17″N 3°53′13″W / 55.638°N 3.887°W / 55.638; -3.887

Lesmahagow (/lɛzməˈhɡ/ About this soundlisten ; Scots: Lismahagie[2] or Lesmahagae,[3] Scottish Gaelic: Lios MoChuda) is a small town in the historic county of Lanarkshire on the edge of moorland, near Lanark in the central belt of Scotland. Lesmahagow was also a civil parish.[4] It lies west of the M74, and southeast of Kirkmuirhill. It is also known as Abbey Green or the Gow.


The name means "Enclosure (meaning a walled area, like a monastery or fort) of St Machutus". The saint was born in Wales and may originally have been known as "Mahagw" prior to emigrating to Brittany where he became known by the Latinised form of the name and also as "St Malo". It is also possible that the first syllable may mean "garden" rather than "monastery", although Mac an Tailleir (2003) believes the former was altered from the latter in Gaelic.[5][6]

Lesmahagow Parish Church, Church of Scotland
Lesmahagow Parish Church, Church of Scotland
Abbeygreen Church, Free Church of Scotland
Abbeygreen Church, Free Church of Scotland


The town has three Christian congregations, namely Lesmahagow Old Parish Church of the Church of Scotland and Abbeygreen Church of the Free Church of Scotland and an Evangelical congregation, (the Hope Hall) on the main street. Roman Catholic residents are served by Our Lady and St John's in the neighbouring village of Blackwood, 3 miles (5 km) away.

Lesmahagow Priory, founded by Benedictine monks in 1144, no longer stands but its foundations were excavated in 1978 and are located next to the Old Parish Church off Church Square.[citation needed]

The Scottish branch of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness operates from Lesmahagow.[7]

Twin towns

Clydesdale International Twinning Association (CITA) was set up in 1975 to promote the benefits of twinning to all sections of the local community. This organisation mainly focuses on the larger towns in the old Clydesdale council area.[citation needed]

Abbeygreen, the road into Lesmahagow from the North. Glebe park on the left, Bank of Scotland & The Fountain ahead.
Abbeygreen, the road into Lesmahagow from the North. Glebe park on the left, Bank of Scotland & The Fountain ahead.

Highland Games

The Highland Games are held annually in June with Pipe Bands competing in Grades 1 through 4. There are also events for Highland dancing, weight over the bar, tossing the caber and archery. The first Highland Games was held in 1960 as a result of a collaboration between Lesmahagow Juniors Football Club and the now defunct Vale of Nethan Pipe Band. Originally held in Craighead Park, it is now held in the Glebe Park and entry is free, mainly due to community fundraising events and a strong committee.[citation needed]

Development Trust

Lesmahagow Development Trust (LDT) was formed on 28 August 2009. It is an independent, not-for-profit company registered as a charity in Scotland and the UK. The Trust funds and implements projects to enhance the facilities and environment of the village.

Notable residents


  1. ^ "Mid-2016 Population Estimates for Settlements and Localities in Scotland". National Records of Scotland. 12 March 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  2. ^ "Names in Scots - Places in Scotland".
  3. ^ "Error 403".
  4. ^ The Imperial gazetteer of Scotland. 1854. Vol.II (GORDON-ZETLAND) by Rev. John Marius Wilson. pp.324–325
  5. ^ "Chapter 1 – Derivation of Name.." Archived 7 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 14 February 2008.
  6. ^ Iain Mac an Tailleir. "Placenames" (PDF). Pàrlamaid na h-Alba. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2007.
  8. ^ "CPHS Website". Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  9. ^ Jim Holton at Scottish Football Association website
  10. ^ Alexander Muir Archived 20 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine at The Canadian Encyclopedia