This town’s name comes from the church founded by the Celtic monk followers of St Machutius. The latin name for this building being Ecclesia Machuti, it was mangled into the current Lesmahagow over many years. David I established a Tironensian Priory here in 1144, this was sacked in the reign of Edward III by John of Eltham. During this raid a number of items were stolen including a Missal (a collection of texts for church services). This was returned to the National Library in 1950. It is now among their most prized possessions. The remains of the Priory can be seen adjacent to the Abbeygreen Church (1803), they comprise of part of the cloisters, the refectory, and the lay brothers’ quarters. Until the Reformation, the Priory provided sanctuary (useful for Scots during times of English incursion), and accommodation for pensioners. In the square adjacent to Abbeygreen Church is the Commercial Hotel, which was built in 1633; it served as a coaching inn during the following two centuries. Nearby the village is Craighhead Mill, thought to have been founded by the monks of Lesmahagow Priory, the current mill is only 300 years old.

The village today is the product of the 19th Century boom in coal mining, with the attendant miner’s housing.

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Co-operative Society Shop, Auchenheath


This postcard shows a nice view of the Co-operative Society Shop in Aucheneath. The building still exists. The co-op movement has its origins with Robert Owen in New Lanark.

Blackwood Bowling Green

Year: 1912

This is a view of the Blackwood Bowling green. It was printed as part of the City and Wallaten series of cards which were printed in the UK. This card…

Forest map of 1819 showing Lesmahagow

Forest map

Year: 1819

A Lesmahagow map from 1819. It is better for detail and is more precise than the Ross Map. It shows too the owners of the principle houses, which is very…

Postcard showing Lesmahagow Gas Works

Lesmahagow Gas Works


An interesting view of Lesmahagow with its gas works. All medium size communities had their own place for producing coal gas. Many of these survived till the advert of natural…

Lesmahagow postcard from 1904


Year: 1904

This is a view of Lesmahagow done by Archibald Brown, a photographer from Lanark. This card was sent from Lesmahagow in 1904. At that time there was no public park.…

Blaeu map of Lesmahagow from 1654

Blaeu map of Lesmahagow

Year: 1654

This Blaeu Map of 1654 shows the area around Lesmahagow. Curiously Lesmahagow does not get a mention though Craighead does. An excavation of the 15th century Tower House was completed…

Lesmahagow Missal

Year: 1240

One of Scotland’s greatest mediaeval treasures is the Lesmahagow Missal which was written c.1240 and is reputed to have come from the Tironesian Priory of St Machutius in Lesmahagow. The…