" a mining village, in Crawford parish, S Lanarkshire, on Glengonner Water, ......... .
The highest village in Scotland - 1250 to 1412 feet above sea-level - ...... .
Since 1861 nearly every cottage has been either rebuilt or repaired, and their roofs of Welsh slate, their whitewashed walls, and their pretty flower-borders have greatly improved the aspect of the village.
Leadhills has a post office under Abington, with money order, savings bank and telegraph department, an hotel, a good water supply, a public school, an excellent public library (1741), a Good Templar lodge, a brass band, a volunteer corps, a curling club, and fairs on the second Friday of June and the last friday of October. The Ha', a shooting-lodge of the Earl of Hopetoun, is a large old mansion, one of its two wings has served since 1736 as an Established place of worship, and contains 500 sittings. "
Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland 1883
For family history research the Museum of Leadmining in Wanlockhead has available:- Census pages for Wanlockhead and Leadhills, Church records, Curling Club records, Bowling Club records, Library Society records and some information on births, marriages and deaths. Take the Virtual Tour.
It is understood that the Library in Leadhills holds various papers relating to days of the mining industry and which may be of use to family historians.
The Leadhills Miners Library holds a collection of original books together with a unique collection of the journals and bargain books back to the 1700's listing mining work that took place and the names of which miners took the bargains. Also holds lists of miners and graveyard details of the older graves, along with the census pages.
Other research facilities exist in the City of Glasgow (but note that these facilites only cover Leadhills/Lanarkshire up to the border with Dumfriesshire - research of ancestors in Wanlockhead/Dumfriesshire will require visits to Dumfries or, for birth/marriage/death records, to Edinburgh).
In the (Leadhills) neighbourhood gold is to be found over a district measuring about 25 by 12 miles. The gold mines of Crawford Muir are said to have been discovered in the reign of James IV ..... . The celebrated 'bonnet pieces' of James V were made from this gold;.... . In 1542, 35 ounces of it were used in the manufacture of a crown for the Queen, and 46 ounces in the manufacture of that for the King, ..... . After that it (gold production) fell off very rapidly and now the quantity found is ..... small ..... .
Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland 1883
You may care to visit Wanlockhead on the GENUKI site for Dumfriesshire
- Ask for a calculation of the distance from Leadhills to another place.
You can see the administrative areas in which Leadhills has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.
Just up the road from the village of Leadhills, and just over the border into Dumfriesshire, is Wanlockhead - the highest village in Scotland. Here can be found the Museum of Leadmining where the exhibits, guided tours and multi-media presentations will give you a taste of how mining families lived and worked in the period between 1740 and 1890. The village Heritage Trail includes the Miner's Graveyard and the Miner's Church
Wanlockhead is on the B797 road between the villages of Abington (A/M74) and Sanquhar (A76). The museum is open daily from 1 April to 30 September 11am to 4.30pm. As a very good second best to actually visiting the museum, click here to take a look at the museum's very informative web site.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NS886150 (Lat/Lon: 55.416221, -3.761047), Leadhills which are provided by:
- Google Maps
- StreetMap (Current Ordnance Survey maps)
- Bing (was Multimap)
- Old Maps Online (Other old maps.)
- National Library of Scotland (Old Ordnance Survey maps)
- Vision of Britain (Click "Historical units & statistics" for administrative areas.)
- Magic (Geographic information) (Click + on map if it doesn't show)
- GeoHack (Links to on-line maps and location specific services.)
If you can get to the area, the Wanlockhead Museum gives a flavour of this industry and the lives of those who worked in it. As a very good second best click here to take a look at the museum's web site.
The railways came to Leadhills in 1902, when the Caledonian Railway built a line to carry the produce of the lead mines of the Wanlockhead and Leadhills areas to be processed in the Central Belt of Scotland. With the demise of the mines, the railways lost their main purpose for existing although passenger traffic on the line continued until 1939..
Today, railway enthusiasts have formed the Leadhills and Wanlockhead Railway with the intension of building an operating line between the two villages. At present a station exists in Leadhills and the line runs out as far as the Dumfriesshire border.
The chairman of the group spent some of his youth living in Leadhills and has memories of the original light railway which he has used to research and write a book which is available from the group - see their web-site for contact information.