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Avondale Community Beekeeping Open Event
Clyde & Avon Valley Landscape Partnership
Offices, Level 1
Robert Owens School
Tel: 01555 663430
The village of New Lanark and, downstream, Chatelherault, the hunting lodge of the Hamilton family on the southern outskirts of Hamilton, are illustrative of the diverse and important history of the Partnership area.
By the early medieval period, the woodlands of the Clyde Valley had become a nationally important, strategic resource. Between twelfth and fourteenth centuries, the area progressively passed from Crown and monastic estates into the ownership of an emerging Scots/Norman aristocracy. Families such as De Baliol, Lockhart and Hamilton established their power-bases around the Clyde Valley’s unique combination of timber, cropland and water-power and their castles still crown the sleepiest gorges today. On the valley floor, their descendants left an inheritance of managed estates that remain a key landscape feature.
The Clyde and Avon valleys cut through the very industrial heartland of Scotland and Lanarkshire. The industrial development of mills, coal mining, iron works and steel works are linked closely with the development of the Clyde valley as a food basket and location of wealthy industrialist country homes. The supply of cheap coal fuelled the industrial development and the creation of an industrial power house. This required the supply of fresh fruit and vegetables. Cheap coal supported the development of acres of glasshouses growing tomatoes and cucumbers. The economies were linked, miners and steel workers often also worked on the land. The decline of coal as king and the decline of Lanarkshire as an industrial base also led to the changes and decline within the Clyde Valley. Coal was no longer available for cheap heating hence a drift to oil heating and cheap North Sea Oil. Food produce as per industrial produce was imported cheaper leading to decline in the orchards and soft fruit production then the 1970s oil crisis destroyed the fragile horticulture industry in the area.
Over the same period the wealthy 17 and 18th century industrialists set up and built large country homes and estates further defining the landscape of the Clyde and Avon valleys. When the industries changed and declined many of these houses and estates fell into disrepair and decline, many have been lost over the following century.
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