Wanlockhead Village has been mentioned in history as far back as when the Romans mined the lead for their armour and weapons. Take a guided tour of the village and go into a real lead mine where people would work the mine face. Wanlockhead is 461m / 1531 feet above sea level which makes it the highest village in Scotland. Wanlockhead is set in the Lowther Hills with summits of 2,400 feet and views of southern Scotland including the Mennock Pass were it starts its descent following the Mennock Burn, offering views of Scotland famous scenery.
There are two villages over 450 meters up the hills of the Southern Uplands of Scotland at a distance 2 miles apart and the reason for where they are situated can be explained by the rich variety of minerals to be found in the area of Wanlockhead and Leadhills which became known as “God’s Treasure House in Scotland”. The area has produced some of the world’s purest gold (22.8 carats) which was used in to make the Honours of Scotland (Scottish Crown Jewels) circa 1540.
Wanlockhead Gold and Lead Mining in the Highest Village in Scotland
The only former Lead mine still open to the public to view in Scotland over 300 years old.
Panning for Gold Wanlockhead
Spend the day looking for gold, where the gold for the Scottish Crown Jewels was mined.Walk around a village that less than 170 people live and work.
Wanlockhead has the highest Pub in Scotland Wanlockhead Inn 1531 feet (461m) above sea level. Wanlockhead has the highest residential hotel in Scotland, sitting 1297 feet above sea level. Wanlockhead Subscription Library opened 1759 second oldest in Europe.
Wanlockhead Famous Son and Bard
Robert Reid Scottish Poet born in Wanlockhead in 1850 emigrated to Montreal Canada in 1877. Description of Wanlockhead by Robert Reid
“A lanely wee toon, Far hid amang hills o’ heather sae broon, Wi’ its hooses reel-rall, keekin’ oot at ilk turn, Like an ill-cuisten crap in the howe o’ the burn”.
The Duke of Buccleuch built a lead smelting plant and accommodation for the workers in Warlockhead in the late 16 hundreds. The land and village of Warlockhead is still under the ownership of the Duke of Buccleuch. When you arrive you will pass through Leadhill a village that has produced many important people and a grave of possible the oldest lived person in Scotland at the age of 137 years.
In my opinion, and I have visited world sites, Valley of the Kings in Egypt, Ephesus in Turkey, Eiffel Tower in Paris, Table top mountain South Africa, Etna in Sicily, Pompeii in Italy and the Vatican in Rome, Edinburgh Castle, Knossos in Crete and Abu Simbel in Egypt, The Parthenon in Athens and Olympia on the Peloponnese peninsula where the first Olympics were staged. The Wanlockhead Lochnell mine opened in 1710 and see the conditions the miners had to work in. The Wanlockhead Miners’ subscription Library established in 1756, is one of the most important Libraries in Europe with books of the greats like Sir Walter Scott.
Pan for gold in the nearby Wanlockhead streams.
In the Wanlockhead museum learn about the area and see many of the minerals taken from the hills.
Wanlockhead Beam Engine
The Wanlockhead Beam Engine is the only remaining example of a water bucket pumping engine still remaining on a mine in the United Kingdom .
Given as a gift to the couple on the back are the initials of the couple being married and the date of their marriage WW: MH 1750. It was also known for the chair to have dates of children’s births and dates of the couples deaths. Like a register or a family tree.
William Hastie was born in Wanlockhead on the 7th July 1842. His teacher John MacArthur became President of the Educational Institute of Scotland. William Hastie became a teacher at 14 and entered Edinburgh University at the age of 17 and in 1895 he became the professor of Divinity at Glasgow University. The stained glass window in Wanlockhead Church was installed by his family in his memory. His grave is in the Meadowfoot Churchyard He died in 1903 at the age of 61.
Wanlockhead Curling Team
William Symington Monument Leadhills
William Symington (1763 – 1831) was the inventor of steamboats, the first boat powered by steam was in 1788 the engine for which was built at the Old Manse, Wanlockhead.