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Population : 2,220 (2001 census)

Forth sits on high ground overlooking the Lanark area to the south. On a clear day you can see Tinto Hill, the Ayrshire Hills, Coulter Fell, the Broughton Heights and the Pentland Hills. It is surrounded by arable countryside, open moorland and Forestry Commission conifer woods.

A Brief History of Forth

There is evidence of a community existing within the area of Forth dating back more than 2000 years and because of its elevated position, it may have been built on the site of an early Iron Age settlement.


The name 'Forth' is thought to come from the old Scots for "the open air" and the village's exposed location would certainly support this.


Forth's earliest inhabitants were handloom weavers, shoemakers, blacksmiths and saddlers but with the Industrial Revolution came ironstone and limestone quarries and coal mining.


The railway made its way to Forth in 1867, which made a huge difference to the villagers, most of whom had never visited a town, let alone a city such as Glasgow or Edinburgh. With the decline of mining, however, the railway line through Forth closed to passengers in 1951 and to freight in 1964.


Two of Forth's most infamous sons are James "Elshender" Alexander and Robert "Seck" Somerville. After a series of unprovoked assaults and escapes from a number of prisons, the pair became known as the Forth Desperados. They were eventually caught and taken to Lanark under heavy guard. At their trial in 1841 Somerville was let free with a not proven verdict while Alexander was found guilty and sent as a convict to Australia. He eventually settled in Tasmania where it is reported he became a changed man.




Today in Forth, the nearby Black Law wind farm has 70 turbines which meet the electricity needs of more than 70,000 homes.


Housing in Forth ranges from public sector houses, some with possibly the best views in the South Lanarkshire area, to sandstone flats above the main street shops, family villas and new builds on the outskirts. Along Forth's main street there are convenience stores, traditional shopping and pubs. 


Forth has one primary school and its secondary pupils travel to Carluke, which will be refurbished as part of South Lanarkshire Council's multi-million pound schools modernisation programme.


The annual Forth and District Gala Day is held in June.


Forth is served by the Lanark and Carluke Advertiser, the Lanark Gazette, the Lanarkshire Extra.

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