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Hamilton, Muir Street, Hamilton Burgh Museum

Museum (19-20th Century)

Site Name Hamilton, Muir Street, Hamilton Burgh Museum

Classification Museum (19-20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Old Head Inn; Hamilton Arms Coaching Inn And Assembly Room; Hamilton Estate Office

Canmore ID 45685

Site Number NS75NW 41

NGR NS 72443 55899

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2019.

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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council South Lanarkshire
  • Parish Hamilton (South Lanarkshire)
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Hamilton
  • Former County Lanarkshire

Architecture Notes


NMRS: Photocopy of agreement with the wrights to complete the building, 1784.

Architect: Mr Burrell 1784 - Information on factor's (or chamberlain's) journal in the Burgh Museum "17th March" 1784. Estimate of the expense of building an Assembly Hall according o Mr Burrell's plan by Wm. Stoddart and Gavin Rowatt - total #419-19-3 1/2''


Hamilton Archives 449/1/20 and 21. 2 a/cs for stucco work by Robert Buchan 1786

Mitchell Library - Hamilton Past and Present - 1 photograph


Publication Account (1996)

The present Hamilton Museum is the only standing example of a late seventeenth- or early eighteenth-century dwelling house in Hamilton figure 19. A prestigious building, its construction was commenced in 1696, after the secretary to Duchess Anne, David Crawford, purchased land on Muir Street. Sometime around 1750 the property began to be used as an inn, and by 1 785 it was known as the Hamilton Arms Inn later, Head Inn). It was sited in a strategic position on the main route from Glasgow in the north to Carlisle in the south. The inn became a regular staging post for the Glasgow to London mail coach after 1788. The attached stables date from these coaching days. In 1784, an assembly room was added and its original minstrels' gallery and plasterwork survive. The windows are examples of early sash windows, introduced also to Hamilton Palace at the end of the seventeenth century. Amongst its famous visitors were Boswell and Dr Johnson, the Wordsworths and the engineer Thomas Telford.

As this is the oldest standing building in Hamilton, with many different phases of construction, there is considerable potential for archaeological features and deposits to be preserved both beneath the floors and within the structure of the building itself. Any major alterations within the building, or in its environs, for example the insertion of new services, may reveal the remains of the earlier structure or any outbuildings, and will require archaeological assessment and monitoring.

Information from ‘Historic Hamilton: The Archaeological Implications of Development’ (1996).


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