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For other uses, see Biggar (disambiguation). This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. It needs additional references or sources for verification. Tagged since August 2008. It is written like a travel guide and may require cleanup. Tagged since August 2008. It may contain material not appropriate for an encyclopedia. Tagged since December 2009. Coordinates: 55°37′20″N 3°30′57″W / 55.6221°N 3.5158°W / 55.6221; -3.5158 Biggar Biggar  Biggar shown within South Lanarkshire Population 2,301 (2001) OS grid reference NT045375 Parish Biggar Council area South Lanarkshire Country Scotland Sovereign state United Kingdom Post town Biggar Postcode district ML12 Police Strathclyde Fire Strathclyde Ambulance Scottish EU Parliament Scotland List of places: UK • Scotland • Biggar (Scottish Gaelic: Bigear[citation needed]) is a town and former burgh in South Lanarkshire, Scotland. It is situated in the Southern Uplands, near the River Clyde, around 30 miles from Edinburgh along the A702. The closest towns are Lanark and Peebles, and as such Biggar serves a wide rural area. The population of the town is around 2,000. Contents 1 Details 2 History 3 Geography 4 References 5 External links 6 See also Details The Biggar Ukulele Ensemble “The Dukes of Ukes” The town was once served by the Symington, Biggar and Broughton Railway, which ran from the Caledonian Railway (now the West Coast Main Line) at Symington to join the Peebles Railway at Peebles. The station and signal box are still standing but housing has been built on the line running west from the station and the railway running east from the station is a public footpath to Broughton, part of the Biggar Country Path network. Remains in 1962 of Biggar station Biggar has several museums, including the Moat Park Heritage Centre, Gladstone Court Museum, Greenhill Covenanters Museum, and the Biggar Gasworks Museum, the only preserved gas works in Scotland. Many of the museums are run by the Biggar Museum Trust. Additionally, Biggar has Scotland's only permanent puppet theatre, Biggar Puppet Theatre, which is run by the well known Purves Puppets family. Hugh MacDiarmid spent his later years at Brownsbank, near the town. Ian Hamilton Finlay's home and garden at Little Sparta is nearby in the Pentland Hills. The fictional Midculter, which features in Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles novels, is set here. The town hosts an annual arts festival, the Biggar Little Festival. The town has traditionally held a huge bonfire at Hogmanay. A group of Biggar residents has recently launched the Carbon Neutral Biggar project, with the stated aim of becoming the first Carbon Neutral town in Scotland. The launch of the project, covered in both local and national media, took place at the town's annual eco forum in May 2007. The group has formed links with the town of Ashton Hayes in Cheshire, who have a similar group working toward carbon neutral status for their town. This town has two schools, one primary, and one secondary. The secondary school, Biggar High School, takes in pupils from surrounding small towns and villages. Many of these pupils (roughly 30 to 40) are from Carnwath Primary School. Biggar Primary is a small school on the same road, Johns Loan, as Biggar High. Because the primary is so small and the high school is so close, the primary pupils have lunch and some lessons at the high school. History Biggar occupies a key location close to two of Scotland's great rivers, the Clyde flowing to the west, and the Tweed flowing to the east. The area has been occupied since Mesolithic times.[1] The present day A702 follows the route of a Roman road, which linked the Clyde Valley with Musselburgh. In the 12th century, a motte and bailey castle was constructed by the Normans, and the first permanent crossing of the Biggar Burn was built. It is thought that there has been a church at Biggar since the 6th or 7th century, although the first stone kirk was built in 1164, on the site of the existing kirk. In the 14th century, the Fleming family were given lands in the area by Robert the Bruce, whose cause they had supported. The Flemings built Boghall Castle, visible as a ruin until the early 20th century, but now only represented by a few mounds. The town continued to grow as an important market town, and in 1451 the town became a burgh. The market place remains the central focus of the town. The kirk was rebuilt as a Collegiate church in 1546, the last to be established before the Reformation of 1560. The Flemings found themselves on the wrong side in the 16th century, when they supported Mary, Queen of Scots, and their lands were given over to the Elphinstone family. Biggar Gas Works opened in 1836, producing gas from coal. In 1973, with the introduction of natural gas, the works closed. Biggar had its own railway station between 1860 and 1953. John Brown the physician and essayist was born in a house in the South Back Road in 1810 which was at that time a manse. He is commemorated with a plaque on the front wall of the municipal hall. In early 1900 a farmer located in Biggar founded Albion Motors as a small business which eventually grew into the largest truck company in the British Empire. The company still exists as part of the Leyland DAF group. The archives of Albion motors can still be found in Biggar. In the summer of 1940 several thousands of Polish soldiers were stationed here, having been evacuated after the collapse of France. Later they moved to the east coast of Scotland to defend the coast and to train for their deployment as the 1st Polish Armoured Division in Normandy, Belgium and the Netherlands.[2] Geography The town of Biggar is 200 metres (660 ft) above sea level. References ^ "The History of Biggar". Btinternet.com. 2000-03-13. http://www.btinternet.com/~ian.borthwick/LADAS/prog/00_biggar.html. Retrieved 2009-10-10.  ^ cited from "POLONICA in Scotland: Biggar and its Polish connection" External links Undiscovered Scotland: Biggar Biggar Museums Trust Biggar Puppet Theatre Biggar Little Festival Carbon Neutral Biggar Carbon Neutral Biggar Yahoo Group See also List of places in South Lanarkshire v · d · eSettlements in South Lanarkshire Principal Towns (Over 10,000) Blantyre · Cambuslang · Carluke · East Kilbride · Hamilton · Larkhall · Rutherglen Other towns and villages Abington · Ashgill · Auchengray · Auchenheath · Biggar · Blackwood · Bothwell · Braidwood · Carnwath · Carstairs · Cartland · Chapelton · Coalburn · Cobbinshaw · Coulter · Crawford · Crawfordjohn · Dalserf · Dolphinton · Douglas · Elsrickle · Forth · Garrion Bridge · Glassford · Kilncadzow · Kirkfieldbank · Kirkmuirhill · Lanark · Law · Leadhills · Lesmahagow · Newbigging · Nerston · Pettinain · Quothquan · Ravenstruther · Rigside · Roberton · Rosebank · Sandford · Stonehouse · Strathaven · Symington · Tarbrax · Thankerton  · Uddingston · Wiston · Woolfords · Yieldshields Places of interest Hamilton Mausoleum · Bothwell Castle · Battle of Bothwell Bridge · Battle of Drumclog · Cadzow Castle · Chatelherault Country Park · Clyde Valley · Craignethan Castle · David Livingstone Centre · Dollan Baths · Falls of Clyde · Little Sparta · New Lanark · Strathaven Castle