Situated in the Low Parks in the fertile valley
of the River Clyde, Hamilton Palace stood at the centre of an extensive
garden which, as its main axis, had a great north-south tree-lined
avenue over 5km in overall length. This designed landscape may have
originated in the late 17th century but was first drawn up in 1708
by Alexander Edward (1651-1708). The layout was later developed,
most notably by William Adam (1689-1748), who introduced Ch‚telherault
hunting lodge into the south avenue in the High Parks where it commanded
a broad vista northwards across the Low Parks.
This aerial view looks northwards along the parallel
lines of the great avenue from above Ch‚telherault (centre foreground),
across the Avon Water on the line of Old Avon Bridge, through the
modern suburbs of Hamilton, towards the site of Hamilton Palace
itself. It occupied much of the western side of the patch of ground
seen under development as a retail park in the middle distance.
The palace stood to the left and in front of the conspicuous domed
mausoleum, and to the right of the burgh of Hamilton which grew
up on the slopes of the 'Hietoun' to the west of the palace. Separated
from the site of the palace by the M74 motorway, the River Clyde
follows a new course between the motorway and the lake of a modern
country park (right background).
The avenue extended an equal distance northwards
from the palace across what is now a golf course to a loop in the
River Clyde close to Bothwellhaugh, just visible in the far distance,
where Hamilton Palace Colliery was established in 1884.