River Clyde

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The Upper Clyde Valley, and the town of Biggar.

The River Clyde, is the most important river in western-Scotland and, at 158km (99 miles) long, is the second longest river (after the Tay) in Scotland. It is formed (at the aptly named Meetwater) by the confluence of Daer Water and Potrail Water in the Lowther Hills of Lanarkshire near the sources of both the Tweed and River Annan. It wanders off to the north-east as far as Biggar before heading more or less north-west past Lanark, Clydesdale, Glasgow and Clydesbank then enters the Firth of Clyde near Dumbarton.

(The Old Celtic name, possibly meaning “cleanse”, may have derived from the Indo-European clou, and was also possibly the name of a river goddess. The Roman historian Tacitus refers to it as the Clota. It became the Gaelic Clutha. Today it is the Cluaidh.)

Large scale dredging in the 18th century brought ocean-going vessels to Glasgow, and made the river a conduit for much the industrial produce of south-western Scotland on its way to the New World, and the city a site of a booming ship-building industry.

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