Hamilton, South Lanarkshire

Hamilton, South Lanarkshire

Coordinates: 55°46′39″N 4°03′18″W / 55.77742°N 4.05505°W / 55.77742; -4.05505

Scottish Gaelic: Hamaltan
Scots: Hamiltoun
Hamilton is located in South Lanarkshire

 Hamilton shown within South Lanarkshire
Population 48,546 [1] (2001 census)
OS grid reference NS712557
Council area South Lanarkshire
Lieutenancy area Lanarkshire
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town HAMILTON
Postcode district ML3
Dialling code 01698
Police Strathclyde
Fire Strathclyde
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament Lanark and Hamilton East
Rutherglen and Hamilton West
Scottish Parliament Hamilton South
Hamilton North and Bellshill
Central Scotland
List of places: UK • Scotland •

Hamilton (Scots: Hamiltoun, Scottish Gaelic: Hamaltan)[2] is a town in South Lanarkshire, in the west-central Lowlands of Scotland. It serves as the main administrative centre of the South Lanarkshire council area. It is the fifth-biggest town (excluding cities) in Scotland after Paisley, East Kilbride, Livingston and Cumbernauld. It lies 12 miles (19.3 km) south-east of Glasgow, and 35 miles (56.3 km) south-west of Edinburgh on the south bank of the River Clyde at its confluence with the Avon Water. Hamilton was the county town of Lanarkshire.



The town of Hamilton was originally known as Cadzow or Cadyou[3] (Middle Scots: Cadȝow, the "ȝ" being the letter yogh), pronounced /kadyu/. During the Wars of Scottish Independence the Hamilton family initially supported the English and Walter fitz Gilbert (the head of the Hamilton family) was governor of Bothwell Castle on behalf of the English. However, he later changed loyalty to Robert the Bruce, following the Battle of Bannockburn, and ceded Bothwell to him. For this act, he was rewarded with a portion of land which had been forfeited by the Comyns at Dalserf and later the Barony and lands of Cadzow, which in time would become the town of Hamilton.[4]

Cadzow was re-named Hamilton in the time of James Hamilton, 1st Lord Hamilton, who was married to the Princess Mary, the daughter of King James II of Scotland.

The Hamilton family constructed many landmark buildings in the area including the Hamilton Mausoleum in Strathclyde Park, which has the longest echo of any building in the world. The Hamilton family have been major land-owners in the area to this day. Hamilton Palace was the historic seat of the Dukes of Hamilton until the early-twentieth century.

Other historic buildings in the area include Hamilton Old Parish Church, a Georgian era building completed in 1734 and the only church to have been built by William Adam. The graveyard of the old parish church contains some Covenanter remains. The former Edwardian Town Hall now houses the library and concert hall. The Townhouse complex underwent a sympathetic modernization in 2002 and opened to the public in summer 2004. The ruins of Cadzow Castle also lie in Chatelherault Country Park, two miles from the town centre.

Hamilton Palace was the largest non-royal residence in the Western world, located in the north-east of the town. A former seat of the Dukes of Hamilton, it was built in 1695, subsequently much enlarged, and demolished in 1921 due to ground subsidence. It is widely acknowledged as having been one of the grandest houses in Scotland, was visited and admired by Queen Victoria, and was written about by Daniel Defoe.

Hamilton Barracks was formerly the Depot of The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) and the home of the 1st Battalion of the Regiment. The Regimental Museum is part of the Low Parks Museum.

The Low Parks Museum is housed in what was a 16th century inn and a staging post for journeys between Glasgow and Edinburgh. Recently refurbished, it is the oldest building in Hamilton and is to the north of the Palace Grounds.


Chatelherault Hunting Lodge
Hamilton Old Parish Church

By road the town is to the west of the M74 motorway, the main southerly link to England, which joins the M6 just north of Carlisle. The main route from Edinburgh is the M8, leaving at junctions 6 or 7.

Areas of Hamilton:

Nearby towns and cities:


Service industries and local government are major employers in Hamilton, as are HSBC/First Direct and Philips, the Dutch electronics conglomerate. The town centre has been regenerated over the last decade by creating two new indoor shopping centres (the Regent Shopping Centre and New Cross Shopping Centre) and the Palace Grounds Retail Park.

Restaurants and national retail outlets are situated in a redeveloped part of the Palace Grounds that are visible upon entering the town from the M74 motorway. The creation of a circular Town Square (now the site of a Frankie & Benny's restaurant) has resulted in Hamilton receiving numerous town planning awards during the past decade. This development transformed the Hamilton side of Strathclyde Park, which was the original site of the Duke's palace. The shopping centre is still under development.

Hamilton Townhouse & Library

Hamilton has been a Fairtrade Town since 2005.[citation needed]


Hamilton has three railway stations, Hamilton Central, Hamilton West and Chatelherault, all on the Argyle Line's Hamilton Circle. Hamilton Central is 22 minutes from Glasgow on the limited stop Larkhall-Dalmuir service.

It was once served by the North British Railway, which had three stations in the area. Hamilton (NBR), Hamilton Peacock Cross and Burnbank

Beside Hamilton Central lies Hamilton bus station, providing links to surrounding towns and cities, also offering an express bus to Glasgow and also some parts of England.

Cycling paths run from Strathclyde Park to Chatelherault Country Park following the banks of the Clyde and Avon. These are being expanded at part of the Sustrans Connect2 project[1] and will make up part of the National Cycle Route 74 which will run from Glasgow to Carlisle, Cumbria


There are currently three comprehensive high schools in the town – Hamilton Grammar, Holy Cross (Roman Catholic) and John Ogilvie (Roman Catholic). The former Earnock High School buildings on Wellhall Road were burnt down in June 2008, but by this time the school had been closed and merged with Blantyre High School in Blantyre as the new Calderside Academy.

There are also several primary schools in Hamilton, including, St Cuthbert's, Our Lady and St Anne's, St Elizabeth's St Peter's, St Paul's, St Mark's, St Ninian's, St Mary's, Glenlee, Townhill, Udston, Woodhead, Beckford, St John's, Woodside and Chatelherault Primary Schools.

Hamilton also has one private school, Hamilton College, next to the Hamilton Park Racecourse.

Hamilton is a university town with The University of the West of Scotland campus sited on Almada Street.


The area near Hamilton West railway station and Peacock Cross has changed with the demolition of Hamilton Academical Football Club's original Douglas Park stadium in 1994. A retail park was built on the site with New Douglas Park added behind it in 2001. Hamilton Academical F.C. (the Accies) was formed in 1874 and is one of Scotland's oldest senior clubs. It takes its name from Hamilton Academy, now called Hamilton Grammar School, the oldest school in the town (founded 1588). It is the only professional football team in the UK to originate from a school team and played in the Scottish Premier League, having won the Scottish First Division title during 2007/2008, They were relegated 2010/2011 Season.

The Hamilton Rugby Club can be found at the Leigh Bent sports ground, Bent Road. They currently play in the Scottish Premiership Division 2.

Hamilton Park Racecourse is situated alongside Bothwell Road.

Speedway racing was staged in Hamilton between 1947 and 1955. The annual meeting was staged as part of the annual Lanarkshire Show and featured riders from across Scotland. The site of the track was the old ash football pitches of Strathclyde Park – an area now covered by the town square.

There are a number of high quality football, cricket, and rugby pitches in the Palace Grounds area alongside the Mausoleum. Part of Strathclyde Park is sited within Hamilton's boundary, providing world class water-sport facilities.


Hamilton Town House Theatre is a 500 seat venue in the Cadzow Street area of the town. It is the first cultural venue in Scotland to attain the prestigious Quest accreditation. A multiplex Vue Cinema is located in the redeveloped Palace Grounds area close to the Hamilton Palace nightclub.

Notable people

Town twinning

Hamilton is twinned with Châtellerault in France. This connection dates from the 16th century when the title Duc de Châtellerault was conferred on James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran. The Duke's hunting lodge (now in Chatelherault Country Park), a primary school and new railway station are named 'Chatelherault' for this reason.

See also

Transport links:


  1. ^ "Scotland's Census Results Online". http://www.scrol.gov.uk/scrol/browser/profile.jsp?profile=Population&mainArea=hamilton&mainLevel=Locality. Retrieved 2009-05-03. .
  2. ^ List of railway station names in English, Scots and Gaelic – NewsNetScotland
  3. ^ George Chalmers, Caledonia, Or, A Historical and Topographical Account of North Britain from the Most Ancient to the Present Times: With a Dictionary of Places, Chorographical and Philological, Vol. 6 (A. Gardner, 1890), p. 683.
  4. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clan_Hamilton

External links





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