Bellshill

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This article is about the town in North Lanarkshire, Scotland. For other places of the same name, see Bellshill (disambiguation).
Bellshill
Scottish Gaelic: Cnoc a' Chluig[1]
Scots: Bellshull[1]
St Andrew s Church.jpg
St. Andrew's Church, Bellshill
Bellshill is located in North Lanarkshire
Bellshill
Bellshill
 Bellshill shown within North Lanarkshire
Population 20,705 
   – Edinburgh  33 mi (53 km) ENE 
   – London  341 mi (549 km) SSE 
Council area North Lanarkshire
Lieutenancy area Lanarkshire
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BELLSHILL
Postcode district ML4
Dialling code 01698
Police Scottish
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill
Scottish Parliament Uddingston and Bellshill
List of places
UK
Scotland

Coordinates: 55°48′59″N 4°01′34″W / 55.81647°N 4.02615°W / 55.81647; -4.02615

Bellshill (pronounced Bells-hill) is a town in North Lanarkshire, Scotland, 10 miles south east of Glasgow city centre and 37 miles west of Edinburgh. Other nearby towns are Motherwell (2 miles), Hamilton (3 miles) and Coatbridge (3 miles). Since 1996, it has been situated in the Greater Glasgow metropolitan area. The town has a population of 20,705.

History[edit]

The earliest record of settlement in the Bellshill area is a village called Belmill, recorded on a map by Timothy Pont published in 1654. The village consisted of a row of quarry workers' houses owned by Mr. Bell, who owned a stone quarry to the south of Belmill. After the quarry closed, the village disappeared and a settlement developed nearby called Crossgates. About 1810, this new settlement took on the name Bellshill and continued to grow absorbing nearby villages such as Black Moss, Sykehead and Nesnas.

According to the first Statistical Account, in the late 1700s the parish of Bothwell, which encompasses modern Bellshill, was a centre of hand-loom weaving with 113 weavers recorded. Only 53 colliers were listed. A hundred or so years later, these occupations had changed places in degree of importance to the area economy. With the introduction of new machinery in the mid 19th century, many cottage weavers lost their livelihood. Demand for coal to feed British industry meant that by the 1870s 20 deep pits were in operation in the area.[2]

The first mine to open (and the last to close in 1953) was the Thankerton mine.[3] Others followed swiftly and rapidly increased the size of the town, even attracting a steady stream of immigrants from abroad, particularly Lithuania, so much so that the town is sometimes referred to as 'Little Lithuania'.[1] The rise in the migrant Lithuanian population led to the opening of The Scottish Lithuanian Recreation and Social Club within Calder Road in the Mossend area.

Iron and Steel production were also central to the development of the town. J. B. Neilson, developer of the revolutionary 'hot blast' process, opened the first iron works in the area (Mossend Iron Works) in 1839.[2]

During the industrial boom, a number of railway stations were situated in the area, including Mossend, Fallside and Bell Cross. The settlement is now just served by Bellshill railway station.

In the 1870s, Bothwell Parochial Board built the two-ward Bellshill Hospital. During World War I, the hospital specialised in infectious diseases. In 1917, the hospital began to change focus to become a maternity hospital, the first in the Lanarkshire area, with new dedicated maternity buildings being opened in 1958 and 1962. The hospital was also the first in the world to have an 'Obstetric Flying Squad'. It was the birthplace of many famous faces including politician Robin Cook, footballer Ally McCoist and singer Sheena Easton. The hospital was closed in 2001 and demolished in 2003 to make way for new housing developments.

Bellshill Main Street

According to a report by the Halifax Building Society, in the first quarter of 2005 Bellshill was the UK's property hot spot with a 46% rise in house prices. This took the average property price to £105,698 (according to reports published April 2005).

In 2006, a new mosque was opened in the Mossend area of Bellshill becoming one of the largest mosques in Scotland.[4]

The streetscape project, a plan to regenerate and modernise the town centre, commenced Apr 2007 and was completed nearly three years later. The project, created a one way system on the main street with more space for pedestrians.

Education[edit]

Bellshill once had 6 primary schools including Belvidere Primary School. This was closed, however, in early June 2010 and has now been demolished. Holy Family Primary School was founded in 1868 and moved to new buildings in 1907 to accommodate an influx of Lithuanian, Polish and Irish Catholics seeking work in the area. Other primary schools include Mossend Primary, Nobel Primary and Lawnmuir Primary. There are two fairly large secondary schools, Bellshill Academy and Cardinal Newman High School.

Religion[edit]

Several churches serve the town including St Andrews United Free Church of Scotland, The West Church, St Gerard's, Sacred Heart.

Culture[edit]

There is a free public library within the Bellshill Cultural Centre.

Music[edit]

Bellshill is also known for its music, especially since the mid-1980s. Bands such as the Soup Dragons, BMX Bandits and Teenage Fanclub put Bellshill on the map as an indie rock hot-spot in Scotland. The scene - known as the Bellshill Sound or the Bellshill Beat - was celebrated by influential DJ John Peel in the Channel 4 television series Sounds Of The Suburbs. Bellshill continues to produce well respected and influential independent pop music, with members of Mogwai hailing from the town.

Notable people from Bellshill[edit]

Bellshill was home to Lanarkshire's maternity hospital. The following list refers to all the famous people who were born in the town.

Sport[edit]

The town has a football team, Bellshill Athletic, that plays in the Scottish Junior Football West Premier League. They play their home games outside of the town, in Tollcross, Glasgow, after New Brandon Park was closed down to reduce costs. The club only has a tiny fan base due to the towns residents being followers of Rangers, Celtic and near-neighbours Motherwell.

Bellshill also has the Sir Matt Busby Sports Complex (Named after the late Manchester United legend who was born and brought up in the area) that opened in 1995. It has a 25m swimming pool, with two large spectator seating areas either side, a large hall and health suite. The complex also has a gym and a dance studio.

There is a golf course next to nearby Strathclyde Park. The Greenlink Cycle Path also travels through the golf course and the Orbiston area of Bellshill, heading towards Forgewood.

Location grid[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ a b List of railway station names in English, Scots and Gaelic - NewsNetScotland
  2. ^ a b Wilson, Rhona (1995). Bygone Bellshill. Catrine, Ayrshire: Stenlake Publishing. p. 3. ISBN 9781872074597. 
  3. ^ Wilson, Rhona (1995). Bygone Bellshill. Catrine, Ayrshire: Stenlake Publishing. p. 4. ISBN 9781872074597. 
  4. ^ http://mosques.muslimsinbritain.org/show-mosque.php?id=1901

External links[edit]