East Kilbride

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Coordinates: 55°45′52″N 4°10′38″W / 55.764529°N 4.17711°W / 55.764529; -4.17711

East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire
Scottish Gaelic: Cille Bhrìghde an Ear
Parish Church, East Kilbride.jpg
East Kilbride parish church tower
East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire is located in South Lanarkshire
East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire
East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire
 East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire shown within South Lanarkshire
Population 74,395 [1]
OS grid reference NS635545
Civil parish East Kilbride[2]
Council area South Lanarkshire
Lieutenancy area Lanarkshire
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town GLASGOW[3]
Postcode district G74-75
Dialling code 01355 & 0141
Police Scottish
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow
Scottish Parliament East Kilbride
List of places
UK
Scotland

East Kilbride (Scottish Gaelic: Cille Bhrìghde an Ear) is a large suburban town in South Lanarkshire in Scotland. It is also designated as Scotland's first new town on 6 May 1947. The area lies on high ground on the south side of the Cathkin Braes, about 8 miles (13 km) southeast of Glasgow and close to the boundary with East Renfrewshire.

The town is enclosed by the White Cart River to the west and the Rotten Calder to the east, the latter flowing northwards to join the River Clyde near Cambuslang. This area was previously the site of the small village of East Kilbride, prior to its post-war development.

History[edit]

East Kilbride
East Kilbride

The earliest evidence of habitation in the area dates back to ancient graves found near the Kype Water to the south of the district. Roman coins and footwear have also been found in the area.

East Kilbride takes its name from an Irish saint named St Bride (or Brigit), who founded a monastery for nuns and monks in Kildare, Ireland in the 6th century. Dál Riatan monks introduced her order to Scotland. The anglicisation Kil, takes its root from the early Celtic monastics that St. Brigit is representative of: the Culdees or Céli Dé. The Céile Dé were 'the clients or companions of God'. In modern Gaelic, Cille Bhrìghde translates similarly as 'the clients or companions of Brigit.

The original parish church was located on the site of a pre-Christian sacred well, which is possibly the origin of the association with St. Brigit, since the well was dedicated to the Celtic goddess Brigid, whose traditions have been continued through the reverence of St. Brigit. Over the centuries, the church has been destroyed and rebuilt several times, and, as a result, its current location has moved from the original site by about 50 metres (160 ft).[citation needed]

The area of Calderglen was celebrated as a picturesque wooded valley. It was the home of a noble family known as the 'Maxwells of Calderwood' who resided in Calderwood Castle. The remnants of Calderwood Castle were demolished in 1951 and only a few parts of the structure remain.[citation needed]

East Kilbride grew from a small village of around 900 inhabitants in 1930 to eventually become a large burgh.[citation needed] The rapid industrialisation of the twentieth century underpins this growth and left much of the working population throughout Scotland's Central Belt, from Glasgow to Edinburgh, living in the housing stock built at the end of the previous century. The Great War postponed any housing improvements, as did the Treaty of Versailles and the period of post-war settlement it created. In turn, this was followed by the Great Depression. After the Second World War, Glasgow, already suffering from chronic housing shortages, incurred bomb damage from the war.

From this unlikely backdrop a new dawn emerged which would bring East Kilbride to its unlikely success. In 1946, the Clyde Valley Regional Plan allocated sites where overspill satellite "new towns" could be constructed to help alleviate the housing shortage.[4] Glasgow would also undertake the development of its peripheral housing estates. East Kilbride was the first of five new towns in Scotland to be designated, in 1947, followed by Glenrothes (1948), Cumbernauld (1956), Livingston (1962) and Irvine (1964).[5]

The town has been subdivided into residential precincts, each with its own local shops, primary schools and community facilities. The housing precincts surround the shopping centre, which is bound by a ring road. Industrial estates are concentrated on the outskirts of the town, in northern, western and southern directions.[citation needed]

Geography[edit]

East Kilbride forms part of the Greater Glasgow Conurbation.

Governance[edit]

East Kilbride District 1975-96

From 1975 East Kilbride lent its name to a local government district in the Strathclyde region. In 1996 administrative functions were taken over by the South Lanarkshire unitary council.

There is an East Kilbride constituency of the Scottish Parliament. From the opening of the Scottish Parliament, the constituency was represented by Andy Kerr MSP (Labour), until May 2011 when the seat was won by Linda Fabiani MSP (Scottish National Party).

East Kilbride was formerly a constituency of the UK Parliament. In 2005 it was replaced by the constituency of East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow. The seat was held from 1987 to 2010 by Labour politician, Adam Ingram. Since the 2010 election the seat has been held by Labour politician, Michael McCann, previously a South Lanarkshire Councillor.

Culture[edit]

East Kilbride hosted the National Mod in 1975.[6]

Economy[edit]

East Kilbride

The town centre is occupied by a large shopping centre comprising 6 linked malls, developed in phases. The malls are known by local residents as "The Centre".

The six malls are The Plaza (development started in 1972), Princes Mall (1984), Olympia (1988), Southgate (1989), Princes Square (1997) and Centre West (2003). The shopping centre has come under recent criticism for losing major retail chains in light of rising rental prices. This coupled with the Centre West expansion and decreasing shopper numbers has allowed swathes of properties within the centre to remain closed for months at a time, notably on the first floor of Centre West and the Plaza.

A £400m redevelopment of East Kilbride shopping centre was approved in 2006 by South Lanarkshire Council. The plan proposed demolishing some existing buildings to create a new civic centre, health centre, library and shopping facilities.[7][8] It would also see a "landmark" arts and culture complex with a 1,000-seat theatre, a 500-seat conference centre, a museum and a new town square. However the project has been indefinitely delayed.

East Kilbride ice rink

A branch of the government's Department for International Development is located on the western edge of East Kilbride at Hairmyres.[9]

Local areas[edit]

East Kilbride is divided into a number of smaller areas bordered by main through-roads. Part of the new town design was that each of these would be a self-contained entity, with local shops and primary schools. This is true for the original areas of the town but newer developments, such as Stewartfield do not adhere to this model.

Religion[edit]

There are approximately 30 Christian churches in East Kilbride. This includes nine Church of Scotland churches, three Baptist churches, and four Roman Catholic churches. There is one Lutheran parish of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of England, which is located in the Westwoodhill area. An Evangelical Christian congregtion is also located in the Westwood area.[10] The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints meeting hall is situated in Vancouver Drive, Westwood. The Jehovah's Witnesses have a Kingdom Hall near the centre of the town. The Christadelphians meet in Calderwood Community Centre.[11]

The four Roman Catholic Parishes in East Kilbride are:

  • St. Vincent De Paul Parish, in Greenhills
  • Our Lady of Lourdes, in Westwood
  • St. Leonard's, in St. Leonard's
  • St. Bride's, in Whitemoss

Transport[edit]

East Kilbride is connected to Glasgow city centre by road and rail. Three main roads connect East Kilbride with surrounding suburbs and the city, one being the A727 (formerly A726) leading west to Busby and on to Clarkston Toll. Another route being the A749 which runs north into Rutherglen. Recently, the addition of the Glasgow Southern Orbital road links the west of the town directly with Newton Mearns and the M77. This road has taken over the designation A726. East Kilbride bus station, at the shopping centre, was recently rebuilt and provides modern facilities. East Kilbride railway station is situated in the Village. Trains depart to Glasgow Central railway station every half hour, with a journey time of 27 minutes. The town is also served by Hairmyres railway station in Hairmyres.

East Kilbride's primary bus operator is First Glasgow which provides regular services to the city centre, Busby, Clarkston, Castlemilk, Rutherglen, Blantyre, Hamilton, Motherwell and to many other destinations across Greater Glasgow. Stagecoach West Scotland provide a half-hourly to hourly service to Ayr, Arriva Scotland West ran an hourly 600 service to the Airport via: Busby, Clarkston, Giffnock, Thornliebank, Silverburn Centre, Hurlet, and Paisley. But was discontinued in late 2009.

Similar to other New Towns, the road network within the area is populated by many roundabouts;[12] Glaswegions jokingly refer to East Kilbride as "Polo Mint City" after the round, mint sweet.[13]

Cycling[edit]

Many of the busy roundabouts in East Kilbride feature underpasses for pedestrians and cyclists. On 19 June 2009, National Cycling Route 756, connecting East Kilbride and Rutherglen with the City Boundary, was opened.

Landmarks[edit]

Dollan Baths

A seated statue of Sir Walter Scott, at the corner of Old Coach Rd and Markethill Rd, is locally known as "The White Man". Outside the Montgomery Arms in the village is a loupin'-on-stane or mounting block. The National Museum of Rural Life is a museum and working farm, featuring 1950s dairy farm methods, run by National Museums of Scotland at Kittochside. The James Hamilton Heritage Park is a 16 acres (6.5 ha) manmade lake with watersports facilities and surrounding nature sanctuary. It is overlooked by Mains Castle, a privately owned tower house. St Bride's Church, by modernist architects Gillespie, Kidd and Coia, was built 1957–1964.

Dollan Aqua Centre[edit]

One of the most significant buildings of an earlier phase of development was Dollan Baths leisure complex (opened 1968) which has category A listed status. The Dollan Baths are the subject of a local urban myth, which told that the pool was built 5 cm short of Olympic size. In fact, the pool was built as 55 yards long (50.29m), but is only six lanes wide, rather than the Olympic standard of 50m and ten lanes wide. The Aqua Centre re-opened on May 28, 2011 after a major refurbishment costing £6.5 million. Facilities include swimming pool with moveable floor, health suite and fitness gym. The famous glass wall allowing views from the reception area into the pool remains.

Hunter House Museum[edit]

Contains exhibits relating to medical pioneers, William and John Hunter, who were born in the area. In recent years the Hunter House was bought by the neighbouring Calderwood Baptist Church. The building was refurbished and is now used for meetings, groups and functions as well as housing some exhibits from its previous life as a museum. The building also houses a cafe.

St. Brides's Church[edit]

Langlands Moss[edit]

A local nature reserve which comprises a Lowland Raised Peat Bog, a UK BAP priority habitat. The reserve is owned by South Lanarkshire Council and maintained by The Friends of Langlands Moss L.N.R. A boardwalk allows visitors to walk over the reserve safely while observing the wildlife which lives on the Moss - many species here occur only in Bog habitats making this site one of special importance. Located just south of East Kilbride, the reserve is accessed easiest from the A726, heading towards Langlands Golf Course & Auldhouse.

Whitelee Windfarm[edit]

Whitelee Wind Farm, Europe's largest on shore wind farm, is located near Eaglesham, to the south of East Kilbride.

Parks and sports[edit]

East Kilbride Thistle is the town's main football club. It is the largest town in Scotland without a senior football team. Clyde have announced plans to relocate from their current Cumbernauld home to a town site and be renamed EK Clyde. Also, a second team, East Kilbride from the Lowland Football League, is based in the town, and play at the K Park Training Academy at Calderglen Country Park.

East Kilbride RFC were formed in 1968 and are based at the Torrance House Arena, at Calderglen Country Park. From 1976 they rose steadily through the leagues, peaking for 3 years in Premier 2. They now play in the West Regional League 1, the 4th tier of club rugby. They run 2 senior men's teams and numerous youth teams which are linked to the local schools. Current Scotland national player, Alasdair Strokosch, played through all the youth levels at EKRFC.[14]

East Kilbride Lawn Tennis Club is one of the oldest tennis club in Scotland.

East Kilbride Pirates are the country's top American Football team and play in the BAFA Community Leagues.

EK82 Handball Club Founded in 1972, they train at the John Wright Sports Centre and the Alistair McCoist Complex. They play in the Scottish National League.

Athletics in the town is covered by 3 athletics clubs: Whitemoss, East Kilbride and Calderglen. Both Whitemoss and East Kilbride Athletic Club are based at the John Wright Sports centre.

Greenhills Dynamo is an amateur football side set up in 1998. Since its formation, the team has enjoyed relative success in the Strathclyde Saturday Morning League winning 7 trophies in 13 years, more notably the Premier Division in Season 2009/10 under the Management of Tommy Livingston and his assistant Dougie Craggs.

Twin town[edit]

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Find out about an area". Scotland's Census. Scottish Government. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "Scottish Civil Parishes Index map". General Register Office for Scotland. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  3. ^ "List of UK post towns". Evox Facilities. Retrieved 2012-02-22. [dead link]
  4. ^ "TGS - 1950s to The Present Day - Neighbourhoods - New Towns". Theglasgowstory.com. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  5. ^ Cowling, D. (1997). An Essay for Today: the Scottish New Towns 1947-1997. Edinburgh: Rutland Press. 
  6. ^ List of Mod's places for each year on Sabhal Mòr Ostaig website
  7. ^ "Redeveloping East Kilbride Town Centre". Eastkilbride.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-14. 
  8. ^ "UK | Scotland | New town could get £400m facelift". BBC News. 2006-04-02. Retrieved 2012-11-14. 
  9. ^ "How to find Abercrombie House, East Kilbride". DFID. 2009-12-14. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ "East Kilbride". Search For Hope. Retrieved 2012-11-14. 
  12. ^ "UK | Scotland | Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West | New Zealand city to get Whirlies". BBC News. 2008-04-07. Retrieved 2012-11-14. 
  13. ^ Friday 25 June 2010 (2010-06-25). "Welcome to Polo Mint city!". Evening Times. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  14. ^ http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/eastkilbriderugbyclub/a/ekrfc-history-8814.html
  15. ^ Lynda Nicol (9 May 2012). "Danish orchestra set to play in joint Lanarkshire spectacular". East Kilbride News. Retrieved 12 November 2013. 

External links[edit]