Hamilton, Lanarkshire

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Hamilton The Top Cross.jpg
Grid reference: NS712557
Location: 55°46’39"N, 4°3’18"W
Population: 48,546  (2001)
Post town: Hamilton
Postcode: ML3
Dialling code: 01698
Local Government
Council: South Lanarkshire
Lanark and Hamilton East

Hamilton is a town in Lanarkshire, 12 miles south-east of Glasgow, on the south bank of the River Clyde where the Avon Water flows into the Clyde.

Hamilton is a working town, developed and based on industry it relies has good transport links, standing to the west of the A74(M) and M74 motorways, the main southerly link to the M6 motorway just north of Carlisle. The main route from Edinburgh is the M8 motorway, leaving at junctions 6 or 7, and northward lies the powerhouse of Glasgow.

Chatelherault Hunting Lodge
Hamilton Old Parish Church


The town of Hamilton was originally known as Cadzow or rather Cadȝow, pronounced Cadihou. During the Wars of Scottish Independence the Hamilton family initially supported the English and Walter fitz Gilbert, 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.[1]

Cadzow was renamed "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 landowners in the area since the Middle Ages and remain so to this day.

The industrial revolution transformed Lanarkshire, industry springing up along the Clyde and transforming the area. Glasgow in particular became one of the main industrial centres of Britain, which has had a permanent effect on the shape of Hamilton.

Historical sights around the town

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 ("Hamilton Townhouse") 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.


Outside links