Bellshill facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsBellshill
St. Andrew's Church, Bellshill
|OS grid reference|
|• Edinburgh||33 mi (53 km) ENE|
|• London||341 mi (549 km) SSE|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Bellshill (pronounced "Bells hill") is a town in North Lanarkshire in Scotland, ten miles (sixteen kilometres) southeast of Glasgow city centre and 37 mi (60 km) west of Edinburgh. Other nearby localities are Motherwell 2 mi (3 km) to the south, Hamilton 3 mi (5 km) to the southwest, Viewpark 1+1⁄2 mi (2.5 km) to the west, Holytown 2 mi (3 km) to the east and Coatbridge 3 mi (5 km) to the north. The town of Bellshill itself (including the villages of Orbiston and Mossend) has a population of about 20,650. From 1996 to 2016, it was considered to be part of the Greater Glasgow metropolitan area; since then it is counted as part of a continuous suburban settlement anchored by Motherwell with a total population of around 125,000.
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.
The first mine to open (and the last to close in 1953) was the Thankerton mine. 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'. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Several churches serve the town. St Andrews United Free Church of Scotland sits at Bellshill Cross whilst the Church of Scotland Parish Churches are at opposite ends of the Main Street with Bellshill Central Parish church opposite The Academy, and Bellshill West Parish Church next to the Sir Matt Busby Sports Centre. The town's Roman Catholic Parish Churches are St Gerard's, Sacred Heart & Holy Family, Mossend.
There is a free public library within the Bellshill Cultural Centre. Various singers, such as Sheena Easton, and sportsmen hailed from the town.
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. Sheena Easton was from the town, and attended Bellshill Academy.
The town has a football team, Bellshill Athletic, that plays in the Scottish Junior Football West Premier League. They play their home games at Rockburn park after moving away from Tollcross, Glasgow, after New Brandon Park was closed down to reduce costs.
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 which is within walking distance of parts of the town, particularly Orbiston. The Greenlink Cycle Path also travels through the golf course and the Orbiston area of Bellshill, heading towards Forgewood.
Bellshill once had six 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 Sacred Heart Primary, Mossend Primary, Noble Primary, St. Gerard's Primary and Lawmuir Primary. There are two fairly large secondary schools, Bellshill Academy and Cardinal Newman High School.
Bellshill lies at an important point on Scotland's motorway network, situated around 1+1⁄2 miles (2.5 kilometres) south of the M8 motorway between Glasgow and Edinburgh and their respective airports, and about the same distance north of the M74 motorway to and from England; the A725 road running directly to the west of the town links the two. The presence of this busy transport corridor and the availability of land following the decline of older heavy industry has led to the development of two large, modern industrial estates (Bellshill and Righead) flanking the A725, while the Eurocentral industrial and distribution park is about 1+1⁄2 miles (2.5 kilometres) northeast of the town, also featuring a railway freight terminal. Once heavily reliant on the railways relating to coal mining, Bellshill is still served by a rail junction to the east of Mossend connecting two of the main passenger routes covering southern, western and central Scotland Argyle Line –and Shotts Line – both of which stop at Bellshill railway station in the town centre.
Notable people from Bellshill
The following list refers to notable people who were born in Bellshill, although they did not necessarily reside there - the town was home to Lanarkshire's maternity hospital in the latter part of the 20th century.
- Jackie Bird, journalist and broadcaster
- Doug Cameron, Australian politician
- Gregory Clark, economist
- Thomas Clark, poet
- Robin Cook, politician
- James Dempsey, politician
- Henry Dyer, engineer
- Sheena Easton, vocalist
- Catherine Grubb, artist
- Charles Jeffrey, fashion designer
- Bryan Kirkwood, television producer
- Monica Lennon, politician
- Frank McCarthy, disc jockey
- Eric McCormack, writer
- John McCusker, musician
- Ethel MacDonald, anarchist
- Paul McGuigan, filmmaker
- David MacMillan, Nobel Prize winning chemist
- David Shaw Nicholls, architect and designer
- Sean O'Kane, actor and model
- John Reid, politician
- James Cleland Richardson, soldier – Victoria Cross recipient
- Natalie J Robb, actress
- Sharleen Spiteri, musician – lead vocalist of Texas
- Kenny Arthur, footballer
- Tom Birney, American football player
- Sir Matt Busby, Scotland international football player and manager
- Stuart Carswell, footballer
- William Chalmers, football player and manager
- Peter Cherrie, footballer
- Tom Cowan, footballer
- Mike Denness, international cricketer
- Alex Dickson, boxer
- Scott Fox, footballer
- Hughie Gallacher, Scotland international footballer
- Peter Grant, Scotland international footballer
- Scott Harrison, former world boxing champion
- Lee Hollis, footballer
- Jackie Hutton, football player and manager
- Brian Irvine, Scotland international footballer
- Brian Kerr, Scotland international footballer
- David Lilley, footballer
- Malky Mackay, Scotland international football player and manager
- Chris Maguire, Scotland international footballer
- Kevin McBride, footballer
- Brian McClair, Scotland international footballer
- Ally McCoist, Scotland international football player and manager
- Lee McCulloch, footballer
- Chris McGroarty, footballer
- Tom McKean, Olympic track athlete
- Billy McNeill, Scotland international football player and manager
- James McPake, football player and manager
- Hugh Murray, footballer
- Alex Neil, football player and manager
- Phil O'Donnell, Scotland international footballer
- Tommy O'Hara, United States international footballer
- Jim Paterson, footballer
- Anthony Ralston, footballer
- John Rankin, footballer
- Shaun Rooney, footballer
- Steven Smith, footballer
- John Stewart, footballer
- Andy Swallow, footballer
- Bob Wilson, footballer
- Kenny Wright, footballer
- Kirsty Gilmour, badminton player
Bands from Bellshill
- BMX Bandits
- Teenage Fanclub
- The Soup Dragons
- De Rosa
Images for kids
In Spanish: Bellshill para niños
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