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Rutherglen Main St, 2016-03-07.jpg
Main Street, the main shopping area of Rutherglen
Rutherglen is located in Scotland
Population 30,950 (2020)
OS grid reference NS614616
Lieutenancy area
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town GLASGOW
Postcode district G73
Dialling code 0141
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
55°49′41″N 4°12′50″W / 55.828°N 4.214°W / 55.828; -4.214

Rutherglen ( Scots: Ruglen, Scottish Gaelic: An Ruadh-Ghleann) is a town in South Lanarkshire, Scotland, immediately south-east of the city of Glasgow, 3 miles (5 km) from its centre and directly south of the River Clyde. Having existed as a Lanarkshire burgh in its own right for more than 800 years, in 1975 Rutherglen lost its own local council and administratively became a component of the City of Glasgow District within the Strathclyde region (along with neighbouring Cambuslang). In 1996 the towns were reallocated to the South Lanarkshire council area.


Map of Rutherglen in 1923

Rutherglen received the status of Royal Burgh in 1126 by Royal Charter from King David I of Scotland who ruled from 1124 to 1153. In the 14th century Walter Stewart, father of King Robert II, was granted Farme Castle. This was located close to Farme Cross in the east of Rutherglen, and stood until the 1960s.

Rutherglen was a centre of heavy industry, having a long coal mining tradition which died out by 1950. J&J White's Chemical Works (later ACC Chrome & Chemicals) in Shawfield, which was in existence from 1820 to 1967, produced more than 70% of the UK's Chromate products including chromic acid, chromic oxide pigment, sodium and potassium chromate and dichromate. Today there is a significant legacy of soluble chromium (VI) waste in the area. Rutherglen, and most of the other towns encircling the city, are dormitory suburbs of Glasgow.


The name of Rutherglen, as well as its Scots name Ruglen, is perhaps from Scottish Gaelic An Ruadh-Ghleann, meaning 'the red valley'. The derivation may also however be Welsh, or Cumbric and mean "the valley of Rydderch". Rydderch - pronounced 'rutherch' - 'ruther' as in 'brother' and 'ch' as in 'loch' - was one of the most famous kings associated with the Welsh-speaking kingdom which centred on Dumbarton.


Main Street, Rutherglen - - 1138087
Looking west on Main Street, showing bus lanes (2009)

Rutherglen Burgh is served by Rutherglen railway station (opened in 1849), with Croftfoot and Burnside stations closer to southern parts of the town. There are also numerous bus links into Glasgow city centre or other destinations such as Hamilton, East Kilbride, Govanhill and Dennistoun, all services either running directly along the Main Street (which has dedicated public transport lanes for peak times) or close to it via Mill Street / Glasgow Road (A730) to the west, Cambuslang Road (A724) to the north or Stonelaw Road / Farmeloan Road (A749) to the east. Glasgow Corporation Tramways operated routes in the area from the early 1900s until the late 1950s.

Completion of the M74 Extension in 2011 meant that there is a six-lane motorway bisecting the northern part of the town, allowing easier access to places such as Glasgow Airport and the English border. Some years after the project was completed, studies show that pollution levels on Rutherglen's densely populated Main Street were still measured consistently at dangerously high levels, despite forecasts that traffic levels on urban streets in areas served by the motorway would reduce.

Areas in the Royal Burgh of Rutherglen

The Royal Burgh of Rutherglen has expanded over the years and now contains many other areas.

Since being granted Royal Burgh status by King David I, the town has grown from strength to strength and increased in size. It now covers a much larger region than the initial Burgh boundary. The nearby village of Burnside and High Burnside fall under the Rutherglen boundary but have their own Community Council. Historic areas such as the Burgh, Farme Cross, Quigleys and Burnside have changed greatly over the years too and more recent estates like Westhouse and the post-war developments of Newfield and Burnhill have given the Burgh an ever-changing character.

The current area of Rutherglen can be divided into 22 areas (seven of which fall into the Burnside and High Burnside area of the Burgh which was once, and is often still considered to be, self-contained).


The Burgh area of Rutherglen includes the old heart of the Royal Burgh of Rutherglen and the area directly around it. It features a war memorial, several religious establishments, old school house, new restaurants, a statue of Dr. Gorman, old county buildings, old tenements.

The Mitchell Arcade was given a makeover and renamed the Rutherglen Shopping Centre and used to feature a Daily Market. The Town Hall was recently refurbished as well.

Farme Cross

Farme Cross is one of the Boundary Areas of the Royal Burgh and is surrounded by the River Clyde and the City of Glasgow (Dalmarnock). There is a great many monuments and attractions here including a series of Standing Stones to commemorate the boundary stones of the old Royal Burgh and another monument near the bridge to Dalmarnock in Glasgow.

There is a lot of development work proposed for this region following the completion of the M74 Extension to the Glasgow Region Motorway network and the Clyde Gateway developments. A new retail park around the supermarket features two fast-food restaurants, KFC and McDonald's.

Cuningar Loop

The Cuningar Loop is an area on the south of the River Clyde near the Farme Cross region of the Royal Burgh of Rutherglen. It has now been transformed into a woodland park connecting across the River Clyde to the City of Glasgow (Dalmarnock) and the Commonwealth Games village.


The Shawfield region of the Royal Burgh of Rutherglen is mostly abandoned business districts. The Clyde Gateway projects aims to reinvest in this region and create new business parks and make the River Clyde accessible in Rutherglen once again. The old port of Rutherglen is accessible where the railway line passes over the riverside path. This area is however overgrown. You can access Farme Cross from under the railway bridge via the undergrowth.

Currently Shawfield Stadium (the former home of Clyde FC) is home to dog racing. Although not immediately noticeable, the building has Art Deco features.


Burnhill in the West of the Royal Burgh of Rutherglen borders the City of Glasgow (Toryglen and Hangingshaw). The region is home to the Rutherglen Branch of the South Lanarkshire Council youth club, Universal Connections and also The Celsius Stadium for Rutherglen football club, Glencairn. The area heavily features grassland, especially around the grass mound of Burnhill itself where the Jenny Burn from Cathkin Braes and Castlemilk (Glasgow) passes underneath.


Lying adjacent to Burnhill, Newfield is a small estate bordering Bankhead (Rutherglen) and Croftfoot (Glasgow). There are limited amenities on the border with the Glasgow region including a pub and small grassed areas are dotted around between the housing.


Falling almost entirely within the Newfield and Bankhead areas is a new estate of Newhouse. This area features modern, attractive housing developments and keeps the green theme from Glasgow and Rutherglen with gardens throughout.


Lying immediately behind the Burgh area, Clincarthill rises high over Rutherglen offering views across the Royal Burgh. There is a church and a school in this area and plenty of remaining old sandstone tenements from the past. The area has a distinctive character of its own.


Lying across Stonelaw Road from Clincarthill, Wardlawhill and its twin act like sentinels guarding the entrance and exit from Burgh (Rutherglen) to Burnside Village and Stonelaw beyond. There are a few remaining tenement buildings here as well as a church. The area features some older, large housing and is a gateway to the Stonelaw region featuring the old Rutherglen Academy which later became Stonelaw High.


The area including and surrounding Overtoun Park features a number of old buildings, including a nearby set of old red sandstone tenement buildings. The fountain in the park was once in Rutherglen Main Street. It had been erected in 1897 to mark Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee but was moved to the park in 1911 as it had become an obstacle to the increasingly popular motor car. The park was briefly one of the City of Glasgow District Parks when Rutherglen was under Glasgow Rule from 1975 to 1996.


The area known locally as East Main Street featuring some old tenement buildings. There is also an ancient burial mound which had been used at one time as an icehouse in the grounds of the now demolished Gallowflat house.


South of Gallowflat you reach Stonelaw, an area including Stonelaw High School and Rutherglen bowling club. This region has many features of the Garden Suburb including Woodburn Park a valley-like park on the East of Stonelaw Road which takes its name from the now-demolished Woodburn House. The most up-market place in Rutherglen, it is home to many expensive properties. The house system of Stonelaw High School names are based from avenues in the Stonelaw Area Jedburgh, Dryburgh,Melrose and Kelso


With a burn flowing through it and some old tenement buildings. There is a small row of shops here also.

Quigleys Estate

Once a private estate, the land of Quigleys is now a housing scheme - albeit a small one. The burn that flows through most of this side of Rutherglen is visible here for some distance ending in a small pond near the Bankhead estate. The grassland and pathway here are popular with local residents.

Burnside and High Burnside

A small prosperous village within the Rutherglen boundary, centred mostly around the Stonelaw Road and Burnside Road areas. It is a pleasant leafy suburb approximately six miles from the heart of Glasgow with its own set of shops and a small parkland, namely, Stonelaw Woods and Woodburn Park. It is also home to a supermarket (off Stonelaw Road) and hotel (off East Kilbride Road). There are a number of churches and a bowling green, and several tennis courts. Much of the traditional residential property was built in the early 1900s from blond and red sandstone providing a pleasant, traditional environment for families.


Burnside itself contains the main shopping area and some older housing. Stonelaw Woods lies at the northern boundary of the village and takes its name from the old Stonelaw Tower (a form of castle) that once stood nearby Burnside and the Stonelaw area of Rutherglen. The nearby Woodburn Park offer local residents many green spaces to visit.

High Burnside

High Burnside is a region to the south of Burnside which includes nearly all of the more modern estates mentioned below. As such the elements of High Burnside that remain are mostly the streets of older houses off of Burnside Road north of Blairbeth Road (including several with great views over the Burgh of Rutherglen and the City of Glasgow) and those off the Cathkin Bypass and at the far side of the Cathkin Estate. A small park sits at the heart of High Burnside with amenities for children.

High Crosshill

A small region featuring some old houses and bordering the Burnside area of the Royal Burgh. It gives access to Overtoun Park, has some views on Broomieknowe Road and includes Rutherglen Cemetery.


An self-contained estate featuring a few local landmarks such as a sports court and the Cathkin Library.There are two local schools (Loch Primary and St AnthonysRC ) and small parts of the estate are built on the land of a former loch (Boultrie Loch) which was a hot-spot for curling and skating in winter. A new stone sign welcomes you into the estate from the East Kilbride Road entrance. There is a small collection of local shops near the library and a sports pitch in a pen at the heart of the estate. A large housing tower block looms over the centre of the estate also.


A modern estate, currently undergoing a great deal of regeneration. The estate borders the City of Glasgow (Carmunnock and Cathkin Braes Country Park) and offers views over the City of Glasgow valley. A small wooded area (Cathkin Woods) near the boundary region with Cambuslang (Whitlawburn) and East Kilbride District. Cathkin Shops off Cathkin Bypass and Cullins Road feature a supermarket, local newsagent, betting shop and more. The old Cathkin House at the top of the estate offers a great view over Rutherglen and Glasgow beyond. Like many parts of the town, a new stone and metal entrance sign welcomes you as you enter Cathkin from Cathkin Bypass.


A modern housing estate undergoing a great deal of regeneration. It is home to an all girl High School and has its own Community Centre. A park was regenerated in the 1990s, Fernhill Park and offers a home to many animals. The area is bordered by the City of Glasgow (Castlemilk). Fernhill Road divides the estate. There are proposals in place for the Cathkin Relief Road to take Mill Street from Rutherglen and extend it through the parkland to connect with the Cathkin Bypass. This would lead to the loss of much parkland and habitat. It could also split Fernhill from the other areas of Rutherglen. The estate has two churches at either end and an entrance sign off Burnside Road.


Blairbeth housing estate with some small local amenities and little parks. The area borders Burnside proper and includes several hillside streets with views over the Burgh of Rutherglen and Glasgow. New facilities for local residents have been added to the estate. A large grass field bordering Fernhill Road and Mill Street is popular in the summer months for football. This park land is being reduced in size by the Cathkin Relief Road project which is currently under construction.


A small community with a little burn flowing through it (originating somewhere in Cathkin Braes Country Park or Castlemilk Park in the City of Glasgow). A new Community Centre was built some years back. There are also local amenities. The estate borders Croftfoot and Castlemilk in the City of Glasgow. A small grassed area borders the local centre and the burn (popularly known as the Jenny Burn in Castlemilk, Glasgow).


The local war memorial is by Scots sculptor George Henry Paulin.



Rutherglen Glencairn compete in the . The club was formed in 1896 and has won the famous Scottish Junior Cup on four occasions (1901–02, 1918–19, 1926–27, 1938–39). Glencairn moved into a brand new stadium (New Southcroft Park, currently sponsored by Celsius Cooling and renamed as The Celsius Stadium) situated in the Burnhill area of Rutherglen in 2009 following the demolition of the old ground (Southcroft Park), where they had played for over 100 years. The Glencairn Venue building on Glasgow Road, which is on part of the old site – the rest now being under the M74 motorway – is owned by the football club, although the company operating in the building is a separate entity from the club. In 2008, Rutherglen Glencairn won the Central District League First Division with a record points total. The 2009–10 season saw Glencairn record back to back titles when they won the West Region Super League Division One at the first attempt.

Clyde Football Club used to play in the area before moving to the former new town of Cumbernauld. The immediate area could be considered the cradle of Scottish football, with Hampden Park, the national stadium and home to Scotland's oldest football club Queen's Park being close by to the west as well as Cathkin Park, the home of the defunct Third Lanark and not far to the north, Celtic Park, the home of Celtic – all of which (apart from Clyde's former ground) are located in the City of Glasgow.

In addition to men's amateur teams (such as Rutherglen AFC of the Scottish Amateur Football League), the town also had a women's football club, Rutherglen Ladies, which was formed in 1921 and played at a high level throughout the 20s and 30s. More recently Rutherglen Girls FC was founded in 2012 and features three age group teams plus a senior women's team competing in the SWFL, Central/South East Division.


Loch Primary and Cathkin Primary are feeder schools for Cathkin High School (built in 1970, rebuilt in 2008), which is located at Whitlawburn just outside the Rutherglen boundaries and is primarily the secondary school for Cambuslang. Conversely, two schools located in Cambuslang (James Aiton and Park View) are feeders for Stonelaw High in Rutherglen, along with Bankhead, Burgh, Burnside, Calderwood and Spittal Primaries within the burgh.

Trinity High (to which St Anthony's, St Mark's and St Columbkille's Primaries are affiliated) is the only Catholic secondary school for both towns, as is the case for Rutherglen High School, the local Additional Support Needs facility which shares a campus with Cathkin High.

All council-run schools in the South Lanarkshire area were rebuilt between the late 1990s and 2010s.

List of schools

2019-20 pupil roll in parentheses.


  • Bankhead Primary School, Bankhead Road, Rutherglen, G73 2BQ (332)
  • Burgh Primary School, 41 King Street, Rutherglen, G73 1JY (199)
  • Burnside Primary School, Glenlui Avenue, Burnside, Rutherglen, G73 4JE (393)
  • Calderwood Primary School, Buchanan Drive, Rutherglen G73 3PQ (435)
  • Cathkin Primary School, Burnside Road, Rutherglen, G73 4AA (213)
  • Loch Primary School, Lochaber Drive, Springhall, Rutherglen, G73 5HX (190)
  • Spittal Primary School, Lochlea Road, Spittal, Rutherglen G73 4QJ (137)
  • Stonelaw High School, 140 Calderwood Road, Rutherglen, G73 3BP (1107)

Roman Catholic

  • St Anthony's Primary School, Lochaber Drive, Springhall, Rutherglen, G73 5HX (205)
  • St Columbkille's Primary School, Clincarthill Road, Rutherglen, G73 2LG (293)
  • St Mark's Primary School, Kirkriggs Avenue, Blairbeth, Rutherglen, G73 4LY (151)
  • Trinity High School, Glenside Drive, Eastfield, Rutherglen, G73 3LW (1100)

Private schools

  • Fernhill School, Fernbrae Avenue, Fernhill, Rutherglen, Glasgow, G73 4SG (230 – 5 to 18)

Notable people

  • Several notable persons born between 1978 and 1998 are 'from' Rutherglen as per their birth certificate, but have only a tenuous link to the town due to being delivered at Rutherglen Maternity Hospital which operated between these years; many children born here would have grown up in Glasgow, East Kilbride or elsewhere. This applies to international footballers Craig Bryson, Stuart Findlay, Declan Gallagher, Steven Hammell, Aiden McGeady and Kenny McLean, additionally footballers Chris Erskine, Fraser Kerr, Willie Howie, Dave Mackay, international rugby players Richie Gray and Jonny Gray, and golfer Marc Warren. Others with clear ties to Rutherglen are listed below.

Artists, actors and media personalities

  • Dave Anderson, actor, musician and playwright
  • Janet Brown, actress and comedian, known for her impressions of Margaret Thatcher
  • Steven Campbell, artist
  • Andy Cameron, comedian
  • Robbie Coltrane, comedian/actor
  • James Dillon, composer
  • Dougie Donnelly, sports TV presenter
  • Gary Erskine, comic artist
  • Jack Jester (born Lee Greig), professional wrestler, former ICW heavyweight champion
  • Jayd Johnson, actor – one of her major roles in The Field of Blood (TV series) was adapted from novels (by Denise Mina) which are largely set in Rutherglen
  • Scott Kyle, actor
  • George Logan, Hinge and Bracket television comedy double act
  • Mamie Baird (née Baird), journalist; married TV broadcaster Magnus Magnusson, their family home was in the town and was where children Jon Magnusson (producer) and TV news presenter Sally Magnusson grew up
  • Alistair MacLean, television script writer, teacher at Gallowflat High School
  • Tom McGrath (playwright)
  • Matt McGinn, folk singer, born in the Calton but lived in Rutherglen for many years, wrote songs which mention Rutherglen, like "Ru'glen Jean" and "Rosy Anna"
  • Edwin Morgan, poet
  • Frank Quitely, (born Vincent Deighan), comic artist
  • Richard Rankin, actor and comedian (born Richard Harris), starred in popular TV shows such as Burnistoun, Taggart and Outlander
  • Audrey Tait, drummer for hip-hop band Hector Bizerk and rock band Franz Ferdinand
  • Dougie Thomson, the bass guitarist for Supertramp from 1972 to 1988
  • Midge Ure of the band Ultravox


  • Marie Cassidy, State Pathologist for Ireland
  • David Fleming, politician
  • Clare Haughey, SNP MSP (for Rutherglen)
  • Gerard Killen, Labour MP (for Rutherglen)
  • John Mason, SNP MSP
  • Baron Tommy McAvoy Labour politician, House of Lords Life peer
  • Eddie McAvoy, leader of South Lanarkshire Council, brother of Baron McAvoy
  • John Campbell White, also known as Baron Overtoun / Lord Overtoun, son of James White, also partner in the Whites firm. His successor William James Chrystal is mentioned in a plaque on Main Street for contributions towards the Old Parish Church.


  • Steve Archibald, Scotland international footballer, clubs included Tottenham, Barcelona
  • Archie Baird, footballer (Aberdeen) and World War II POW
  • Alec Bennett (Celtic, Rangers and Scotland footballer)
  • Harry Cowan, footballer (Clyde, New Bedford (USA))
  • Bob Davidson, footballer (Dundee)
  • Paul di Giacomo, footballer (Kilmarnock)
  • Simon Donnelly, international footballer (Celtic)
  • Stuart Dougal, football referee
  • Jimmy Dunn, footballer (Leeds United)
  • Scott Forrest, Commonwealth Games rugby international
  • Allan Forsyth, footballer (Dundee United)
  • Mary Gilchrist, chess player
  • Tommy Grozier, footballer (Plymouth Argyle)
  • Bobby Harvey footballer (Clyde)
  • Brogan Hay, footballer (Glasgow City, Rangers)
  • Drew Henry, snooker player
  • Harry Haddock, international footballer (Clyde)
  • Niall Hopper, footballer (Queen's Park)
  • Archie Jackson, Australian cricketer
  • Colin Jackson (Rangers and Scotland defender), born in Glasgow and raised in Aberdeen but lived in Rutherglen for most of his life
  • Thomas Leather, Australian cricketer
  • Collette McCallum, international footballer for Australia
  • Amy McDonald, international women's footballer
  • Jimmy McMenemy, Celtic and Scotland footballer (won 11 league titles and 7 Scottish Cups)
  • Stephen McKeown, footballer (Partick Thistle)
  • Brian McPhee, footballer (Airdrie)
  • Bobby Murdoch, Celtic midfielder (one of the Lisbon Lions); in 2016 a plaque and display was unveiled at the Town Hall honouring his achievements
  • Billy Murdoch, brother of Bobby, played for Kilmarnock
  • John Moir, American basketball champion
  • Jack Mowat, football referee, oversaw 12 domestic cup finals and the 1960 European Cup Final
  • John Rae, international footballer (Third Lanark)
  • Willie Robb, international footballer (Rangers)
  • Peter Roney, footballer (Bristol Rovers)
  • Steven Saunders, international footballer (Motherwell)
  • Sandy Stewart, footballer (Airdrie)
  • Dick Strang, footballer (Darlington)
  • Alan Trouten, footballer
  • Duncan Weir, Scotland international rugby union player, began career at Cambuslang Rugby Club
  • Andy Walker, Celtic footballer and TV presenter


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