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Hamilton is a town in South Lanarkshire, in the west-central Lowlandsmarker of Scotlandmarker. It serves as the main administrative centre of the South Lanarkshire council area. It is the fifth largest town (excluding cities) in Scotland after Paisleymarker, East Kilbridemarker, Livingston and Cumbernauldmarker, and is situated south-east of Glasgowmarker, and south-west of Edinburghmarker on the south bank of the River Clyde at its confluence with the Avon Watermarker. Hamilton was the county town of Lanarkshiremarker.


The town of Hamilton was originally known as Cadzow ( , the " " being the letter yogh, pronounced Cadihou), but was re-named in honor of James Hamilton, 1st Lord Hamilton. 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.

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 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 Castlemarker also lie in Chatelherault Country Parkmarker, two miles from the town centre.

Hamilton Palacemarker 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 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.


Chatelherault Hunting Lodge
Hamilton Old Parish Church

By road the town is to the west of the M74 motorway, the main southerly link to Englandmarker, which joins the M6 just north of Carlislemarker. The main route from Edinburgh is the M8, leaving at junctions 6 or 7.

Areas of Hamilton:

Nearby towns and cities:


Service industries and local government are major employers in Hamilton, as are HSBC/First Direct and Philips, the Dutch electronics conglomerate. The town centre has been regenerated over the last decade by creating two new indoor shopping centres (one of them the Regent Shopping Centre) and the Palace Grounds Retail Park.

Restaurants and national retail outlets are situated in a redeveloped part of the Palace Grounds that are visible upon entering the town from the M74 motorway. The creation of a circular Town Square (now the site of a Frankie & Benny's restaurant) has resulted in Hamilton receiving numerous town planning awards during the past decade. This development transformed the Hamilton side of Strathclyde Park, which was the original site of the Duke's palace. The shopping centre is still under development.

Hamilton Townhouse & Library

Hamilton has been a Fairtrade Town since 2005.


Hamilton has three railway stations, Hamilton Centralmarker, Hamilton Westmarker and Chateleraultmarker, all on the Argyle Line's Hamilton Circle railway line, and is 22 minutes from Glasgow.

Beside Hamilton Centralmarker lies Hamilton Central Bus Station, providing links to surrounding towns and cities, also offering an express bus to Glasgowmarker and also some parts of Englandmarker.

Cycling paths run from Strathclyde Park to Chatelherault Country Parkmarker following the banks of the Clyde and Avon. These are being expanded at part of the Sustrans Connect2 project[14811] and will make up part of the National Cycle Route 74 which will run from Glasgowmarker to Carlisle, Cumbriamarker


There are currently three comprehensive high schools in the town – Hamilton Grammar, John Ogilvie and Holy Cross. Earnock High School was burnt down in June 2008, but was in any event earmarked for closure. Hamilton also has one private school, Hamilton College, next to the Hamilton Park Racecoursemarker.

Hamilton is a university town with The University of the West of Scotland campus sited on Almada Street.


The area near Hamilton West railway stationmarker and Peacock Cross has changed with the demolition of Hamilton Academical Football Club's original Douglas Parkmarker stadium in 1994. A retail park was built on the site with New Douglas Parkmarker added behind it in 2001. Hamilton Academical F.C. (the Accies) was formed in 1874 and is one of Scotland's oldest senior clubs. It takes its name from Hamilton Academy, now called Hamilton Grammar School, the oldest school in the town (founded 1588). It is the only professional football team in the UK to originate from a school team and play in the Scottish Premier League, having won the Scottish First Division title during 2007/2008.

The Hamilton Rugby Club can be found at the Laigh Bent sports ground, Bent Road. They currently play in the Scottish Premier League 3.

Hamilton Park Racecourse is situated alongside Bothwell Road.

Speedway racing was staged in Hamilton between 1947 and 1955. The annual meeting was staged as part of the annual Lanarkshire Show and featured riders from across Scotland. The site of the track was the old ash football pitches of Strathclyde Park – an area now covered by the town square.

There are a number of high quality football, cricket, and rugby pitches in the Palace Grounds area alongside the Mausoleum. Part of Strathclyde Park is sited within Hamilton's boundary, providing world class water-sport facilities.


Hamilton Town House Theatre is a 500 seat venue in the Cadzow Street area of the town. It is the first cultural venue in Scotland to attain the prestigious Quest accreditation. A multiplex Vue Cinema is located in the redeveloped Palace Grounds area close to the Hamilton Palace nightclub.

Notable people

Town twinning

Hamilton is twinned with Châtelleraultmarker in Francemarker. This connection dates from the 16th century when the title Duc de Châtellerault was conferred on James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran. The Duke's hunting lodge (now in Chatelherault Country Park), a primary school and new railway station are named 'Chatelheraultmarker' for this reason.

See also

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