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 Bellshill (Strathclyde)   
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St Andrew's Church, Bellshill
St Andrew's Church, Bellshill

Bellshill is a village in North Lanarkshire, Scotland, two miles north of Motherwell. Since 1996, it has been situated in the Greater Glasgow metropolitan area. The town has a population of 30,000 (2001).

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 and Sykehead.

After the mid-1800s, large coal and iron deposits were discovered nearby and a number of mines opened, the first being the Thankerton mine. This rapidly increased the size of the town, even bringing in immigrants from abroad particularly Lithuania so much so it is sometimes referenced as little Lithuania.[[1]]

A number of railway stations were opened in the area, including Mossend, Fallside and Bell Cross.

In the 1870s, Bothwell Parochial Board built the two ward Bellshill Hospital. During World War I, the hospital specialised in infection diseases. In 1917, the hospital began to specialise as 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'. The hospital was the birth place of many famous faces including politician Robin Cook. footballer Ally McCoist and singer Sheena Easton. The hospital later closed down in 2001 and was 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 UKs property hotspot with a 46% rise in house prices. This took the average property price to £105,698 (according to reports published April 2005).


[edit] Etymology

Bellshill has an uncertain etymology. Some toponymists suggest the origin may be Celtic baile "town" with an unknown second element, while others suggest it is Old English hyll "hill" with an uncertain first element. The name was recorded as Balenhulle in 1278, suggesting a mixture of Old English and Celtic, but currently, there is no proper etymology.

Others point to the fact that it is on a hill, close to what was Mr Bell's Quarry.

[edit] Music

Bellshill is also known for its music, especially since the mid 1980s. Bands such as 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 BBC television series Sounds Of The Suburbs. Bellshill continues to produce well respected and influential independent pop music, with members of current bands Mogwai and De Rosa hailing from the town.

[edit] Notable people from Bellshill

Bellshill is home to Lanarkshire's maternity hospital and although the following people were born there, not all of them have lived in Bellshill. A high number of successful footballers have been born at Bellshill Maternity hospital.

In 1996, a television programme was made about the three world famous football managers who were born in Belshill - Matt Busby, Bill Shankly and Jock Stein. This programme featured interviews with several friends and former neighbours of each of the featured managers.

[edit] External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

Coordinates: 55°49'N, 4°01'W

(Source: Wikipedia)
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