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South Lanarkshire

Population 5576. Figures taken from 2001 Census.

Like its neighbour Bothwell, Uddingston is a prosperous commuter town at the northern tip of the South Lanarkshire area.

The town has a vibrant centre and nightlife and its proximity to Glasgow, Hamilton and the M8 corridor to Edinburgh make it an attracive place for commuters. There is also a good selection of high street stores, traditional shops and cosy cafes and pubs.

Uddingston is probably most famous for Tunnocks bakery, producers of the world-famous Caramel Wafer, Caramel Log and Teacake. This family-run business, founded in 1890 is still one of the main employers in the area but thanks to regeneration in the surrounding industrial estates, things are looking up for Uddingston. Other big employers include heating manufacturers Scottish Gas, Sunvic Controls, DFDS Transport and Croftbank Nursing Home.

Housing in Uddingston has something for everyone, from council properties to traditional sandstone villas and new build homes. Uddingston's only 'A' listed building is the Uddingston Viaduct.

There are two primary schools in the area and Uddingston Grammar will be totally rebuilt as part of South Lanarkshire Council's multi-million pound schools modernisation programme.

Uddingston is served by the Bellshill Speaker, Hamilton Advertiser, the Lanarkshire Extra and the Lanarkshire World.

You can also watch our SLVTV film about the motorbike club M74MCC (this link will open in a new window).


Uddingston's shops are concentrated along the main street with a selection of local stores, ranging from children's wear and an interior design studio to florists, newsagents and estate agents.

It also has a range of restaurants, bars and cafes, including the famous Tunnocks tea room.

How to get there

Uddingston is easily accessible from the M74. From Glasgow you can also take the A74. Uddingston is on the main rail line to Glasgow from Motherwell. It has a good bus service to outlying towns and Glasgow.


The name Uddingston originated with the Angles who arrived in the area around AD 700. The original spelling of the name was Odistoun, meaning the homestead of Oda. It gradually evolved into Evison and later to Udiston.

Uddingston has been a main thoroughfare since the Roman era when the main road from the south ran through the town. In 1790 the first stage coach ran from London through Uddingston to Glasgow. The railway came in 1849 and the motorway in 1968.

The entrance to Bothwell Castle is actually in Uddingston. Between 1296 and 1337 the castle changed hands between the Scots and the English several times and was partially demolished twice. Bothwell Castle was finally abandoned in the 17th century and Archibald Douglas used stone from the old castle to build a new 'Bothwell Castle' in the fashionable Palladian style. This mansion was finally demolished in 1930.

In the first half of the 18th century 60 families were recorded in the village of Uddingston and by 1795 there was a population of 287, many of whom were involved in handloom weaving. The manufacture of linen thread from locally grown flax also formed part of the local economy. By the 19th century, Uddingston had become a centre for the manufacture of agricultural machinery notably Wilkie's Plough. This was first made by Mr John Wilkie in 1800 and was used in all the well-cultivated districts of Scotland and in many parts of England. By 1840 more than 10,000 ploughs had been produced by the Wilkie family.

Up to the middle of the 19th century there were few shops in Uddingston. The Co-operative Society was founded in 1861 and over the following 20 years many more shops opened to serve the growing community. The Victorian era was a period of growth with most of the tenements and large houses in Uddingston built around this time.

Although Uddingston was surrounded by collieries in the early 20th century, there was only ever one pit in the village itself, Maryville, which was abandoned in 1883.

One of Uddingston's most famous sons, Sir James Black, is world-renowned for developing drugs that have saved millions of lives. Born in the town in 1924, Sir James revolutionised heart treatments after he created beta-blocker drugs and later ulcer-tackling medicine with his achievements winning him a Nobel Prize in 1988.

By Bothwell Banks
Some Chapters on the History, Archaeology, and Literary Associations of the Uddingston and Bothwell District by George Henderson and J. Jeffrey Waddell (1904) (pdf)

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