Reflecting its roots as a market town, modern Airdrie has retained its traditional centre – giving a focus for the many shopping and leisure activities that the town can offer.
Airdrie is home to one of the four public observatories operating in the UK. The Airdrie Observatory, within Airdrie Library is of significant historical and scientific interest and makes for a fun day out for both adults and children alike.
Airdrie Golf Club was formed in 1877 and the Airdreonans Football Club in 1878. In 1891 the town's Broomfield Park football ground saw the world's first penalty kick. For a short time in the 1890s, Airdrie was even home to a racecourse.
Airdrie's name comes from the Gaelic for 'high hill pasture' and can be dated back to AD577. The Battle of Arderyth or Airdrie, was fought in this year, between Rydderech, "the bountiful" King of Strathclyde and Aidan, "the perfidious" King of Kintyre.
Airdrie lies on the 'Hogs Back', the ridge of land running from East to West. The Monks of Newbattle had numerous establishments throughout the area including a farm grange at Drumpellier, a Court House at Kipps, a Chapel in the area of Chapelhall and a number of corn mills.
In the 12th century the monks built the original Glasgow to Edinburgh Road via Airdrie and Bathgate, to link up with their lands in Newbattle. Airdrie is first referred to by name in 1605 and in 1695 Airdrie became a market town.
Mr Robert Hamilton was credited with being the founder of the modern Airdrie. He owned most of the land and was the "Laird" of Airdrie House. He helped make Airdrie a prestigious country village in the seventeenth century. The population steadily increased after his death and most of its inhabitants became farmers or weaving communities. Flax was grown on many local farms and the town became a well-established centre of woollen and linen fabrics.