Bellshill was originally an agricultural hamlet, but the town grew and merged with neighbouring villages. Now a focal point within Scotland's motorway network.
Bellshill is a small town with a pleasant character, and the birthplace of Sir Matt Busby (Scottish Football Player and Manager). Its location proved ideal for industry when coal and iron were discovered underground, and it is still well located today.
Bellshill stands on land which was owned by the crown until 1135 when David Olifard, a godson of King David I, gave up his estate in Herefordshire in exchange for all the lands between the North and South Calder Waters. This area ran from the boundary of the Lothians to the west side of Uddingston and was ruled over from the 12th century tower house of Orbiston until 1242. The tower house was situated at the No 1 green on Bellshill Golf Course.
Bellshill first appears in the Pont map of 1654 as 'Belmill', originally situated at the east end of Viewpark and was formed by a row of quarry workers houses belonging to a Mr Bell who owned the stone quarry nearby. There are some other theories, however, in regard to Bellshill's etymology. Some believe that the name's origins may relate to baile, the Celtic for town, while others suggest it is more likely to be Old English, relating the ‘hill' to hyll. In 1278 Bellshill is seen recorded as Balenhulle, suggesting a fusion of both Old English and Celtic, although no certain etymology has been decided upon.
With the demise of the quarry the original village died away and a neighbouring village of Crossgates (situated at what is now Bellshill Cross) became the focal point for the area. Around 1810 this growing village took on the name of Bellshill and its expansion gradually absorbed surrounding villages such as Black Moss and Sykehead.
During the mid 1800's several mines were opened, the first of which being the Thankerton mine. The town's population greatly increased and Lithuanian immigrants began to arrive around this time.
Nearby Viewpark was home to the famous Celtic player 'Jinky' Jimmy Johnstone who began his footballing career playing for St Columba's team that won three trophies between 1953-54. After his untimely death in 2006 a statue was erected of him near the old site of the St Columbas School where he grew up.
Bellshill was also famous for music particularly in the mid 1980's Singer Sheena Easton was born in the town of Bellshill, the youngest of six children of steel mill labourer Alex Orr and his wife Annie. Her earliest known public performance as a singer was at the age of five (in 1964), when she sang "Early One Morning" for her uncle and aunt and various relatives at the couple's 25th wedding anniversary celebration. Furthermore, The Soup Dragons, BMX Bandits and Teenage Fanclub all came from Bellshill and featured as important Indie Rock bands in Scotland's music scene. DJ John Peel celebrated, what he called, ‘the Bellshill Sound' or ‘the Bellshill Beat', on his BBC series Sounds of the Suburbs. Mogwai and De Rosa have more recently represented Bellshill in the wider music world.