Religion in Uddingston

The new Glasgow-Carlisle road, constructed in about 1820, resulted in the village becoming a staging post for mailcoach services on that route. It was, however, the building of railways that transformed the village. The first was the Clydesdale Junction Railway, which provided a direct link between Motherwell and Glasgow, speeding up travel between England and Scotland. It opened in 1855, and the original Uddingston station on this line is still in use. In 1877 the Glasgow, Bothwell, Hamilton and Coatbridge Railway was opened, which from 1885 gave the village a direct link to the centre of Glasgow. This closed in 1961. In the later 19th century Uddingston became a desirable residential area for well-to-do Glaswegians, and many handsome villas were built.

Religion in Uddingston Photo Gallery

The centre of the village grew, with shops and other facilities needed by the new community, One local business was a baker’s shop and tearoom on the main street. This grew into T Tunnock Ltd, with a large factory in the centre of the town, now famous for its teacakes and caramel wafers, which takes the place-name all over the world. In the first decade of the 20th century electric tramways were constructed to link Uddingston with both Glasgow and the Hamilton and Motherwell area. After the First World War motor transport (both omnibuses and private cars) further reinforced the attractiveness of the place as a residential area. To the north of the 19th century village large council house areas were built up from the 1920s, largely initially to replace insanitary miners’ rows. The expansion of Uddingston naturally called for the provision of churches. The first was a mission from Bothwell Free Church, in 1854. In 1876 a congregation was officially formed, and a church was built in the same year.

Before that, however, a United Presbyterian congregation had been founded, in 1862. In 1863 a church was built ‘on a site gifted by a neighbouring proprietor’. These churches were initially known respectively as Uddingston Free and Uddingston United Presbyterian churches. When these two denominations united in 1900 these churches became Uddingston Chalmers and Uddingston Park United Free churches respectively. It was in this context that the Church of Scotland built what is now Uddingston Old Parish Church in 1873, as a chapel of ease of Bothwell. It was constructed to a design by Thomas Halket junior, on part of the Bothwell Castle Home Farm, and was given a quoad sacra parish carved out of that of Bothwell. Originally known as Uddingston Trinity, it was enlarged in 1886 to designs by JB Wilson, a noted Glasgow church architect of the period. In 1982 its congregation was united with that of the Chalmers church, meeting in the Trinity building. Initially the united congregation was known as Uddingston Chalmers Trinity, but in 1984 it was renamed Uddingston Old. The church has a fine interior, with some distinguished stained-glass windows, including two war memorial windows from the former Chalmers church, and two Tunnock Memorial windows by Gordon Webster. The Uddingston Park congregation became a United Reformed one in about 2006. Today Uddingston Old has a thriving congregation, contributing a great deal to the vigorous sense of community in central Uddingston.

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