The Royal Burgh of Rutherglen #01: Getting in touch with our roots

Rutherglen: Reconnecting with Our Past

The Royal Burgh of Rutherglen is a great wee place. It essentially equates to one third of the south east of the City of Glasgow. However, despite officially being within Glasgow's boundaries from 1975 to 1996, Rutherglen (and neighbouring Cambuslang) remain strongly independent. 

I've been a Rugloanian all my life and love my little Burgh. Strong evidence shows it to be one of Scotland's first Royal Burghs - a title common across Scotland, but very important to a small town. Rutherglen has some great history and, being so close to Glasgow City Centre, it really should create stronger links with the history of the place.

For example, the Castle of Rutherglen may be long gone, but it's links with William Wallace are pretty interesting - his capture was plotted here. The small Reuther Community Centre, could easily double as a museum being so close to Rutherglen Train Station and feature a selection of the interesting items that used to be found in the old King Street museum. The train from Argyle Street to Rutherglen can often be as quick a journey as only four minutes - try getting anywhere else in the city quicker by train.

There was once a lane just off of Rutherglen Main Street called Din's Dyke which was where Mary, Queen of Scots, after fleeing from her defeat in Langside (South Glasgow) was accosted by some men. She fled after intervention from the locals. Her journey to Main Street itself was via another part of Rutherglen at Mall's Mire, which straddles Toryglen Park in Hangingshaw on the current Glasgow City boundary. 

Connection to two notable characters in Scottish history are not all Rutherglen should celebrate more - the Redding (Riding) of the Marches should be reinstated - a festival covering the boundaries of Rutherglen. A modern version could see all the corners of the current Burgh taken in. If money were to allow, 'gates' could be erected at each entrance to the burgh at Cathkin, Fernhill, Springhall, Stonelaw, Gallowflat, Farme Cross, Bankhead, Spittal, Burnhill and Shawfield. Art installations or something similar would be a great welcome to our wonderful wee place.

It's nice to see the Heritage Centre in the local Library taking an interest in recent years in finding the old boundary marker stones and one can only hope that more interest in Rutherglen will come from it.

Take time to visit Rutherglen, especially this weekend (08 June 2013) when our local celebration takes place - Landemar Day. It's a wee Burgh but it's a pretty wee Burgh. Student Tours Scotland even runs a tour here once a semester!