Rutherglen was granted its charter in 1126, only two years after David I ascended to the throne of Scotland, and is therefore one of Scotland’s oldest Royal Burghs. This made Rutherglen an important centre for trade. It is said to be named after Reuther, an ancient King of the Scots, reigning between 213 and 187 BC. Until it was burnt down in 1569, the 13th century Rutherglen Castle stood here, with towers and five-foot thick walls, held at certain times in its history by the English. By the 16th century the castle was in the hands of the Hamiltons, the lairds of Shawfield, and only the great tower remained. The last remnants of the castle disappeared in the middle of the 18th century to make way for a vegetable garden close to what is now the junction of Castle Street and King Street. During the 19th century Rutherglen changed from being a weaving and mining village into a more industrial area, with its own shipyard, established by Thomas Bollen Seath in 1856. Seath built many of the paddle steamers and the famous little Clutha ferryboats that transported commuters up and down the Clyde. Rutherglen Town Hall was constructed in the mid-19th century in the Scottish Baronial style. It was re-opened in 2005 following a £12.5million refurbishment and is now an arts and events venue hosting weddings in the Grand Hall and Mezzanine Bar, musical performances, children’s’ shows and conferences. There are also classes in drama, dance, music and painting.
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