Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Hamilton~South Lanarkshire~Scotland

Hamilton is a town in South Lanarkshire, Scotland and the birthplace of my paternal grandmother.  A special place in our family history and one I had hoped to visit one day.  That day had come.  We’d been in contact with cousins who lived in Scotland and arranged to meet them to show us around the town.  With my sister and our husbands, we flew from London to Glasgow to spend time with our cousins and to learn some family history.  

 Hamilton, Scotland
We stayed in a Glasgow hotel; Hamilton is situated 19 km (12 miles) away.  We took the train to Hamilton Central Station, which only takes about 20 minutes from Glasgow, a pleasant train ride.  The day was overcast but comfortable weather for our sightseeing plans.  

Downtown Hamilton sights
We arrived earlier than our planned meeting and wandered about the town, seeing the sights which would definitely have changed since my grandmother left here about 1905.  Most of her relatives remained in Scotland, only she with parents and siblings left for Canada then.

Great directions
The signs seen on our travels in the UK are interesting and this one measures the distance with walking minutes to the designation.  These aren’t something we’d see at home in our town.

David Livingstone Home
We meet with our cousins, Linda we’d met on a previous visit to England and Wendy and John were new acquaintances.  We then went to a local ice cream parlor they’d known for years and sat down for a visit and “get to know one another” time.  We couldn’t ask for a nicer welcome or better host/hostesses to join us on this visit.  I didn’t get a photo of the parlor but did get one of the sign next door that said “Dr. David Livingstone had lived here 1862 until his death in 1873”.  He was a missionary and explorer of Africa, a name most of us would be familiar with from high school history. 

We then went to the location of the “tenement building” that our grandmothers had lived in, a short distance away. The building would have had several entrances to the upper flats with stores on the ground floor.  The cousins’ grandmother also lived here and although the same building was no longer there, we knew it was a special place.  My sister and I could feel that, which was unexpected and amazing for me.  It was a thrill to be at this place where Grandma had once lived over 100 years ago.

Hamilton Mausoleum
Our next stop was at the grounds of the Hamilton Mausoleum.  This was once the location of the Hamilton Palace before it was demolished and sits on beautiful grasslands of the Hamilton Low Parks for the public to enjoy.  The Mausoleum was built as the resting place for the families of the Dukes of Hamilton.

Chatelherault Lodge
This lodge was “named after the Duke of Chatelherault, the title bestowed upon James Hamilton by Henry II of France in the 16th century.”  I don't have any French in me and it's even difficult for the Scottish to pronounce so I sure won’t tackle it. (:

Chatelherault museum
Inside the Lodge is a museum of the history as well as a souvenir shop so we had a nice look around to enjoy some of the history of the Hamilton family and the origins of the name of this town.   It was soon closing time and we had to leave.

Wall climbing exit
We’d all gone in two cars and we were with John who parked out front and we had no problem leaving the Lodge.  The others had parked out back and when we drove back there to meet them, they’d come outside from the Lodge to a closed gate!  The most chuckles we had all afternoon was getting them over the wall.


Cousins Linda, Wendy and John with my sister Jen (glasses) and I.  We had a wonderful visit with our lovely Scottish cousins, many thanks to them for sharing their time and this special visit with us.  Although this took place three years ago, (that’s hard to believe!), the memories are still vivid and we will hopefully have more visits in time to come.

Spend some time in Glasgow with us.

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