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It is one of the principal towns of Lanarkshire and has the postal code of ML2 and the dialling code Wishaw had a population of 30, in Itself, Wishaw is the 26th largest settlement in Scotland. Historically a mining and farming town, human presence in Wishaw dates back thousands of years, however in the 21st century serves as a vibrant commuter town and a growing center in the Central Belt.
Along with its neighbours of Hamilton , Bellshill and Motherwell it forms part of the Greater Glasgow conurbation , which has a total population of around 1,, around a third of Scotland's population as of Wishaw lies within a very populated area in North Lanarkshire , which itself is the fourth largest local authority in Scotland based on population.
There are two adjoining villages, often included as part of the town for administrative purposes: Overtown and Newmains. The town is located in the relatively level Central Belt area of Scotland. While there are valleys and high moors within this area, there are no hills or summits over 1, feet. This means that Wishaw experiences mild summers and cool winters , with the most rainfall coming between October and March. Snow, while not unheard of during winters, is not the norm. Most winters in Wishaw see around 10—20 days of snow.
The warmest month on average is July, with an average daily temperature of Wishaw lies on two rivers. It is not certain how Wishaw's name came into being. Other theories exist; it may be from the Old English for "Willow Wood".
Others believe the name was originally Viashaw , meaning way or road through the wood, which would make sense as an ancient Roman road was built through the modern town. Yet another theory is that the name derives from "Wee Shaw", meaning small wood. The name may come from the Scottish Gaelic word "uisge" , meaning water which is where whisky derives its name , Therefore Wishaw could mean simply water.
However all these theories have equal likelihood. In Scottish Gaelic, the main name of the town is, Camas Neachdain . In fact, the current Main Street is based on a road built by the Romans. These roads would have been in use sporadically between around 70 AD - AD. Wishaw was in the region of the Brittonic Celts of ancient Britain, more specifically, the British Damnonii tribe controlled the land.
Artifacts dedicated to pagan Celtic gods have been excavated in Wishaw, meaning that there were Celtic people nearby at some point before the 6th century. Wishaw is not one of Scotland's medieval towns. The current town was built in recent centuries, however there has been post Roman inhabitaion for a long time.
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There is however dispute to whether this was named after or established by the Pictish King Nechtan or perhaps St Ninian. Nonetheless, the area became known as Cambusnethan or Kamnethan from then on. The site of the original church remains as a ruined burial ground ,  including an impressive mausoleum to Lord Belhaven. Excavated from this area was the Cambusnethan Stone, a large Christian tablet created by the Strathclyde Britons.
In the 12th century , a Norman lord constructed a large manor near Gowkthrapple, as well as another small church.
This was the beginning of the parish of Cambusnethan, which lasted up until In the 13th century , administrative control of the parish was ceded to Glasgow from the previous Kelso Abbey. In a map of Lanarkshire  published in the s, the names of areas such as Nothorton Netherton , Camunethan Cambusnethan , and Greenhead Greenhead all appear in the general location of Wishaw. In the modern day, these areas are all neighbourhoods of Wishaw.
In the 18th century agriculture in the area consisted mainly of growing oats although some wheat and pear trees were cultivated. In the population of Wishaw was about and that of the whole parish only By the time the Caledonian Railway 's main line came through Wishaw in it was a major mining centre fueling an important part of Scotland's industrial heartland. There were also factories for needle-work and tambouring , and confectionery.
Four years later, in , St. Ignatius Parish Church was established, and the church built on Young Street, where it remains to this day. In Groome recorded that there were 5 schools in Wishaw as well as others in nearby villages. The descendants of these Irish Catholics can be found today in Wishaw's large Catholic population. Again in World War II , Wishaw was vital to the British war effort as it was a hub for railways, coal mining and steelworks. American soldiers were stationed in Wishaw at some point during the war.
Despite the strategic value of the town, Wishaw was never targeted during The Blitz and survived the war undamaged. As a result of its history as a steel manufacturing and mining community, Wishaw was also home to mining and industrial equipment manufacturers such as Anderson Boyes now part of Long-Airdox and Svedala, but both these businesses have since gone through changes leading to their movement away from these businesses and the Wishaw area. Wishaw and its nearby neighbour of Motherwell were once the centre of steel manufacture in Scotland, as both towns were located either side of the former Ravenscraig steelworks which closed in One of its last tramcar orders was for 10 double-decker trams for Aberdeen Corporation Tramways in In November , the world's worst recorded outbreak of E.
The town has recovered from the loss of industry such as steelworks and coal mines which closed mainly closed down in the s and s. Most of the late s and s were a recovery period of the town, as high unemployment and crime became an issue. However, in the s, Wishaw's economy recovered and began growing again, just as Scotland's economy did.
The s were a time of great change for Wishaw, mostly for the better. The town is now looking ahead to better things in the future, after coming out of a difficult patch in its history.
Throughout the s, Wishaw underwent various regeneration efforts and new developments. On 15 April , roadworks began in the town centre. The roadworks changed the layout of most areas of the Main Street. In , construction on a new housing estate in Coltness began. The construction was on behalf of Barratt Homes , and included new large homes mainly for families.
This year also marked the beginning of the construction of the new Holdsworth Centre and its adjacent car-park.
The building opened in August This year also saw the renovation of the McDonald's , which occurred in May These days, North Lanarkshire Council suggest that the majority of the biggest employers in the town are supermarkets, with the exceptions of Royal Mail , which has its main Scottish distribution centre at Shieldmuir and the NHS as a result of University Hospital Wishaw. There are many service industry businesses located in the town's industrial areas, though none with more than a few hundred employees. Wishaw entered full coronavirus lockdown on 23 March with the rest of the UK and remained so for 66 days, until the Scottish government entered "phase 1" of lifting coronavirus restrictions on May Aidans, therefore has the highest number of pupils at around 1, Primary schools in Wishaw include Calderbridge, St.
Thomas', Thornlie, St. Aidan's, Cambusnethan, St. Ignatius' and Wishaw Academy with both the latter two schools being a joint campus. The town does not have a university or college at present, with the nearest college being Motherwell College , based in Ravenscraig , and the University of the West of Scotland formerly Bell College of Technology in Hamilton being the nearest university.
Wishaw has a general hospital, now known as University Hospital Wishaw , in the Craigneuk area. It serves nearby settlements such as Motherwell , Newmains and Shotts. Main Street is the predominant shopping area in Wishaw. It is partly made up of major national stores such as Peacock's , Poundland , Iceland and Greggs. The Main Street shopping area also features small independent retailers. There are also many supermarkets in the area, with a new small format Asda in the eastern suburb of Newmains that opened on October A built Morrisons originally Safeway exists on the eastern edge of the town centre.