Motherwell is a town in North Lanarkshire in the Clydeside area of central Scotland, divided by the River Clyde from neighbouring Hamilton. Its name derives from an ancient "Lady Well" or holy well. It was a tiny hamlet until the railway arrived in 1848, when it rapidly grew into an iron and steel-making centre supplying the heavy industries of Glasgow and elsewhere. This growth continued in the 20th century, and the huge Ravenscraig steel-making complex was built on a greenfield site east of town. But by the 1980s other nations were undercutting British Steel, there was a damaging strike, major customers such as car manufacturers were lost, and the industry collapsed. Ravenscraig became a wasteland which is only now being rehabilitated for housing. Steel production continues at Dalzell and Clydebridge, and the town's other employments are public services (eg the council and police bases), call centres and light industry.
Motherwell is 16 miles southeast of Glasgow. Most routes approach along M74, exit at jcn 6 and follow A723 into town. From Edinburgh follow M8 and cross by A725 onto M74.