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Motherwell is referred to as Materville in 1250; Moydrwal in 1265. It would seam that present day Motherwell comes from these words. There were reputed to have been three wells in the district at one time and the best known of these wells was Lady Well or Well of our Lady. The district Ladywell has been so-called for generations.

The appearance of the word Motherwell is not however found until the 18th century. Before that, however, it took many forms and what could be a form of the present-day name, appeared as early as 1207 as Moydiral.

By mid-18th century, the first statistical account of 1792 records the village as being predominantly agricultural with 23 farmers with their families and servants and cottages and 42 weavers. The flax pits (and this before the great upsurge in cotton weaving) were in all probability towards the Clyde, while small weavers cottages used to stand in Windmillhill Street located in the area where now is situated the Civic Centre.

In 1836 the numbers of weavers rose to 205 (New Statistical Acct.). With the coming of the Railway and David Colvilles iron making expertise from Coatbridge, Motherwell took off and the population soared. Proof of this can be gauged from following population figures for the town of Motherwell.

1782, 478
1801. 611
1831, 1,230
1841, 1,726
1852 2,262
1861, 2,000
1881, 13,853
1901, 37,257
1921, 49556
1931, 45,116
1951 30,000
1983, 40,000 app.

Taken form the Motherwell Times centenary edition 1983
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