Rutherglen is one of the oldest royal burgas in Scotland, having been granted its statute in 1126, just two years after David I ascended the throne. This award helped make Rutherglen an important shopping mall, and it was the Farie family who acquired it and established a coal mine there in 1805. The Clyde Gateway projects aim to reinvest in this region and create new business parks, making the River Clyde accessible again in Rutherglen. In 1999, the Scottish parliamentary constituency of Glasgow Rutherglen was created, with the same limits as the then parliamentary constituency of the United Kingdom. Burnhill, in the west of the Royal Burgh of Rutherglen, borders the city of Glasgow (Toryglen and Hangingshaw).
A Rutherglen Fair report from 1882 stated that the sale of livestock began slowly, but that this increase increased later that same day. Among the best-known professors at the Rutherglen Academy were Norman Buchan, MP for Paisley South; Alistair MacLean, the well-known novelist, and Adam McNaughtan, a talented folk singer, famous for the “Jeely Piece Song”. In 1879, a branch opened between Springhurst and Wahgunyah which provided access to Rutherglen via railroad. The nearest town on the Murray River is Wahgunyah, which predated Rutherglen by five years.
In 1593, the local Presbytery of the Church of Scotland sanctioned the behavior of the parishioners of Rutherglen when they broke the Sabbath by playing bagpipes, paying bills and fishing for salmon. In the 17th century, Rutherglen was best known for its large horse fairs which took place on its wide main street. Some years after completion of a project to make Rutherglen's main street more accessible by highway, studies showed that pollution levels were still dangerously high despite forecasts that traffic levels would decrease. Rutherglen has been an independent constituency of the Scottish Parliament since the late 16th century and was a parliamentary borough represented in the Parliament of the United Kingdom as a component of Kilmarnock Burghs from 1832 to 1918. The local newspaper is Rutherglen Reformer (owned by Reach plc).
The best way to explore local wineries is to visit the Rutherglen Wine Experience and Main Street Visitor Information Center. Here you can get maps and advice on which wineries and cellar doors to visit to experience Rutherglen's enormous diversity. Rutherglen gained rail connections with Glasgow and Motherwell in 1849 and later became part of Glasgow's streetcar network.