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Clackmannanshire

Alloa Fire Station

Alloa Fire Station opened in 1964. It currently has four fire appliances, including specialist vehicles for urban search and rescue and heavy rescue. These are crewed by 28 wholetime personnel on a four watch rotational duty system and by 12 additional personnel on a retained duty system. The inception of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in April 2013 means that these fire crews and their supporting equipment from Alloa could be called upon to mobilise to anywhere in Scotland. The role of the fire service has changed dramatically since 1964. The modern fire service of today attends a range of incidents including fires, road traffic collisions, urban search and rescue, water rescue and rope rescue. The appliances and equipment within Alloa display the vast array of equipment required for these tasks. The crews are also pro-actively involved in all aspects of community safety work, including the delivery of home fire safety visits and engaging with the local community to give fire safety advice. To book a free Home Fire Safety Visit text ‘fire’ to 61611, call 0800 0731 999 or visit the website: www.firescotland.gov.uk

Clackmannanshire

Alloa Heritage Walks

Walk 1: The Alloa Wagon Way Alloa Tower was once at the centre of a large estate owned by the Erskines. The 6th Earl of Mar, before he was exiled, had developed a road through Alloa to bring coal from his mines to the harbour. In 1766 his daughter, Lady Frances Erskine, had wooden rails laid along its route to create a wagon way. The new wagon way made the transport of coal much more efficient and by 1775 Alloa was exporting over one third of Scotland’s total coal production. This walk will explore the surviving sections of the original wagon way through Alloa and will last no more than 1 hour 45 minutes. Walk 2: Alloa House and Park Lady Frances's son John Francis Erskine inherited the Alloa estate in 1776. He made some improvements, including creating a fish pond, fed by water taken from the River Black Devon and with an elaborate dam and sluice system. His grandson, the 9th Earl of Mar, built Alloa House in the 1830s and his successor the Earl of Kellie, who inherited the estate in 1866, made many improvements, extended the house considerably, built a walled garden, new lodges and, probably c1870, an ice house near the fish pond. This walk will explore the surviving evidence for the Alloa House estate, including the walled garden and the fish pond. It will last no more than 1 hour 45 minutes.

Clackmannanshire

Alloa Ludgate Church

This church was designed by Peddie & Kinnear in Early French Gothic style and replaced a plain 18th century building. In 1902 Scots late Gothic transepts and a pine and marble sanctuary with an elaborate pulpit by A G Sydney Mitchell & Wilson, who had also designed Greenfield for David Thomson, were added; David Thomson and his brother John Thomson Paton paid for this work. The north window is in memory of their parents, while the west and east transept windows were given by the Procters, another branch of the Paton family. All three windows are by C E Kempe.The 1904 pipe organ by Messrs Lewis and Co was also given by the Thomsons. The adjacent church hall was designed by the Alloa architect Adam Frame in 1891.The interior was altered several years ago: the original pews were removed, the marble altar moved to the west transept and the walls and roof painted. Memorials and other fittings from the former North Church have been incorporated into the modernised church.

Clackmannanshire

Alloa St John's Episcopal Church

This fine church was designed by Sir Robert Rowand Anderson in a simple Geometric style, with a separate bell-tower and tall, broach spire. It is one of the most beautifully designed and finished Episcopal churches in Scotland. It was built for Walter Coningsby Erskine, Earl of Mar & Kellie, as a gift to the congregation.The ornate interior includes stained glass by C A Gibbs (1869), C E Kempe (1890, 1902), Douglas Strachan (1913) and Margaret Chilton (1939) given by the Erskine family, William Bailey of Alloa Pottery and the Younger family, brewers in Alloa; a Sicilian marble altar with a reredos mosaic by Salviati of Venice; and some very fine memorials,including an impressive marble effigy of Walter Coningsby Erskine, a World War I memorial designed by Sir Robert Lorimer and a chancel screen and accompanying memorial tablet of 1902 in memory of 2nd Lieutenant E J Younger, killed in the Boer War. The tablet contains an enamel by Phoebe Anna Traquair. Restoration of the spire and chancel was completed with financial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Scotland and other funding bodies.

Clackmannanshire

Alloa St Mungo’s Parish Church

Designed by James Gillespie Graham to replace the old parish church in Kirkgate, this Late Georgian building is a large, ornate, battlemented rectangle with a five-bay north elevation. It has an impressive 207ft high spire, its corners clasped by flying buttresses with crocketed pinnacles. External additions were made in 1966-7 by Leslie Grahame Thomson.The interior was also much altered by the same architect, who removed the galleries and added the panelled wood ceiling in 1936-7, as well as designing the pulpit, lectern, font and oak pews. In 1966-7 he created a new west chancel.The interesting stained glass is of late 19th and 20th century date, and includes work by William Meikle & Sons (1901), A L Moore & Co. (1901), William Wilson (1951-2) and John Blyth (1991). The congregation is now preparing to commemorate the bicentenary of the church in 2019 and repairs and restoration have begun. The statue of St Mungo, which used to stand in a niche cut into the west wall of the Old Kirk, has a new home in this church.

Clackmannanshire

Alloa The Coach House Theatre

The Alman Dramatic Club was formed in 1939 by a group of fifteen women led by Helen Wright and Nettie Forsyth and soon became the largest performing arts group in the county. This informal group developed into an amateur dramatic club. In 1953 the Club was allowed to use the hay loft in the former Coach House of Inglewood, a mansion built in 1900 by the Forrester-Paton family and designed by A G Sydney Mitchell & Wilson. The estate was later owned by the Church of Scotland and the club eventually purchased the Coach House.The Hay Loft Theatre opened in 1957, but in 1959 its present name was adopted. Since then it has been the club’s permanent home, its unique 63-seat theatre providing audiences with an intimate theatrical experience where they have seen numerous performances, including many full-length plays, as well as modern writing, comedy, tragedy and satire. The Club has performed works by all the great playwrights, national and international, as well as their own members’ work. The theatre is also used by other groups for a range of cultural activities.The building was renovated with grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund and many other supporters.

Clackmannanshire

Alloa Tower

One of the largest and finest towers of its type in Scotland, it was home to the distinguished Erskine family, Earls of Mar, from the later 14th century until 1800. By 1693 a mansion, kitchen tower, brew house and other buildings had been added. In 1702 John, 6th Earl of Mar, began to convert the tower into an elegant modern house and created an ambitious and extensive planned landscape around his home. In 1800 the mansion was destroyed by fire, but the tower survived. By the 1980s it was derelict. Alloa Tower Building Preservation Trust restored it to its likely appearance in 1712. The tower was opened formally by Her Majesty the Queen in 1997. A fine collection of Erskine family portraits is displayed, along with many items of family silver, while a DVD tells the story of the tower. Alloa Tower is owned and managed by the National Trust for Scotland.

Clackmannanshire

Alva Ice House

James Raymond Johnstone inherited the Alva House estate in 1795. He added a new west wing and probably the stable block and ice house, in c.1810-20.  The ice house is buried on the slope below the stables. By the mid-19th century most country houses and estates had an ice house, to keep provisions cold and fresh and provide a supply of ice for fruit sherbets and table decorations. The introduction of refrigeration in the early 1900s rendered ice houses obsolete.  This ice house is a fine example, consisting of an entrance passage leading into a heptagonal corridor around the main ice chamber, which is egg-shaped, with a flattened base and a hatch at the top through which to lower the ice. The corridor has six niches set into the inner walls, with stone storage shelves.  There would have been three doors, to maintain a dry, even temperature and atmosphere for the ice. The ice house was restored as part of the Ochils Landscape Partnership programme.

Clackmannanshire

Alva Old Kirkyard and Johnstone Mausoleum

The church of St Serf was rebuilt in 1632 but was abandoned in the 1980s when the congregation merged with that of the Eadie Church. It was demolished after a fire in 1985. Its ‘footprint’ and some inscribed stones remain, along with some interesting early gravestones in the kirkyard. The Erskine family, cousins of the Earls of Mar, had a burial vault beneath the church and there is a plaque in memory of Dr Robert Erskine (1677-1718), who was Chief Physician to Tzar Peter the Great. The Johnstone Mausoleum was designed by Robert and James Adam for John Johnstone (1734–1795), who bought the Alva estate from James Erskine, Lord Alva, in 1775. Johnstone built the mausoleum c1790, following the death of his wife. Columns of the Greek Doric order flank the entrance, supporting a triangular pediment. It is one of only four Adam mausolea in Scotland. Johnstone, his wife and several of their descendants are buried in the original mausoleum: an eastern extension was added in the 19th century to accommodate additional burials. The mausoleum has been restored and a glass roof has replaced the pitched roof of the 19th century extension.The Old Kirkyard was restored as part of the Historic Kirkyards Trail project of the Ochils Landscape Partnership programme.

Clackmannanshire

Clackmannan Parish Church

Designed by James Gillespie Graham, this fine building probably replaced the medieval church built on the site in 1249. In perpendicular Georgian Gothic, with a buttressed tower against the west gable, there have been a number of alterations, but the interior retains many of its original features, including the pews and gallery. A plaque by Sir Robert Lorimer commemorates Robert Bruce, Master of Burleigh, who was killed at Le Cateau on 26th August 1914, an early casualty of the First World War. The stained glass is impressive and all of mid-20th century date; there are windows by Herbert Hendrie (1938, 1940), Douglas Hamilton (1952, 1953), Gordon Webster (1964) and Sadie McLellan (1966), the last one donated by the Buick family of Hilton Fireclay, Brick & Tile Works in Alloa. The Coronation window, the only one in the county, is in the east wall of the gallery. Her Majesty the Queen visited the church on 9th July 1997 to see it. In the kirkyard, some late 17th and early 18th century trade gravestones reflect the farming backgrounds of many of the inhabitants of the parish. The large memorial for the Bruce family can also be seen.

Clackmannanshire

Menstrie Castle

Menstrie Castle was built c1560 as a manor house by the Alexander family. It was the birthplace of Sir William Alexander, who had an illustrious career during the reign of James VI and I. In 1621 he began to establish a new colony called Nova Scotia, but the scheme failed and he lost money. Nonetheless, he improved Menstrie Castle and his town house in Stirling (Argyll's Lodging) in 1633, when he was invested 1st Earl of Stirling and Viscount Canada. In 1640, however, he died a bankrupt and broken man in London.  The house was damaged during the Civil War. James Holburne acquired it in 1648 and his grandson sold it to Alexander Abercromby of Tullibody in 1719. Sir Ralph Abercromby, the famous military commander, was born there in 1734. The Abercromby family sold the estate in 1924. By 1951 the building was derelict, but was saved from destruction by a campaign led by the actor, broadcaster and conservationist Moultrie Kelsall. The restoration was completed in 1964. Most of the Castle was converted into flats, but two ground-floor rooms were restored as a display area. These are now owned by Clackmannanshire Council and are managed by the National Trust for Scotland.

Clackmannanshire

Sauchie and Coalsnaughton Parish Church

The church was built as a chapel of ease in 1842 and is celebrating its 175th anniversary. The design consists of a plain nave with a tall, square eastern tower of four stages, including a belfry. The bell was installed in 1846 and was rung in the traditional manner until recently, but is now operated by pushing an electric switch. Improvements were made in about 1889, including the two west windows, with stained glass representing Faith, Hope and Charity and the Bible, Holy Spirit and Lamb of God. The north and south side windows include symbols of the Four Evangelists.The furnishings include a finely carved Communion table presented in 1932; the pulpit, moved to its present side position in 1972; an octagonal baptismal font donated in 1948 and a Hammond organ, probably the third organ in the church. The church united with Coalsnaughton Parish Church in 1994 and its baptismal font, a gift from the Sunday School in 1943, and Communion table were moved here. There are two adjacent halls, one built in 1900 and the other in 1956/7.

Clackmannanshire

Sauchie Tower

Sir James Schaw of Greenock acquired the estate of Sauchie by marriage and probably built Sauchie Tower c.1415. The Schaws were an influential family in medieval Scotland. The tower complex included an outer wall, cobbled courtyard and large hall with kitchen and bread oven.  The west courtyard wall was partly remodelled c.1490, to include gunholes and corner tower.  In 1631 this was incorporated into Sauchie House, built by Alexander Schaw, who was knighted in 1633 by Charles I. In c1710 the family moved to their new mansion of Schawpark.  The tower roof fell in c1858 and the bartizans (corner turrets) and gables collapsed c1890. Sauchie House was demolished in 1930. Sauchie Tower is owned by Clackmannanshire Heritage Trust, which began a programme of repair and conservation. The Friends of Sauchie Tower were established to support the restoration of the tower.  The group was awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund grant to carry out the project entitled Sauchie Tower and its Environs. Clackmannanshire Heritage Trust and the Friends hope to raise funds to complete the excavation of the site, finish the restoration of Sauchie Tower, conserve Old Sauchie House and the surrounding landscape.

Clackmannanshire

Tales of Clackmannan

Clackmannan, the county town until the 18th century, has a rich and eventful history. The Stone of Mannan was probably of ritual importance to Iron Age people; there was once a royal residence on King's Seat Hill, where the Bruce family later built their own tower; people gathered for fairs and markets at the Mercat Cross, where criminals were chained before the Tolbooth was built in 1592. Lady Catherine Bruce 'knighted' Robert Burns with the sword of King Robert Bruce when he visited her at Clackmannan Tower in 1787. These and other stories will be brought to life again in promenade performances by the talented and entertaining Walking Theatre Company, which is based in Argyll and committed to creating theatre work that gives access to Scotland's dramatic landscapes and amazing history for all people in all locations, always encouraging audience participation.

Clackmannanshire

Tillicoultry Parish Church

This striking and unusual church was designed by William Stirling to replace its predecessor, built in 1773 on a site a little to the east. Much of the stone from the earlier structure was probably used to build the new church. Built in neo-Perpendicular style, the church features buttresses to the sides of each bay which end in impressively tall, pointed finials. Stirling’s original design may have included a spire or tower, but it was never built. The octagonal bellcote over the north entrance houses a bell cast in Rotterdam in 1670 by Cornelius Ouderogge; this was removed from the medieval church which stood further north on  Kirk Hill, refitted in its 18th century successor then moved again to its present location. A horseshoe-shaped gallery was replaced in 1920 by a single gallery. The fine, three-light stained glass window of 1924 by Douglas Strachan was installed in memory of the Rev Joseph Conn. The kirkyard, contains some interesting gravestones, many of which were restored as part of the Historic Kirkyards Trail project of the Ochils Landscape Partnership programme. They shed light on the inhabitants of Tillicoultry as it developed into an industrial town, with a large number of textile mills.

Clackmannanshire

Tullibody Heritage Centre

Tullibody is an ancient parish linked with Cambuskenneth Abbey. A church was founded in 1149 and parts of this ruined church are probably of that date, though a date stone records its restoration in 1539. It was damaged by the French army of Mary of Guise twenty years later. It was restored again, with the addition of a bellcote, in 1760 by George Abercomby and turned into the family mausoleum. In 1833 it became a chapel of ease, but was abandoned as unsafe in 1904 and unroofed in 1916. The kirkyard contains some interesting gravestones, including the 15th century stone coffin known as the Maiden Stone. The village of Tullibody grew around the medieval church, but in c1800 the Abercromby family moved it. The core of the new village was around Main Street and the Tron Tree.  In the 19th century a tannery was built and the village began to grow. It expanded again in the 1950s, when new housing was built for a large influx of miners from Lanarkshire, who came to work in the short-lived Glenochil Colliery.  Most of the old village was demolished and rebuilt.The Heritage Centre is run by Tullibody History Group and tells the story of the village and neighbouring Cambus. Displays include a model of Tullibody; a fully furnished doll's house modelled on Tullibody House, owned by the Abercomby family (an illustrated genealogy gives details of this remarkable family); a replica Victorian schoolroom and a 1940s-style kitchen; as well as details about significant people, such as William Burns Paterson, who founded what is now Alabama State University, and the baker, botanist and geologist Robert Dick (1811-1866), to whom a fine memorial has been erected in Tullibody.

Clackmannanshire

Tullibody St Serf's Church

This church was built to replace the Old Kirk and remains remarkably unaltered. It is of plain form and was designed by P Macgregor Chalmers. It consists of a nave with low north aisle and eastern apse and mostly round-arched, Romanesque windows. The interior remains equally intact, with bare stone walls and open wooden roofs over the nave and aisle; the apse has a plastered ceiling. The furnishings - plain pews and round stone font - are entirely contemporary with the building, as are the three stained glass windows, which were designed by Stephen Adam & Son of Glasgow. The west window was restored recently. On an aisle column, window jamb and door lintel are carved phrases and beatitudes. A wrought iron stand near the south door holds a bell, dated 1838, which used to hang in the bellcote of the Old Kirk.

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Area Coordinator

  • Susan Mills
  • Clackmannanshire Council