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Clackmannanshire

Doors Open Days in Clackmannanshire is coordinated by Clackmannanshire Heritage Trust, with support from Clackmannanshire Council. Some of the properties taking part will be celebrating the Year of Young People with activities and exhibitions. There will be guided tours of Alloa, Clackmannan and Sauchie Towers; Clackmannan Heritage Walks and a new Walk around Tullibody, exploring the fascinating story of the village. St Mungo's Parish Church in Alloa continues to celebrate its Bicentenary; all of the churches taking part are well worth a visit to discover their stories and splendid interiors. Popular destinations such as Alloa Fire Station, The Coach House Theatre, Alva Ice House and the Johnstone Mausoleum, Dollar Museum and Tullibody Heritage Centre will also welcome people again.

Highlights and new this year are the former Devon Colliery Beam Engine House, returning to the programme after an absence of many years; Tullibody Community Garden, which is encouraging people to grow their own food and eat more healthily; the fascinating Serf, Sauchie and Silver - A Circular Place-Name Walk, where you can find out about the origin of names in the county; and the intriguing and remarkable ruins of Kennetpans Distillery and Warehouse, once the cradle of the Scottish whisky industry.

Please note that in some buildings only the ground floor is accessible to people with mobility difficulties. Please refer to the key next to each entry. Visitors enter the buildings at their own risk. Neither Clackmannanshire Heritage Trust nor any participating building owners are responsible for any accidents or damage incurred.

Clackmannanshire

Alloa Tower

Date 1: 29/09/2018
Date 2: 30/09/2018
Tags: Weekend 5 (29-30 September)

29-30 September 2018

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. In 1702 John, 6th Earl of Mar, began to convert it into an elegant modern house and created an ambitious and extensive planned landscape around his home. In 1800 the later mansion was destroyed by fire, though the tower survived, but by the 1980s it was derelict. Alloa Tower Building Preservation Trust restored it to its likely appearance in 1712 and the tower was opened formally by Her Majesty the Queen in 1997. It is owned and managed by the National Trust for Scotland.

Clackmannanshire

Alva Old Kirkyard and Johnstone Mausoleum

Date 1: 29/09/2018
Date 2: 30/09/2018
Tags: Weekend 5 (29-30 September)

29-30 September 2018

The church of St Serf was rebuilt in 1632 but was demolished after a fire in 1985. Its ‘footprint’ remains, along with early gravestones in the kirkyard. The Erskine family had a burial vault beneath the church. The Johnstone Mausoleum was designed and built c1790 by Robert and James Adam for John Johnstone, who bought the Alva estate from James Erskine, Lord Alva, in 1775. It is one of only four Adam mausolea in Scotland. Eight members of the family are buried in the original mausoleum: an eastern extension was added in the 19th century to accommodate additional burials. The mausoleum has been conserved and the Old Kirkyard was restored as part of the Historic Kirkyards Trail project of the Ochils Landscape Partnership programme.

Clackmannanshire

Clackmannan Tower

Date 1: 30/09/2018
Date 2: 01/01/0001
Tags: Weekend 5 (29-30 September)

30 September 2018

Clackmannan Tower dates from c1360 and was built by the Bruce family. In the 15th century the building was raised to its current height and the taller south wing was constructed. A new mansion was built to the west of the tower in the late 16th century and in the 17th century further changes were made to the tower. Lady Catherine Bruce, the last of the family, lived in the mansion until her death in 1791. The tower has been in the guardianship of the State since the 1950s and is managed on its behalf by Historic Environment Scotland, which has undertaken extensive repairs. Further improvements have been carried out recently as part of the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative (IFLI).

Clackmannanshire

Devon Colliery Beam Engine House

Date 1: 29/09/2018
Date 2: 01/01/0001
Tags: Weekend 5 (29-30 September)

new

29 September 2018

Devon Colliery has had a long history, but flooding forced it to close in 1854. It was reopened in 1879 by Alloa Coal Company, which installed new pit-head plant, including the impressive Beam Engine House, which housed a Cornish-style beam pumping engine built by Neilson & Co in Glasgow in 1865. It could pump 2,560 gallons of water per minute out of the colliery. It was in operation until 1932, when electric pumps were installed. Devon Colliery closed in 1960 and the beam engine was partly dismantled. The Beam Engine House was restored by Clackmannan District Council in 1993, by which time only the massive cast-iron beam and part of the pump-rod remained. It is one of the few surviving beam engines in Scotland. It was converted to office space and, after sporadic use, was later sold to the Scottish SPCA, which is now developing plans to use it as an educational information centre.

Clackmannanshire

Kennetpans Distillery and Warehouse

Date 1: 30/09/2018
Date 2: 01/01/0001
Tags: Weekend 5 (29-30 September) Walk / trail / tour

new

30 September 2018

The picturesque and intriguing ruin of Kennetpans Distillery was once the birthplace of the Scottish whisky industry. Founded in the early 18th century by the brothers John and James Stein, by the 1730s it was the largest whisky distillery in Scotland. The buildings which survive today were probably built in the 1770s and were part of a much larger complex and harbour. Kilbagie Distillery was established nearby by James Stein in the 1770s and by 1788 the two distilleries were very successful, but legislation designed to curb the massive export of whisky to England led to bankruptcy and closure. Kennetpans reopened in 1791 and production resumed in 1795, but it closed again in 1825. It was never modernised for grain whisky production and is therefore the most complete survivor of its type. The three-storey distillery was one of the projects in the recent Inner Forth Landscape Initiative programme, partly funded by Historic Environment Scotland; it has been investigated, cleared of vegetation and a full survey carried out in advance of remedial conservation work. The present owners of the site are keen to celebrate and raise awareness of its national importance and have established a trust to try to raise funds to save it for future generations.

Clackmannanshire

Sauchie Tower

Date 1: 29/09/2018
Date 2: 01/01/0001
Tags: Weekend 5 (29-30 September)

29 September 2018

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.

Clackmannanshire

Serf, Sauchie, Silver - A Circular Place-Name Walk

Date 1: 29/09/2018
Date 2: 01/01/0001
Tags: Weekend 5 (29-30 September) Walk / trail / tour

new

29 September 2018

What is a place-name walk? It's a walk through the past and present, through landscape and language, an attempt to see the modern environment through the eyes of the people who gave it the names which we still use today. These names are also guides to the languages of the past: in Clackmannanshire, these are mainly British/Pictish, Gaelic and Scots and together they span about 1,500 years, with some names being even older. This fascinating walk will begin and end at The Woolpack Inn in Tillicoultry, passing Sterling Mills, up to Fishcross and Sauchie Tower, down to Alva and up to the Ochils Woodland Park, past the site of Alva House and back to Tillicoultry. The route will follow a mixture of footpaths and main roads.

Clackmannanshire

Tullibody Community Garden

Date 1: 29/09/2018
Date 2: 30/09/2018
Tags: Weekend 5 (29-30 September)

new

29-30 September 2018

Tullibody Community Garden is run by the charity Tullibody Healthy Living. The garden is cultivated by volunteers, who gain valuable horticultural skills, growing affordable fruit and vegetables to encourage local people to create fresh, healthy meals. The volunteers have brought a wide range of skills and knowledge to the project and volunteering helps to boost their confidence, get them out of the house and keep them physically active. The garden also engages with the local community in other ways; it has established links with HMP Glenochil; taken the ‘growing’ message into homes and local primary and secondary schools; and distributed ‘grow your own potatoes’ packs, so that people can start to grow food in their own gardens.

Clackmannanshire

Tullibody Heritage Centre

Date 1: 29/09/2018
Date 2: 30/09/2018
Tags: Weekend 5 (29-30 September)

29-30 September 2018

Tullibody Heritage Centre is run by Tullibody History Group and tells the fascinating story of the village and neighbouring Cambus. The 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.

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