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Falkirk

Callendar House Archives

Date 1: 14/09/2019
Date 2: 01/01/0001
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14 September 2019

In the west wing of Callendar House lies the Searchroom for Falkirk Archives, containing collections relating to the Falkirk area and its people. It is located in the oldest part of the house. When the Forbes family was in residence it was used as a library whilst the adjacent archival storage area was a ladies’ parlour. The current design of the library dates from 1830 and was created by David Hamilton, who also designed the Steeple and Larbert Church. It has original oak panelled walls with an elegant barrel-vaulted ceiling. The wood is said to be from the family estates in the south of Scotland. A large mirror at one end reflects the repeated rectangular shapes of the bronze screens and coffering of the ceiling, thereby exaggerating the length of the narrow room. The room is north facing which helps to keep the contents cool, both in Forbes’ time and ours, as well as contributing to the visual mood of the room. This special weekend opening of Falkirk Archives also opens up a lesser known aspect of archival collecting - displaying material one might not expect to find in an archive such as sound and film recordings. This was highlighted by a recent BBC documentary on the BA Cowboys! Callendar House is open free throughout the year and has permanent displays of Roman material, as well as a large late 18th century kitchen and beautiful grounds. Courtesy of Falkirk Community Trust.

Falkirk

Falkirk Masonic Temple

Date 1: 14/09/2019
Date 2: 15/09/2019
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14-15 September 2019

In 1903 Lint Riggs was reconstructed using design parameters laid down by burgh engineer David Ronald and it is consequently the most architecturally consistent street in the area with a Continental feel.  The dominant building is the Masonic Temple with its classical Corinthian style under a balustrade.  It is the only Masonic Temple in the district and was completed in 1906 for Lodge Callendar No.588, the second lodge of freemasons to be established in the town. The internal decoration and furnishing is very interesting, especially the five outstanding painted windows with their floral patterns; each represents a Principal Office Bearer namely - The Right Worshipful Master in the centre flanked on either side by the Worshipful Senior and Junior Wardens. The two Wardens are flanked on their other side by windows representing the Senior and Junior Deacons. All in all this is an exceptional masonic lodge building. 

Falkirk

Falkirk Steeple

Date 1: 14/09/2019
Date 2: 16/09/2018
Tags: Weekend 3 (14-15 September)

14-16 September 2018

Completed in 1814 according to designs by David Hamilton of Glasgow the Steeple is the iconic landmark of the town. 140ft tall, it has four stages – the bottom being severe Florentine; the second Greek Doric; the third or clock chamber Italianate; and the belfry Ionic. It was constructed to house the town’s bell and clock, as well as containing temporary lockups. The design was a reflection of civic pride. The original Steeple on the site was erected in 1697 and was the first building to be owned by the Stentmasters – the precursor of the town council. The building has just been completely refurbished as part of the Townscape Heritage Initiative and this month, for the first time, a display will tell the story of the jail and the market square.

Falkirk

Kinneil House

Date 1: 14/09/2019
Date 2: 01/01/0001
Tags: Weekend 3 (14-15 September)

14 September 2019

Set within a carefully designed park landscape Kinneil House or Palace was built for James Hamilton the second Earl of Arran when he was the Protector and Governor of Scotland from 1542 to 1554 during the minority of Mary, Queen of Scots. It still houses the best 16th and 17th century murals in Scotland. The bed chamber is now known as the Arbour room and the painting is full of foliage, scrolls and animals. This was later painted over in imitation of wainscoting and a coffered ceiling containing the 1621 coat of arms of Arran. The withdrawing chamber has a number of biblical scenes on the walls, notably the Good Samaritan. Last year access was created to extra rooms in the residential wing and to the ground floor of the tower house – meaning there is even more to see! In 1677 Anne Duchess of Hamilton began a programme of renovation, producing the house and grounds as they appear today. By the late 18th century the house was being let. Dr John Roebuck lived here 1764-94 and invited James Watt to perfect his separate condenser here. Dugald Stewart the philosopher was another famous tenant 1809-1828 and has a memorial on Carlton Hill in Edinburgh. The grounds are also the setting for events connected with the Roman Week, which runs in September. The Antonine Wall runs close to the House and the remains of a Roman fortlet can be seen. There is also a 12th century church. There is also a 12th century church. Kinneil Museum, located in the old coachhouse, is open from 12.00-4.00pm. Nearby is the workshop in which James Watt experimented on the separate condenser in 1768 and this will feature in the guided tours.

Larbert Old parish Church looking east fromt he churchyard

Falkirk

Larbert Old Parish Church

Date 1: 14/09/2019
Date 2: 01/01/0001
Tags: Weekend 3 (14-15 September)

14 September 2019

This prominent landmark dominates the skyline for miles around. The church opened in 1821 at a cost of £4,400. Its architect, David Hamilton, also designed Falkirk Steeple. The style is Gothic with prominent crocketed finials on the corner buttresses and the west tower. The tower contains the main entrance and opens into a vaulted vestibule from which stairs rise to right and left to the gallery landings. Between the stepped buttresses are tall traceried windows, many of which now contain stained glass. The styles are varied and well worth a visit in their own right. The approach from the main road is between chamfered sandstone gatepiers with crenellated polished ashlar caps and decorative cast-iron gas lamp fittings. On the left is a pink granite marble fountain with a shallow bowl on a turned circular plinth, presented in 1923. On the right is the 1905 hall, designed by P. MacGregor Chalmers.

Stainton Column

Falkirk

Larbert Old Parish Churchyard

Date 1: 14/09/2019
Date 2: 01/01/0001
Tags: Weekend 3 (14-15 September)

14 September 2019

Adjacent to the parish church is a burial ground whose magnificent monuments neatly encapsulate the advent of the Industrial Revolution in Scotland. They are dominated by those relating to the Carron Ironworks, which was established in 1759. The large edifices to its managers range from an Italianate tomb, to a huge urned column and a Roman temple. Cast iron features strongly throughout the graveyard with elaborate railings and obelisks. The Carron Enclosure contains beautiful examples of public art, including two tombs designed by John Hutchison of Edinburgh, one of the most famous sculptors of the late 19th century. In its own separate enclosure stood the earliest cast iron funerary obelisk anywhere in the world. It commemorates the most famous Scottish explorer of his generation, as recorded on its panels: “James Bruce esq of Kinnaird,/ who died on the 27th of April 1794,/ in the 64th year of his age/ his life was spent performing/ useful, and splendid actions/ he explored many distant regions./ He discovered the fountains of the Nile./ He traversed the deserts of Nubia.” The monument was so famous that Roberts Burns paid a visit to it. The graveyard is open all the year round, but over this weekend there will be guided tours.

SPS image

Falkirk

Polmont Young Offenders Institution

Date 1: 16/09/2018
Date 2: 01/01/0001
Tags:

16 September 2018

Her Majesty's Young Offenders Institution Polmont is Scotland's national facility for young men aged between 16 and 21 years who are committed to custody on remand (untried) and convicted sentences. The Scottish Government invested in a comprehensive rebuild of HMYOI Polmont, which was completed approximately 4 years ago. Polmont’s position has provided a unique opportunity to deliver the Scottish Prison Service’s vision of Unlocking Potential and Transforming Lives. For Polmont, the Vision for Young People in custody is: “To use the time a young person spends in custody to enable them to prepare for a positive future” making every contact an opportunity to learn. This vision recognises that some their time in custody may represent a chance - a rare chance - for them to engage in education or find someone who can help to point them to a better future. In addition, the approach seeks to mitigate the negative aspects of custody.

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  • Geoff Bailey
  • Falkirk Community Trust