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.
A leaflet enabling visitors to do a self-guided tour around the Old Kirk (exterior only) and kirkyard is available from the Heritage Centre.
Temporary Exhibition: Sporting Times in Tullibody