Clackmannanshire occupies territory between the Ochil Hills
to the north, which rise to heights of more than 600 m (2,000 feet), and the River Forth
to the south. It largely comprises a lowland plain forming the valleys of the River Forth
and of the River Devon
which joins the Forth
Affectionately remembered as the 'Wee County', Clackmannanshire was Britain's smallest county prior to its inclusion in Central Region between 1975 and 1996. A local government area once again, Clackmannanshire is the second smallest, after Dundee City
, of Scotland's new unitary authorities. Alloa
, which is the centre of administration, outgrew the former county town of Clackmannan
The rich alluvial soils of the area support valuable agricultural land and underlying coal measures have contributed to a mining economy that stretches back over several centuries.
Settlements along the River Forth have developed as strategic ford or ferry crossing points while Hillfoot villages from Menstrie to Dollar have grown to their present size as textile towns formerly dependent on sheep grazing on upland pastures and water power derived from burns dropping down from the Ochil Hills. Other industries of importance have included brewing, distilling, paper-making and glass-making.
(1981) North-East Scotland.
(1985) Exploring Scotland's Heritage: The Clyde Estuary and Central Region.
(2001) Clackmannan: An Illustrated Architectural Guide.