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Old County of Clackmannanshire

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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1834-45: Clackmannan

Clackmannanshire, the smallest county in Scotland. It is bounded N by Perthshire, E by Perthshire, Fife, and the detached section of Perthshire, SW by the upper waters of the Firth of Forth, which divides it from the main body of Stirlingshire, and W by Stirlingshire and Perthshire. Its length from N to S varies between 2¼ and 9¾ miles; its greatest breadth from E to W is 8¾ miles; and its area is 31,8761/3 acres, of which 454½ are foreshore, and 945 water, this area including the little outlying Logie portion, but excluding the Stirlingshire parish of Alva. The Forth winds 10¼ miles south-eastward here, broadening from 1 furlong to 7; other streams are the Devon, and, in Clackmannan parish, the Black Devon. Gartmorn Dam (6 x 2½ furl.), on the mutual border of Alloa and Clackmannan parishes, is the only large sheet of water. The surface in the S is low and flat; in the centre is tumulated or moderately hilly; in the northern parishes of Tillicoultry and Dollar forms part of the Ochil Hills, including Benclench (2363 feet), the Law (2094), King's Seat Hill (2111), and Whitewisp Hill (2110). The rocks, in the S and the centre, are mainly carboniferous; in the N, are eruptive. Sandstone and trap rock are abundant; coal is very extensively mined; ironstone is worked; and agates, topazes, other precious stones, and ores of copper, lead, antimony, cobalt, and silver, are found. The climate, in the S, is comparatively dry and warm; in the centre is somewhat moister and colder; in the N is drier and warmer than the altitudes and breaks of the Ochils might lead one to anticipate. The scenery is richly diversified and highly picturesque.

The soil, near the Forth and on parts of the banks of the Devon, is richly alluvial; in the central tracts, is generally of a light fine quality, but of no great depth, resting upon a gravelly bottom; in the N, among the Ochils, affords excellent pasturage for sheep. Agriculture is in a highly improved condition; and 49 farms have each an extent not exceeding 5 acres; 43 have each from 5 to 20 acres; 17 have each from 20 to 50 acres; 23 have each from 50 to 100 acres; and 52 have each above 100 acres. Leases run 19 years or longer. Chief manufactures are woollen fabrics, muslins, camlets, ale, glass, iron, and ships; the commerce is concentrated at Alloa. The Stirling and Dunfermline railway intersects the county east-south-eastward; a branch goes from that railway at Cambus to Menstrie and Alva; and the Devon Valley railway goes from the Stirling and Dunfermline at Alloa north-eastward to Rumbling-Bridge, and communicates there with a railway to Kinross.

The county comprises the quoad civilia parishes of Alloa, Clackmannan, Dollar, and Tillicoultry, parts of the quoad civilia parishes of Logie and Stirling, part of the quoad sacra parish of Blairingone, and whole of Sauchie quoad sacra parish. The towns are Alloa, Clackmannan, Dollar, and Tillicoultry; the chief villages, Tullibody, Coalsnanghton, Devonside, Menstrie, Fish Cross, Sauchie, Newtonshaw, Kennet, Cambus, Collyland, Abbey, and part of Causewayhead. The principal mansions are Alloa Park, Schaw Park, Tullibody House, Cambus House, Tillicoultry House, Kennet House, Dollarfield, Hillfoot House, Harviestoun Castle, Aberdona, and Powis House. According to Miscellaneous Statistics of the United Kingdom (1879), 30,189 acres, with a total gross estimated rental of £97,482, were divided among 1227 proprietors, one holding 6163 acres (rental £9517), four together 15,306 (£18,550), two 3292 (£4339), three 2158 (£4693), eight 2058 (£10,295), four 300 (£1873), sixteen 402 (£4543), fifty-two 185 (£10,618), eleven hundred and thirty-seven 325 (£33,054).

The parishes are in the presbyteries of Stirling and Dunblane and synod of Perth and Stirling. The places of worship are 7 Established (3721 communicants in 1878), 6 Free Church (1473 communicants in 1880), 5 U.P. (1887 members in 1879), 1 Congregational, 1 Evangelical Union, 1 Baptist, 2 Episcopal, and 1 Roman Catholic. In the year ending 30 Sept. 1880, the county had 18 schools, 12 being public, 1 Episcopal, and 1 Roman Catholic. With total accommodation for 4983 children, these in that year had 4639 scholars on their registers, an average attendance of 3632, and grants amounting to £3151,19s. 11d., whilst the certificated, assistant, and pupil teachers numbered 40,4, and 33. The county is governed by a lord-lieutenant, a vice-lieutenant, 5 deputy-lieutenants, a sheriff, a sheriff-substitute, and about 36 magistrates. The courts are held at Alloa. The police force, in 1880, comprised 6 men for Alloa, and 8 for the rest of the county, and the salary of the superintendent in Alloa was £80; of the chief constable for the county, £160. The number of persons tried at the instance of the police, in 1879, was 204; convicted, 178; committed for trial, 8; not dealt with, 8. The committals for crime, in the yearly average of 1864-68, were 25; of 1870-74,38; of 1875-79,15. The county prison is at Alloa. The annual value of real property, assessed at £37,978 in 1815, was £52,923 in 1843, £75,113 in 1866, £98,267 in 1875, and £114,971, 15s. 4d. in 1882. The county unites with Kinross-shire in sending a member to parliament (always a Liberal since 1837); and it politically includes the Stirlingshire parish of Alva, the Perthshire parishes of Tulliallan and Culross, and the Perthshire section of Logie parish. The parliamentary constituency, in 1881, was 1455. Pop. (1801) 10,858, (1811), 12,010, (1821) 13,263, (1831) 14,729, (1841) 1.9.155, (1851) 22,951, (1861) 21,450, (1871) 23,747, (1881) 25,677, of whom 13,473 were females. Houses (1881) 5315 inhabited, 565 vacant, 20 building.

The registration county gives off the civil county's part of Stirling parish to Stirlingshire, and of Logie parish to Perthshire; and had, in 1881, a population of 24,022. All the parishes are assessed for the poor; and all but Logie are included in Stirling combination. The number of registered poor, in the year ending 14 May 1880, was 453; of dependants on these, 238; of casual poor, 165; of dependants on these, 98. The receipts for the poor, in the same year, were £5290,1s. 2d.; and the expenditure was £4622,12s. 2¼d. The number of pauper lunatics was 55, their cost being £1135,4s. 5d. The percentage of illegitimate births was 9.4 in 1874, 5.7 in 1876, 7.9 in 1878 and 1879, and 15.1 in the second quarter of 1881.

The territory now forming Clackmannanshire belonged anciently to the Caledonian Damnonii. Its chief matters of historical interest are noticed under Clackmannan and Alloa; and its chief antiquities are a Caledonian stone circle in Tillicoultry parish, Clackmannan, Alloa, and Sauchie towers, Castle-Campbell, and Cambuskenneth Abbey.—Ord. Sur., sh. 39,1869.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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