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Dollar

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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Dollar (Celt. dal-aird, 'vale amid the hills'), a small town and a parish of Clackmannanshire. The town stands at the foot of the Ochils, 180 feet above sea-level, and 5 furlongs N of the right bank of the Devon; and by the Devon Valley section (1851-71) of the North British it is 6¼ miles NE by E of Alloa, 41¼ NW of Edinburgh, 12¾ ENE of Stirling, and 10¾ WSW of Kinross. Traversed by Dollar Burn, whose glen, followed upwards, leads to the noble ruins of Castle-Campbell, it has been greatly improved and extended in recent years, and presents a pleasant picturesque appearance; at it are a post office, with money order, savings' bank, and telegraph departments, a branch of the Clydesdale Bank, the Castle-Campbell hotel, gas-works, the Dollar club, a working men's reading-room, a bleachfield (1787), and two brick and tile works. Fairs are held on the second Monday in May and the third Monday in October. Places of worship are the parish church (1841; 700 sittings), an imposing Gothic structure, with a conspicuous tower; a neat Free church (1858; 600 sittings); a U.P. church (1876; 360 sittings), built at a cost of £4500, and adorned with a spire 70 feet high; and the new Episcopal church of St James the Greater (1882), Early English in style, with apsidal chancel, 7 rose windows, 8 lancets, etc. John M`Nab (1732-1802), a Dollar herd-boy, who as a sea-captain had risen to wealth and settled at Mile-end, London, left £55,110 Three per Cents, the half of his fortune, 'for the endowment of a charity or school for the poor of the parish of Dollar.' With this bequest, which by the end of 1825 had accumulated to £74,236, was founded in 1818 Dollar Institution or Academy, whose board of trustees comprises 15 ex officio members under an Act of 1847, and which, with a principal and 20 other teachers, gives (1882) instruction to 402 paying and 110 free scholars in classics, French, German, English, history, mathematics, mechanics, science, drawing, singing, and other branches of a liberal education; whilst its lower and infant departments, with accommodation for 597 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 373, and a grant of £323. The building, erected in 1819 after designs by W. Playfair, of Edinburgh, and greatly extended in 1867, is a Grecian edifice, 186 feet long and 63 wide, with a hexastyle portico; a dome, upborne by fluted columns; a library, 45 feet square and 45 high, containing 5000 volumes; a splendid upper hall, 60 feet long, 42 wide, and 24 high; and a well-kept garden of 5 acres. The Institution has drawn, on the one hand, many families to Dollar; and, on the other, a number of its scholars board with the principal or under masters: its former alumni include James Dewar, since 1875 Jacksonian professor of natural and experimental philosophy at Cambridge, and a goodly list besides of distinguished ministers, engineers, merchants, and others. Its income in 1881 comprised £2235 from endowment, £1750 from school fees and £739 from other sources; whilst the expenditure amounted to £4605, of which £3075 was for salaries. Pop. of town (1841) 1131, (1851) 1079, (1861) 1540, (1871) 2090, (1881) 2120.

The parish, containing also Sheardale village, 1¾ mile to the SSW, is bounded NW by Blackford, and N by Glendevon, in Perthshire; E by Muckhart and Fossoway, both also in Perthshire; S by Clackmannan; and W by Tillicoultry. Its utmost length, from N to S, is 3¾ miles; its breadth, from E to W, varies between 13/8 and 31/8 miles; and its area is 47951/3 acres, of which 22 are water. The Devon, entering from Muckhart, winds 33/8 miles westward-, across the southern interior and on or close to the Tillicoultry border, and receives on the way Dollar Burn, which, itself hurrying 1½ mile south-by-eastward past the town, is formed just below Castle-Campbell by the Burns of Sorrow and Care, running 2¼ miles east-south-eastward, and 1¼ mile south-south-eastward and southward, from the northern confines of the parish. Westward along the Devon the surface declines to close upon 50 feet above sea-level, thence rising southward to 353 feet near Sheardale, and northward to 538 near Hilifoot House, 2111 at King's S eat on the western border, and 2110 at Whitewisp Hill in the N-smooth summits these of the green pastoral Ochils, that command magnificent views. A spongy morass, Maddy Moss, on the NW border, lying at an altitude of from 1500 to 1750 feet, and covering upwards of 150 acres, occasionally bursts its barrier, and sends down a muddy torrent, by the Buru of Sorrow, to the Devon. The rocks of the hills are eruptive, those of the valley carboniferous- Coal and sandstone are plentiful; copper, iron, and lead were formerly wrought in the Ochils, a little above the town; and beautiful agates have been found on the top of Whitewisp; whilst a chalybeate spring, powerfully astringent and of medicinal efficacy both externally and internally, was discovered in 1830 at Vicar's Bridge. - The soil is argillaceous along the Devon, and on the lands thence to the hills is light and gravelly- about 1740 acres being either arable or grass land, 230 under wood, and all the rest either hill-pasture or waste. In 877 the Danes, expelled by the Norwegians from Ireland, entered the Firth of Clyde, and, passing through the region watered by the Teith and Forth, attacked the province of Fife. A battle fought by them at Dollar went against the Scots, who, fleeing north-eastward to Inverdovet in Forgan, were there a second time routed, King Constantin mac Kenneth being among the multitude of the slain (Skene's Celtic Scotland, . 327,1876). The other chief episode in Dollar's history is the burning of its vicar, Thomas Forret, for heresy, at Edinburgh, in 1538- From 1493 to 1605 most of the parish belonged to the Earls of Argyll; at present 4 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 10 of between £100 and £500,18 of from £50 to £100, and 44 of from £20 to £50. Dollar is in the presbytery of Stirling and synod of Perth and Stirling; the living is worth £243. Valuation (1866) £6049, (1882) £12,641,15s. Pop. (1801) 693, (1831) 1447, (1861) 1776, (1871) 2524, (1881) 2499.—Ord. Sur., sh. 39,1867.

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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