A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer
of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and
Historical, edited by
Francis H. Groome
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lamannan, a village and a parish of SE Stirlingshire. The village stands near the right bank of the Avon, 5¾ miles SSW of Falkirk and 5 furlongs N by W of Slammannan station on the Slamannan section (1840) of the North British railway, this being 4 1/8 miles W by S of Blackston Junction, 9 1/8 ENE of Coatbridge, and 17¾ ENE of Glasgow. It has a post office, with money order, savings' bank, and telegraph departments, a branch of the Bank of Scotland, 3 hotels, and gasworks. Pop. of village (1861) 482, (1871) 681, (1881) 1644, of whom 419 were in Blinkbonny. Houses (1881) 322 inhabited, 7 vacant, 1 building.
The parish contains also the conjoint villages of Balquhatston Row and Arnloss Colliery, of Binniehill and Southfield, and of Limerigg and Lochside. In outline rudely resembling an obtuse angled triangle with southward apex, it is bounded N by Falkirk and Muiravonside, SE by Torphichen in Linlithgowshire, and SW by New Monkland in Lanarkshire. Its utmost length, from E to W, is 6 miles; its utmost breadth, from N to S, is 3½ miles: and its area is 7148 acres, of which 86 1/3 are water. The river Avon or Aven winds 8 miles east-by-northward and east-by-southward along all the Falkirk and Muiravonside boundary; and Polness or Drumtassie Burn runs 4¾ miles north-eastward along nearly all the Torphichen boundary, till it falls into the Avon at the eastern extremity of the parish. Triangular Black Loch (½ x ½ mile) lies just on the New Monkland border; and 5 furlongs ENE is Little Black Loch (1¾ x 1 furl.). The surface is flattish, sinking along the Avon to a little less than 500 feet above sea-level, and attaining a summit altitude of 707 feet near the Little Black Loch. The lands adjacent to the Avon, to the breadth of about a mile, comprise much haugh and meadow, and are subject to floods after heavy rains. The rocks are mainly carboniferous, and include great quantities of excellent coal and ironstone. Mining employs a large proportion of the population; and the manufacture of coke is extensively carried on. The soil of the haugh and the meadow lands is light and fertile; and that of the higher tracts is partly a good loam, partly strong hard clay, partly black mossy earth, and partly moor or wet moss overlying a bed of sand. Much ground, formerly heathy or swampy, has been reclaimed into good arable condition. Part, or perhaps the whole, of the parish was obtained in 1470 from James II. by Lord Livingstone; and, along with the advowson of the church, was held by his lordship's successors, the Earls of Linlithgow and Calendar, till their attainder in 1716. The parish in pre-Reformation times was called St Laurence-on account of the dedication of its church to this saint; and, in legal instruments, it is still designated ` the parish of Slamannan, otherwise St Laurence.' An excellent fountain, a little SE of the church, bears the name of St Laurence's Well. A mansion, noticed separately, is Balquhatston; and 6 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 8 of between £100 and £500. Since 1730 the southern portion of Falkirk parish has been annexed ecclesiastically to Slamannan, which is in the presbytery of Linlithgow and the synod of Lothian and Tweeddale. The living is worth £319. The parish church was built in 1810, and contains upwards of 700 sittings. There are also Free and Methodist churches, besides an Evangelical Union church at Avonbridge; and five schools- Avonbridge public, Limerigg public, Slamanuan public, Drumclair Colliery, and Slamannan Free Church-with respective accommodation for 166, 282, 416, 126, and 148 children, had (1884) an average attendance of 90, 237, 414, 102, and 142, and grants of £100, 18s., £153, 14s. 6d., £277, 11s. 6d., £67, 6s., and £115, 18s. Valuation (1860) £8902, (1885) £22,606, 10s. 3d. Pop. of civil parish (1801) 923, (1841) 979, (1861) 2916, (1871) 4164, (1881) 5850; of ecclesiastical parish (1871) 4847, (1881) 6428.Ord. Sur., sh. 31, 1867.
An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is
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