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Public Housing at Callendar Park, Falkirk
©2019 Gazetteer for Scotland

Public Housing at Callendar Park, Falkirk

The administrative centre of Falkirk Council area, situated between the Forth and Clyde Canal and Union Canal in a pivotal position between Edinburgh and Glasgow. The name derives from Fawkirk meaning speckled or mixed church, said to have been founded in the 6th C. by St. Modan. The motto of the burgh is 'Better meddle wi the deil than the Bairns o Fawkirk', giving rise both to the name 'bairns' for citizens of the town and as a nickname for the football team. Notables born in Falkirk include physicist Dr. John Aitken (1839 - 1919), American industrialist Robert Dollar (1844 - 1932), plant hunter George Forrest (1873 - 1932), artists Elizabeth Blackadder (b.1931) and Barbara Rae (b.1943), campaigner Dame Sheila McKechnie (b.1948), broadcaster Kaye Adams (b.1962) and actor Forbes Masson (b.1963).

There are substantial remains of the Antonine Wall and Roman roads in the area, and to the southeast is Callendar House which dates from the 14th Century when much of the area was granted by King Alexander II to the Livingstones. Their descendants became the Earls of Callendar and Linlithgow before forfeiture during the first Jacobite Rising in 1715. On Callendar Ridge was fought the first Battle of Falkirk in 1298, the second taking place in 1746 to the west near Bantaskine where there is a monument.

The Falkirk Trysts were enormous traditional cattle markets, where beasts driven down from the Highlands were sold. Established in the early 18th C., by 1785 the location of these sales had settled on land to the north, towards Stenhousemuir. From 1760 the surrounding area had developed heavy industries in association with iron and coal. Callendar Square and Howgate are the principal shopping centres on the High Street. Other notable buildings include Falkirk Old Church, a Mediaeval foundation, Falkirk Steeple (1814), Christ Church (1864) and the Old Burgh Buildings (1879). The town centre was pedestriansed between 1989 and 1993. Falkirk Stadium is the home of the town's football team, while Diamond Stadium, once a greyhound-racing track, closed in 1989 and was redeveloped as Central Retail Park. Public parks include Bellsmeadow, Callendar Park, Dollar Park and Ladysmill Park. There are three railway stations; Falkirk High on the Glasgow-Edinburgh line, Falkirk Grahamston on the line from Edinburgh to Stirling, and Camelon further west on the same line.

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