Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for Stirlingshire

Stirlingshire, one of the midland counties of Scotland, partly Lowland and partly Highland, and consisting of a main portion and two detached sections to the NE, included in Perthshire and Clackmannan. The main portion is bounded N by the county of Perth, NE by the county of Clackmannan and the detached portion of Perthshire about Culross, E by the Firth of Forth and Linlithgowshire, SE by Linlithgowshire, S by Lanarkshire and a detached portion of Dumbartonshire about Kirkintilloch, and SW and W by Dumbartonshire. The first detached section lies 3 miles NE of Bridge of Allan, and measures 2 by 1 ¼ mile. It is entirely surrounded by Perthshire. The second detached section lies 1½ mile E of this, and is much larger, extending northward from the Devon at Alva for over 4 miles, and averaging 2 miles wide at right angles to this. It is bounded on the N by Perthshire, and E, S, and W by Clackmannanshire. The shape of the main body of the county is irregular, but there may be said to be a compact eastern portion measuring 27 ½ miles, from Grangemouth on the E to the junction of Catter Burn with Endrick Water on the W, and averaging 13 miles from N to S at right angles to this; and from this compact portion a long projection passes up the NE side of Loch Lomond for 20 miles, 6 ½ miles wide at starting, and tapering to the head of Glen Gyle. The extreme length of the county, from the head of Glen Gyle south-eastward to Linlithgow Bridge, is 45 ¾ miles; and the extreme breadth, from the boundary line NE of Bridge of Allan south-westward to the Kelvin near Killermont House, is 22 ½ miles. The boundaries are largely natural. Beginning at the NW corner, the boundary line follows the streain in Glen Gyle down the glen to Loch Katrine (364 feet), and then passes along the loch itself to Coalbarns, SE of Stronachlachlar, whence it strikes straight west-south-westward to Loch Arklet (463). From near the NE end of this loch it passes south-south-eastward to the top of Beinn Uaimhe, and thence south-eastward by the summits of Beinn Dubh (1675 feet) and Mulan an t' Sagairt (1398) to Duchray Water at the entrance to Gleann Dubh, 1 5/8 mile W of the W end of Loch Ard. From this the boundary is Duchray Water, to a point ¾ mile below Duchray Castle, and thereafter the line winds south-eastward till it reaches a tributary of Kelty Water, ¼ mile WSW of Gartmore. It follows this stream to the Kelty, then the Kelty to the Forth, and thereafter the last river for 4 ¼ miles, till, WNW of Port of Monteith station, it turns southward to Bucklyvie Moor, then eastward for 1 ¼ mile, and again northward back to the Forth ¼ mile above Arngomery Burn, and from this it follows the Forth for 19¾ miles to the junction of the Forth and Teith. Here it passes north-north-eastward, to the SE of the policies of Keir, and Lecropt church, curves round, 1 mile N of Bridge of Allan, and then turns back through the policies of Airthrey Castle to the Forth near Causewayhead station, whence it follows the main channel of the river and the firth all the way to the mouth of the river Avon. The latter river separates the county from Linlithgowshire for 13¾ miles, upwards to the junction of the Drumtassie Burn, which then forms the boundary to its source, and after this the line passes westward to North Calder Water, which it follows for 1 mile up to Black Loch. Crossing this loch, it curves north-westward to the river Avon, ½ mile below the great bend near Fannyside Loch, and follows this river up to Jawcraig, whence it passes westward to the Castlecary Burn, and follows this downwards to Bonny Water. Thereafter it keeps near the Forth and Clyde Canal on the N side, along a small stream that forms the head source of the Kelvin, and then with minor irregularities follows the Kelvin for 12 ½ miles to a point barely ½ mile above Killermont House. From this the line passes irregularly to the NW, till near Clober House it reaches the Allander Water, up which and the Auldmurroch Burn it passes to Auchingree Reservoir. From the reservoir it runs north-westward, partly by Crooks Burn, to Catter Burn, follows this downward to Endrick Water, and then the course of the latter to Loch Lomond, where, curving outwards to include the islands of Clairinch, Inchcailloch, Inchfad, Inchruim, and Bucinch, it passes between Inchlonaig (Dumbartonshire) and Strathcashell Point, and then up the centre of the loch till opposite Island Vow, 2 miles from the N end of the loch, where it turns eastward to the summit of Beinn a' Choin (2524 feet), and thence by Stob nan Eighrach (2011) to the stream in Glen Gyle. Near the place where Perthshire crosses to the N side of the Forth, Stirlingshire includes, between Arngomery and Kippen, a portion of Perthshire measuring 2 ½ miles by fully ¼ mile. The area of the county is 466.53 square miles or 298, 578.65 acres, of which 3294 are foreshore and 8946 are water, while of the whole 9176 acres lie N of the Forth, including the two detached portions of the county. Of the land surface of 286,338.65 acres, 114,678 were under crop, bare, fallow, and grass in 1884, and 12, 483 under wood-an increase in the former case of 23, 278 acres within the last thirty years, and a decrease in the latter case of about 500 in the same period. The mean summer and winter temperatures differ but little from what (58° and 37°) may be taken as those for the central Scottish counties; and the mean average annual rainfall varies greatly, being only about 35 inches for the district about Stirling, while at the lower end of Loch Lomond it is 55, and farther up the loch rises to over 90. Among the counties of Scotland, Stirling is twentieth as regards area; ninth as regards population, both absolutely and in respect of the number of persons (251) to the square mile; and tenth as regards valuation.

Surface, etc.—The eastern part of the county is finely wooded, well cultivated, and undulating, but no portion of it reaches 500 feet above sea-level, and this flat tract is prolonged up the valleys of the Forth and Kelty, sweeps from the neighbourhood of Flanders Moss south. wards by Bucklyvie and Balfron, and thence down the valley of Endrick Water to the SE end of Loch Lomond. In the centre of the compact eastern portion of the county the ground slopes upward from the valley of the Forth at Gargunnock and Kippen to the Gargunnock Hills (highest point 1591 feet), and thence southward in an undulating grassy and heathy plateau from 1000 to 1400 feet high, and terminating along the S edge in the Kilsyth Hills (highest point, Laird's Hill, 1393) overlooking the valley of the Kelvin at Kilsyth. From the NW portion of the Kilsyth Hills the long green line of the Campsie Fells stretches away westward to the flat ground at the SE end of Loch Lomond, their general height being from 1500 to 1800 feet, and the highest summit, Earl's Seat (1894 feet). These throw out on the SW the lower spurs known as the Strathblane Hills, and from this the ground undulates downwards by Milngavie to the valleys of the Kelvin and the Clyde. Northward the Campsie Fells slope down to the valley of Endrick Water, on the opposite side of which, at Fintry, are the Fintry Hills (highest point, 1676 feet), NW of which, beyond the hollow of the headstream of the Endrick-here making a sharp bend - are the Gargunnock Hills. The long projection already referred to as branching off to the NW along Loch Lomond is purely Highland in its character, and contains the whole of the summits, from Beinn a' Choin south-eastward, which have been already described in the article on Loch Lomond. The highest summit is Ben Lomond (3192 feet), and the ridges slope rapidly down in the SW to Loch Lomond; and on the NE towards Loch Katrine, and Lochs Chon and Ard, and the upper waters of the Forth. The two detached portions of the county are among the Ochil Hills.

Nearly half of Loch Lomond (23 feet) is in Stirlingshire, but otherwise the lakes of the county are few and small. The southern shore of Loch Katrine (364 feet) for 2 miles at the western end lies along the boundary, and wholly in the county are Loch Arklet (1 x ¼ mile; 463 feet); Walton Reservoir (½ x 1/8 mile), at the base of the Fintry Hills on the S; Loch Coulter (5 x 3 furl.), 3 miles NW of Dunipace; reservoirs near Carron Ironworks, about Kilsyth, and between Strathblane and Milugavie, one of this last group being the settling reservoir at Mugdock for the Glasgow water-works; and in the SE of the county Loch Ellrig (¾ x barely ¼ mile), Little Black Loch, and part of Black Loch. The whole of the southern side of the county is drained by Duchray Water, the Kelty, and the Forth, with the innumerable smaller streams flowing to them; the eastern portion by the Bannock Burn, the Pow Burn, the Carron and Bonny Water, and the Avon, with the smaller streams flowing to them; the centre is drained by the upper waters of the Carron and Endrick Water; in the S and SW are the Kelvin, with Garrel Burn, Glazert Water, and Allander Water; the centre of the W side has Endrick Water and the streams flowing to it; while Loch Lomond receives a large number of small burns from the mountains along the NE side. Loch Arklet contains capital trout, red-fleshed, and almost as good as those of Loch Leven, but it is preserved. The fishing in the larger streams is good, but in the smaller it is worthless.

Geology.—Apart from the economic value of the mineral fields along the margin of the county from Strathblane to Stirling, there are several features of special interest connected with the geology of Stirlingshire. Prominent among these must be ranked the remarkable volcanic chain of the Campsie Fells, where the successive lava flows can be traced, piled on each other like horizontal lines of masonry. The geological formations represented within the county are given in the following table:—

RecentPeat and alluvium
Raised Beaches25-Feet Beach
50-Feet Beach
Pleistocene100-Feet Raised Beach
Moraines, Sand, and Gravel.
CarboniferousCoal-measures.Red Sandstone group.
Coal-bearing group.
Millstone Grit.
Carboniferous Limestone.Upper Limesone group.
Middle Coal-bearing group.
Lower Limestone group.
Calciferous Sandstone.Upper or Cement-stone group, which in Stirlingshire is for the most part replaced by contemporaneous volcanic rocks.
Old Red Sandstone.Lower Old Red SandstoneConglomerates, sandstones, and shales.

A line drawn from the shore of Loch Lomond near Balmaha NE to a point near Aberfoyle marks the position of the great fault, bringing the Old Red Sandstone into conjunction with the metamorphic rocks of the Highlands. That portion of the county situated to the NW of the fault is wholly occupied by these metamorphic strata, being repeated by various folds, some of which are inverted. Close to the fault occur the oldest strata consisting of alternations of slates and schistose greywackes, occasionally merging into pebbly and even conglomeratic bands which are inclined to the NW. These beds pass upwards into fine silky hydro-mica schists alternating with grit bands containing pebbles which are still recognisable. A zone of massive grits, well developed in Perthshire, crosses this county from Ben Venue through Ben Lomond to Loch Lomond. To the N of this line the strata are repeated by a series of folds, and as we advance N to the border of the county they gradually assume a more crystalline form. To the S of a line drawn from Lochard to Rowardennan the general dip of the beds is to the S, which continues till we approach near to the great fault. In that district there is a constant repetition of slate and greywacke with an occasional band of limestone, the sedimentary strata being as little altered as the beds at Callander and Lochard.

The representatives of the Lower Old Red Sandstone cover a belt of ground stretching from the great fault already indicated SE to Kippen and Killearn. The beds occupying the lowest geological horizon are exposed along the margin of the fault in the drum of Clashmore about 3 miles SW of Aberfoyle, where a vertical band of porphyrite is seen in contact with the fault. This bed of lava evidently represents a portion of the great volcanic series of the Ochils. For upwards of 1 mile from the fault the conglomerates and red sandstones overlying this band of porphyrite are highly inclined or nearly vertical, the general inclination being towards the SSE. As the observer advances farther S, the angle of inclination gradually diminishes, and the beds are repeated by occasional minor undulations till he reaches a point about 3 miles from the fault which forms the centre of a great synclinal fold. The axis of this basin coincides with a line drawn from Flanders Moss to a point near Drymen. On the SE side of this synclinal axis the general dip of the beds is towards the NW, and hence the observer crosses anew the same series of beds in regular order. It is observable, however, that the strata along the Highland border are always much more conglomeratic than those occupying the same geological horizon situated several miles to the S. The conglomerate bands close to the great fault are composed chiefly of porphyrite pebbles, but as we ascend in the geological succession the porphyrite pebbles disappear, and the blocks consist wholly of various metamorphic rocks of the Highlands. The strata occupying the centre of the syncline, which are the highest members of this formation in the county, are composed of grey sandstones which yielded to Mr R. L. Jack numerous plant remains, regarded by Mr Kidston as specimens of Arthrostignla (Dawson). These grey sandstones underlie the great conglomerates of Uamh Var in Perthshire, which are hardly, if at all, represented in this county.

Resting on the denuded edges of the Lower Old Red Sandstone strata comes a succession of red sandstones and conglomeratic marls, forming the base of the Carboniferous system. Along the line of junction the Lower Old Red strata are inclined to the NW, while the members of the overlying group are inclined to the SE. It is evident, therefore, that in this area there is additional proof of the extensive denudation which intervened between the Lower Old Red Sandstone and the deposition of the red sandstone series at the base of the Carboniferous system. The unconformable junction between the two formations is not traceable, however, across the-county, for between Kippen and Balfron they are brought into contact with each other by a fault trending ENE and WSW. This fault is a continuation of the great dislocation throwing down the Clackmannan coalfield against the Old Red volcanic rocks of the Ochils. Near the top of the group there is a concretionary cornstone which has been worked for lime at intervals between Balfron and Gargunnock. The red sandstones just described are succeeded by blue, grey, green, and red clays, with numerous thin bands and nodules of impure cement-stone, and occasional beds of sandstone, forming the base of the Cement-stone group. They skirt the N escarpment of the Campsie Fells, and are likewise seen in some of the glens on the S side of the range near Clachan of Campsie and on the hills above Kilsyth. -- One of the finest sections of these beds occurs in the Ballagan Burn near Strathblane. Along the base of the escarpment on the N and W sides of the range they are overlaid by white sandstones, which at intervals are associated with fine volcanic tuffs. These tuffs are specially observable to the E of Fintry, and also to the N of Kilsyth, where they alternate with sheets of porphyrite. To these succeed a grand development of contemporaneous volcanic rocks consisting almostwholly of sheets of diabase porphyrite, with few or no intercalations of tuffs. Occupying the same horizon as the volcanic rocks of the Kilpatrick and Renfrewshire hills (see article on geology of Renfrewshire, Ord. Gaz., vol. v.), they reach a thickness in the present area of nearly 1000 feet. The successive lava flows are admirably displayed on the S side of the chain, forming a series of- parallel beds recognisable even from a distance.- Skirting the escarpment on the S side, a great fault is traceable from Strathblane E to near the Carron Water, which brings the overlying Carboniferous Limestone series into conjunction with the cementstones and the porphyrites at the base of the volcanic series. At the E end of the range, however, from a point W of Stirling S towards the Carron Water, the upper limit of the volcanic rocks is well defined. In that direction the lavas are gradually thinning out, but eventually they pass underneath blue shales with cement-stone bands forming the top of the Cementstone group. It is apparent, therefore, that in Stirlingshire this group is mainly represented by volcanic rocks. - It is interesting to observe, however, that not far to the E of Bridge of Allan, at Causewayhead, this volcanic series is not represented at all; and where the horizon emerges in the Cleish Hills from beneath the Clackmannan Coalfield it is represented merely by some bands of tuff. The roots of some of the old volcanoes which discharged the lavas of the Campsie Hills are still to be found in different parts of the county, especially on both sides of the Blane Valley W of Strathblane. Dumgoyne Hill is perhaps one of the best examples in that region. They also occur on both sides of the Endrick at Fintry, where they pierce the sedimentary beds underlying the volcanic series and the porphyrites and tuffs at the base. Meikle Bin, the highest peak in the Campsie range. marks the site of another of these ancient volcanoes.

As indicated in the table of geological formations the triple classification of the Carboniferous Limestone series obtains in this county. Beginning at the W limit of this important division we find the limestones of the lower group lying at low angles against the volcanic rocks. From the researches of the Geological Survey it would appear that on descending the hill slope the observer crosses the Hosie Limestone and the Hurlet Limestone with the underlying coal, until, in the bed of the valley, he finds the white sandstone underlying the limestones. On the South Hill of Campsie the same beds reappear, and the Hurlet limestone and coal can be traced more or less continuously round the slope. Passing E to the neighbourhood of Kilsyth, there is a great development of the middle coal-bearing group, forming indeed one of the most valuable mineral fields in Scotland on account of the various seams of coal and ironstone. From Cairnbog E by Kilsyth to Banton the beds are thrown into a series of small arches and troughs, the most conspicuous being the anticlinal fold at Kilsyth, locally known as `The Riggin.' Again, in the tract between Denny and Stirling, the various subdivisions of the Carboniferous Limestone series dip to wards the E, and there is a general ascending series from the Hosie Limestone through the coals and ironstones of the middle group to the Index, Calmy, and Castlecary Limestones of the upper group.

Along the E margin of the county the strata just described are followed by the Millstone Grit, consisting of alternations of thick sandstones and fireclays, with irregular seams of coal and clayband ironstone. To these succeed the true Coal-measures, which are well developed between Stenhousemuir and Grangemouth, and again at Falkirk. At the former locality the prominent seams are the Coxroad, the Splint, and the Craw Coals, the highest being the Virtuewell seam. Between Dennyloanhead and Coneypark there is a small outlier of Coal-measures thrown down by two parallel faults running E and W. On the N side the outlier is brought into contact with the Carboniferous Limestone, and on the S side against the Millsatone Grit and the Carboniferous Limestone.

There are numerous intrusive sheets of basalt rock associated with the Carboniferous strata, of which, perhaps, the most conspicuous extends from Abbey Craig through Stirling to Denny, where its outcrop is shifted further W by a fault. It is perhaps connected with the sheet so often repeated in the neighbourhood of Kilsyth, though here it occupies a higher horizon among the coalbearing series of the Carboniferous Limestone, while at Denny the sheet is intruded in the lower limestones. A glance at the Geological Survey maps will show the number of Tertiary basalt dykes traversing the county. During the glacial period the direction of the ice flow between Loch Lomond and Loch Katrine was nearly N and S. On reaching the plain between Drymen and Stirling, the movement was gradually deflected towards the SE, and eventually as the ice crossed the range of the Campsie Hills, the direction became nearly E, parallel with the escarpment on the S side of the range. There is an extensive deposit of boulder clay throughout the county, which varies in character with the underlying strata. An interesting feature connected with it is the occurrence of shells at certain localities in the Endrick Valley. Near Drymen station, a section was exposed showing on the surface about 12 feet of boulder clay resting on 7 feet of laminated blue clay, which yielded marine shells and the antler of a reindeer. Mr R. L. Jack believes that the shell fragments found in the boulder clay in the basin of the Endrick have been derived from the denudation of such marine deposits. The later glaciers must have attained great dimensions in the higher portions of the county, judging from the great moraines which are seen along the valleys.

In this county there are deposits, evidently belonging to the 100-feet beach, consisting of sands, gravels, and clays, which cross the watershed of the midland valley, and are to be found at Kilsyth. At a lower level there is another ancient beach, the upper limit of which is marked by the 50-feet contour line, composed of laminated clay, mud, silt, and sand. It now forms the well-known Carse of Stirling. These deposits are abundantly charged with recent sea shells, and they have also yielded the remains of whales, canoes, and implements.

Economic Minerals.—The geological horizon of the valuable seams of coal and ironstone has already been indicated. In the Kilsyth district there are 4 seams of black-band ironstone wrought, comprising the Possil and Banton seams. There are also several beds of coal, of which the Banton Main is much in demand. The well-known Hurlet Limestone has been extensively wrought in the Campsie district and the seam of alumshale underlying this limestone. The upper limestone group yields a large supply of lime; one of the bands, viz., the Calmy or Arden, being formerly much wrought. Two valuable coal seams, known as the Hirst coals, are associated with this band, being found only a few fathoms below the limestone. The seams are in high repute, owing to their caking properties, being nearly equal to Newcastle coal. Again, in the true Coalmeasures in the neighbourhood of Grangemouth and Carron, the chief coals sought after are the Splint and Coxroad seams, while in Falkirk they are also in much request. Excellent building stone is obtained from the different subdivisions of the Carboniferous formation. Sandstones belonging to the Carboniferous Limestone series are wrought at Kilsyth, Castlecary, and other localities, while the sheets of intrusive basalt are largely in demand for paving stones. The red sandstones between Killearn and Kippen are also locally used for building purposes.

Soils and Agriculture.—The soils may be divided into carse, dry field, hill pasture, moor, and moss. The first, which includes some of the finest land in Scotland, extends for 26 miles along the Forth, from the Avon upwards to beyond Kippen, with a breadth of from ½ to 4½ miles, and covering an area of about 36, 000 acres. It is flat or slopes gently from the S and SW towards the river, the height above sea-level varying generally from 12 to 40 feet, but some of it lies lower, having been reclaimed from the sea in the end of last, and the beginning of the present, century. Originally a bluish argillaceous earth, damp and marshy, it has been brought into its present condition of a fertile friable loam by the thorough application of deep draining and subsoil ploughing first introduced by Mr Smith of Deanston. `It is perfectly wonderful,' says a writer in the Quarterly Journal of Agriculture for 1839, `to behold the mighty change this thorough drain system is making in the different parts of the county where it is in operation. Wet land is made dry; poor weeping clays are converted into turnip soil; and even what would formerly have been accounted dry is advanced in quality. Whole parishes in the vicinity of Stirling are completely transformed from unsightly marshes into beautiful and rich wheat fields; and where the plough could scarcely be driven for slush and water, we see heavy crops per acre and heavy weight per bushel, the quantity and the quality alike improved. ' The drainage would now, in several places, again need to be looked to. The depth of this soil is often over 30 feet. It is everywhere free from stones and pebbles, and the place and period of its formation are indicated by the beds of recent shells which it contains at various depths. The dry field begins at the higher margin of the carse, comprehends the arable slopes on the lower part of the hills, and occupies all the straths, valleys, and low grounds not included in the carse district. This soil varies very much in quality and in character, but though it is sometimes very inferior, it is much oftener a highly fertile loam or gravel, particularly suitable for the cultivation of potatoes and turnips. Dryfield soil prevails in the parishes of Polmont, Larbert, Denny, St Ninians, Kilsyth, and Baldernock, and in portions of Muiravonside and Slamannan, as well as all the parishes in the hilly central division of the county - Strathblane, Campsie, Killearn, Balfron, Gargunnock, and Kippen. In the district between Linlithgow and Stirling it is so good and fertile as to be almost equal to carse land, and the portion of it sloping down towards the valleys of the Forth and Endrick are also good. The moorland was, in the latter half of last century, very extensive, comprehending about one-fourth of the whole county, but it has now been almost all improved into dryfield, only a small portion being left in the Highland district, chiefly in the parish of Buchanan. The hill-pasture occupying the rest of the Highland district, all the rising-grounds already mentioned in the centre and W of the shire, and most of the detached portions of the county have a sandy or peaty soil covered with heath and short grass. It embraces nearly half of the whole county, and includes some of the best grazing ground in the whole of Scotland. In the early part of the present century moss occupied about one-thirtieth of the whole area, but this proportion has since that time been much reduced by reclamation, principally in Slamannan and in the carse district. In the latter case it is worth removing, as it overlies land of excellent quality, but in the W of Slamannan parish, where a considerable district is still covered with a mass of it from 3 to 12 feet deep, the sandy soil beneath is valueless. The increase in the amount of arable land within the last 30 years has been already stated. In the percentage of cultivated area Stirlingshire comes twelfth among the Scottish counties, the proportion being 40.05, while that for all Scotland is 24.2. The areas under various crops at different dates are shown in the following tables:—

Grain Crops.—Acres.

Year.Wheat.Barley or

Grass, Root Crops, etc.—Acres.

Year.Hay, Grass, and
Permanent Pasture.

while there are about 650 acres annually under rye, peas, vetches, etc., 3450 acres under beans, 1700 acres fallow, and generally from 50 to 80 acres under flax, the last having gradually fallen off since 1854, when there were 770. There is the same falling off in the area under wheat as in the other Scottish wheat-growing counties. The seeming falling off in the area under the plough since 1854 has been remarked on in previous county articles. The wheat and beans are grown on the carse land, and the average yield of the former is 32 bushels per acre; of barley, 38 bushels; of oats, 35 bushels; of turnips, 16 to 24 tons; of potatoes, 4 to 8 tons. In the S and W of the county, along the railways, and about the towns many of the farms are used for dairy purposes. Rents vary from 12s. 6d. to £3 per acre; and sheepgrazing is 2s. 6d. to 6s. a head, except on the Ochils, where it is from 8s. to 10s.

The agricultural live-stock in the county at different dates is shown in the following table:—


For dairy purposes Ayrshire cows are generally kept, and at several farms there are excellent pure bred herds. Cattle kept for feeding are generally crosses, though some also are shorthorns. The fine pure bred shorthorn herd formerly belonging to the Earl of Dunmore has been dispersed, but a few of the leading proprietors keep small herds. The horses are chiefly Clydesdales, and some of the farmers are well-known breeders. The best sheep are blackfaced, but there are also Leicesters and crosses. In 1884 there were in the county 986 turkeys, 440 geese, 3712 ducks, and 36, 851 fowls. Of 1537 holdings in the county, 789 were 50 acres and under, 382 between 50 and 100, 329 between 100 and 300, 29 between 300 and 500, 7 between 500 and 1000, and 1 above 1000. In 1881, 966 farmers employed 1057 men, 263 boys, 264 women, and 430 girls.

Anciently a large portion of the county seems to have been covered with wood, and most of the mosses in the carse and dryfield seem to have originated in the decay of these forests. Where no mosses are now found - e.g., between Stirling and Polmont - there must also have been large tracts of woodland at Torwood Forest and elsewhere. About 1735 extensive plantations were formed on the estates of the Duke of Montrose, Sir Charles Edmonstone, and Lieutenant-General Fletcher Campbell; and by 1854 the area under wood was 13,045 acres. It was, in 1884, 12, 483. Of the old orchards planted and tended by the monks in the E of the county none now remain; but 27 acres were in 1884 used as orchards and 27 as market gardens. According to the Micellaneous Statistics of the United Kingdom (1879), 284, 751 acres, with a total gross estimated rental of £521, 407, are divided among 4257 proprietors, the Duke of Montrose holding 68, 878 acres (rental £15, 706), Mr Forbes of Callendar 13, 041 (£16, 215), and eight together 55, 342 (£54,977), fourteen 48, 052 (£48, 758), eighteen 24, 395 (£32, 807), forty-one 30, 000 (£63, 802), etc. Thus two only have more than 10, 000 acres. Many of the smaller proprietors and feuars obtained possession of their lots in consequence of former Dukes of Montrose, and Earls of Mar, Menteith, and Glencairn, having made grants to some of their retainers and their heirs for ever at very small rents. The Earl of Wigtown, who had large estates in the neighhourhood of Denny, was so convinced that the Union in 1707 would ruin the country that he sold all the property to his tenants on condition that they would continue to pay as feu-duty their rental at the time. The principal mansions, most of which are separately noticed, are Airth Castle, Airthrey Castle, Arngomery, Antermony House, Aucheneck House, Auchinbowie House, Auchinreoch House, Auchmedden Lodge, Avondale House, Balfanning House, Ballagan House, Ballikinrain House, Ballindalloch, Balquhatston House, Banknock House, Bannockburn House, Bantaskine House, Bardowie House, Blairquhastle, Boquhan, Buchanan Castle, Callendar House, Candie House, Carbeth House, Carbrook House, Carnock House, Carron Hall, Clober House, Colzium House, Craigbarnet House, Craigend Castle, Craigforth House, Craigmaddie House, Craigton, Culcreuch, Denovan, Dougalston House, Duchray Castle, Dunipace House, Dunmore Park, Duntreath House, Garden, Gargunnock House, Gavell House, Glenbervie, Glenfuir House, Glenorchard House, Glorat House, Hayston House, Herbertshire House, Inversnaid Lodge, Kerse House, Killearn House, Kincaid House, Kinnaird House, Kirkton House, Larbert House, Laurence Park, Laurelhill, Leckie House, Leddriegreen House, Lennox Castle, Livilands, Manuel House, Meiklewood House, Merchiston Hall, Millfield House, Muiravonside House, Neuck, Parkhill House, Plean House, Polmaise, Polmont House, Polmont Park, Quarter House, Rowardennan Lodge, Sauchie House, Seton Lodge, Stenhouse, Thornhill House, Touch House, West Quarter House, and Westertown House. In the detached Alva portion is Alva House.

Industries.—The manufactures of the county are numerous and important, comprising, besides those connected with its minerals, the weaving of carpets, tartans, tweeds, winceys, and other woollen fabrics at Alva, Bannockburn, Cambusbarron, and Stirling; and of cotton at Balfron and Milngavie. There are printworks and bleachfields at Denny and Milngavie, as well as at Kincaid and Lennoxtown, and several other localities in the parish of Campsie. There are large chemical works at Campsie, Denny, and Falkirk, paper works at Denny, a pottery at Dunmore, fish hatcheries at Howietoun, near Sauchie House; and distilleries at Glenguin, Glenfoyle, Gargunnock, Cambus, Bankier, Bonnymuir, Rosebank, and Camelon. The great iron industries are noticed under Carron Ironworks, Falkirk, and elsewhere, and details will be found for the other industries in the separate articles dealing with the places or under the different parishes. The position and structure of the Stirlingshire coalfield have been already indicated in the section on the geology" and it here remains but to notice its economic aspects. The total amount of coal raised from the whole of the Scottish coalfields in 1882 was 20, 515,134 tons, valued at the pit mouth at £4, 541, 935; and of this the 47 Stirlingshire collieries produced 1,153, 389 tons, valued at £288, 347 at the pit mouth. Of the 2, 404, 177 tons of ironstone raised in the same year all over Scotland, valued at £1,123, 286, 71, 837 tons, valued at £32, 837, were obtained in Stirlingshire; as were also 9850 tons of fire-clay out of a total of 435, 457 tons for all Scotland, the value being £1231. Sandstone is quarried at Dunmore, Polmaise, and Plean, and limestone at several places about Campsie.

Communications, etc.—The commerce is principally centred at Grangemouth, but the county is very well provided with roads and railways. Of the former the three main lines may be said to be that from Edinburgh to Glasgow by Falkirk, Kilsyth, and Kirkintilloch; that from Edinburgh to the north by Falkirk, Larbert, and Stirling; or the parallel route, Falkirk, Denny, and Stirling; and that from Stirling up the valley of the Forth, and by Bucklyvie, Balfron, Killearn, and Milngavie, or Bucklyvie, Drymen, and New Kilpatrick to Glasgow. An important branch connects the first and third of these across the centre of the county by Kippen, Fintry, and Campsie, to Kirkintilloch. There are also a large number of excellent cross and district roads. The eastern part of the county is traversed by the main line of the North British system between Edinburgh and Glasgow and between Edinburgh and Larbert; and the main line of the Caledonian between Glasgow and Stirling; and also that from Glasgow by Airdrie to Slamannan, Manuel, and Bo'ness. From Lenzie Junction (North British) there is a branch by Lennoxtown and Strathblane to Killearn and Balfron; and from the Dumbarton section, a short branch to Milngavie. From Stirling another section of the North British system passes up the valley of the Forth, and on by Bucklyvie and Gartness to Balloch, uniting with the Killearn branch near Balfron. From near Larbert a branch of the Caledonian system leads to Grangemouth, and there are also a branch line from Larbert to Denny, and many other branches in the SE from both systems. The Forth and Clyde Canal also passes through the county from Castlecary to Grangemouth.

The only royal burgh is Stirling. Falkirk is a parliamentary burgh and burgh of regality. Kilsyth is a police burgh and burgh of barony; and Alva, Denny and Dunipace, Grangemouth, and Milngavie, are police burghs. Places with upwards of 5000 inhabitants are Falkirk, Kilsyth, and Stirling; towns with between 5000 and 2000 inhabitants are Alva, Bannockburn, Bridge of Allan, Denny, Grangemouth, Lennoxtown, Milngavie, and Stenhousemuir; places with populations of between 2000 and 1000 are Bonnybridge, Cambusbarron, Lauriston, and Slamannan; places with populations of between 1000 and 500 are Balfron, Binniehill and Southfield, Hollandbush and Haggs, Limerigg and Lochside, Milton, Parkfoot and Longcroft, Polmont, Redding and Torrance, and Wester Balgrochan; while smaller villages and hamlets are Airth, Auchinmully, Baldernock, Balmore, Balquhatston Row, Banton, Barleyside, Birdstone, Blackbraes, Blanefield, Bucklyvie, Burnbridge, Burn Row, Camelon, Campsie, Carron, Carronhall, Carronshore, Denny-Loanhead, Dunmore, Fintry, Gargunnock, Glen, Gonochan, Killearn, Kinnaird, Larbert, Longdyke, Newton, East Plean, Raploch, Rumford and Craigs, East Shieldhill, Skinflatts, Torbrex, Torwood, Wallacetown and Standrig. and Whins of Milton. Portions of Causewayhead, Kippen, and Linlithgow Bridge are also included.

The civil county contains the 21 entire quoad civilia parishes of Airth, Alva, Baldernock, Balfron, Bothkennar, Buchanan, Campsie, Denny, Dunipace, Drymen, Falkirk, Fintry, Gargunnock, Killearn, Kilsyth, Larbert, Muiravonside, Polmont, Slamannan, St Ninians, and Strathblane, and portions of Kippen, Logie and Lecropt (Perthshire), New Kilpatrick (Dumbartonshire), and Stirling (Clackmannanshire). The quoad sacra parishes of Bannockburn, Banton, Bonnybridge, Bridge of Allan, Bucklyvie, Camelon, Carronshore, Grangemouth, Haggs, Marykirk (Stirling), Milngavie, Plean, and Sauchie are also included; and there is a mission station at Shieldhill and Blackbraes in the parish of Polmont. Ecclesiastically 10 of those parishes are in the presbytery of Stirling, and 3 in the presbytery of Dunblane, both in the synod of Perth and Stirling; 8 are in the presbytery of Dumbarton, and 2 in the presbytery of Glasgow, in the synod of Glasgow and Ayr; and 4 are in the presbytery of Linlithgow in the synod of Lothian and Tweeddale. There are 40 places of worship in connection with the Established Church, 23 in connection with the Free Church, 26 in connection with the United Presbyterian Church, 2 in connection with the Congregational Church, 2 in connection with the Evangelical Union Church, 3 in connection with the Baptist Church, 2 in connection with the Wesleyan Methodist Church, 4 in connection with the Episcopal Church, and 5 in connection with the Roman Catholic Church. In the year ending September 1883 there were in the county 97 schools, of which 76 were public, with accommodation for 20,086 children. These had 19,448 on the rolls, and an average attendance of 14, 532. The staff consisted of 171 certificated, 49 assistant, and 120 pupil, teachers.

The county is governed by a lord-lieutenant, a vice-lieutenant, 20 deputy-lieutenants, and 156 justices of the peace. The sheriff-principal is shared with Dumbarton and Clackmannan; and there are two sheriff-substitutes, one at Stirling and one at Falkirk. The former has jurisdiction over the parishes of Alva, Baldernock, Balfron, Buchanan, Campsie, Denny, Drymen, Dunipace, Fintry, Gargunnock, Killearn, Kippen, Kilsyth, Lecropt, Logie, New Kilpatrick, St Ninians, Stirling, and Strathblane, and holds ordinary courts every Tuesday and Thursday, and small debt courts every Thursday; the latter has jurisdiction over the parishes of Airth, Bothkennar, Falkirk, Larbert, Muiravonside, Polmont, and Slamannan, and holds ordinary courts every Monday and Wednesday, and small debt courts every Wednesday. A small debt circuit court is held at Lennoxtown on the second Wednesdays of February, May, August, and November. Justice of peace small debt courts are held at Stirling on the first Monday of every month, and quarter sessions are held on the first Tuesdays of March, May, and August, and the last Tuesday of October. The police force, exclusive of the burgh of Stirling, consists of 52 men (1 to every 1335 of the population), under a chief constable with a salary of £300 a year. There are about 1100 apprehensions every year, and there are prisons at Stirling and Falkirk. In 1883 the average number of registered poor was 1514 with 994 dependants, and 48 casual poor with 55 dependants. Two of the parishes are unassessed; and of the others, Stirling, St Ninians, and Kilsyth form Stirling Poor-law Combination, Falkirk has a poorhouse for itself, Muiravonside belongs to Linlithgow Combination, and Kippen is in Dumbarton Combination. The proportion of illegitimate births averages about 6.5 per cent., and the average death-rate is about 18.2. Connected with the county is a battalion of rifle volunteers, and the 3d battalion of the Princess Louise's Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, formerly the Highland Borderers Light Infantry Militia, both battalions having their headquarters at Stirling. The county returns one member to serve in parliament, and the parliamentary constituency in 1884-85 was 3442. Another member is shared by Stirling burgh with Dunfermline, Inverkeithing, Culross, and Queensferry, and a third by Falkirk with Linlithgow, Lanark, Hamilton, and Airdrie; but under the Redistribution Bill at present before parliament, it is proposed to assign a member to Stirling and Falkirk alone. For parliamentary purposes the parish of Alva is united to Clackmannan. Valuation (1674) £9024, (1815) £218, 761, (1855) £269, 640, (1876) £370, 023, (1885) £428,569, 11s. 9d., the last three being exclusive of railways, canals, and tramways, which were valued in 1885 at £128, 640. Pop. of registration county, which takes in part of Stirling parish from Clackmannanshire and part of Kippen from Perthshire, and gives off part of New Kilpatrick to Dumbartonshire, and parts of Logie and Lecropt to Perthshire, (1871) 93,345, (1881) 106, 883; civil county (1801) 50, 825, (1811) 58,174, (1821) 65, 376, (1831) 72, 621, (1841) 82, 057, (1851) 86,237, (1861) 91, 926, (1871) 98, 218, (1881) 112, 443, of whom 56,147 were males and 56, 296 females. These were distributed into 23,656 families occupying 22, 361 houses, with 67, 514 rooms, an average of 1.66 persons to each room. Of the 112, 443 inhabitants in 1881, 1422 men and 674 women were connected with the civil or military services or with (professions, 673 men and 4015 women were domestic servants, 3305 men and 48 women were connected with commerce, 3932 men and 906 women were connected with agriculture and fishing, and 23,104 men and 5065 women were engaged in industrial handicrafts or were dealers in manufactured substances, while there were 20, 175 boys and 20,110 girls of school age. Of those engaged in farming and fishing, 3673 men and 904 women were concerned with farming alone; and of those connected with industrial handicrafts, 10, 316 men and 152 women were concerned with the working of mineral substances.

The county belonged anciently to the Caledonian Damnonii, and was afterwards partly included in the Roman province of Valentia, partly in that of Vespasiana. Still later it lay on the debatable land between the Angles, the Picts, and the Britons of Strathclyde; became the seat of a Scotic kingdom, thereafter part of Cumbria, and finally almost the central point of modern Scotland; and associated with many of the leading events in its history. Few counties can boast of being the scene of so many decisive battles as this. Stirling Bridge, 1297; Falkirk, 1298; Bannockburn, 1314; Sauchie, 1488; Kilsyth, 1645; and the second battle of Falkirk, 1746. The antiquities are both numerous and important, but for them reference may be made to the articles on the different parishes and towns and the others therein referred to. The Roman Wall, between the Firths of Forth and Clyde, which passed through portions of the county on the S, is separately noticed (see Antoninus' Wall), as is also Arthur's Oven. See `The Agriculture of Stirlingshire,' by James Tait, in Trans. Highl. and Ag. Soc. (1884), and works cited under Stirling.

(F.H. Groome, Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (1882-4); © 2004 Gazetteer for Scotland)

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "one of the midland counties of Scotland"   (ADL Feature Type: "countries, 2nd order divisions")
Administrative units: Stirlingshire ScoCnty
Place: Stirlingshire

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